This past week I spent preparing to spend the weekend in Paris! I was excited to experience a bit of nostalgia since I took French for eight years in school, and I am also working for a French company, Champagne and Fromage. Both gave me initial insight into what to expect during my visit.
The weekend was fantastic. Even the weather was beautiful! For that reason, my best friend and I spent most of the weekend outside. Let’s face it, the temperature wasn’t going to be any cooler inside anyway.
We spent a lot of time eating because we are huge foodies, and mostly because the French do not rush for anything, especially when dining. We ate many crepes and had time to fit in a fondu dinner. It was a very refreshing experience to dine with the French.
This past weekend made some huge differences between France and London obvious to me. As I just mentioned, dining is refreshing. Why? There are hardly any wifi areas in Paris. We had to stare at each other and make conversation. My trip was the first time I actually had to deal with a language barrier. Though I can speak some French, it’s so different whan talking to a true native. Some complain about the French being rude or too proud of their country. I have gained the perspective that it is the love of their people and celebrating each other that is their main purpose.
Fun fact: even though the city is pretty expensive, lots of places have student prices, so make sure you check! We even got a discount on our two day water bus ticket! That was a fabulous and refreshing way to see the city!
At the end of the weekend, Libby and I were ready to get back to London. Being in Paris made me understand how living in London is not that much of a culture shock at all. Compared to home, there’s just a lot of different accents, a massive system of public transportation, less ice, no air conditioning and non-preserved food. I actually felt weird leaving Paris because I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t traveling back home, home.
Starting a new week, all of us were really busy trying to catch up from the weekend. Midterm papers were leaving everyone grumpy, sleepy and stressed. Turns out, it’s a lot harder to focus on school work when you’re busy interning, meeting new people, bonding with others and exploring.
I have started to get more work at my internship site too. I have a very special situation where I am basically doing two internships. The first is working to earn publicity for Brixton Village and its very first website. Daily, I communicate with traders in the village and I really feel I have started to form relationships with the people around me. The second internship is working as a marketing intern for Champagne and Fromage. I get very nervous that I don’t spend enough time on either role. But they do work hand-in-hand because publicity benefits both sides.
One thing I do get annoyed with is the fact that I shouldn’t have brought over so many dress clothes. I do not work in an area or for a job that has any opinion of how I dress.
I think I’m getting used to this city, and I am so glad I came here. I believe I am going to be very ready to return home when the time comes, but for the most part everything has been so easy and natural here. London is not a stressful type of place unless you’re thinking about the driving situation. There is little crime especially because most weapons are illegal, time is not a big deal to them, and everyone is really accepting around me.
I feel very independent doing so much by myself. I don’t feel very far away from home because I can talk to people all the time because of modern technology, everyone speaks English, and I stay pretty busy!
Other than jet lag, I don’t think I’ll have much trouble going back to American life. I’ll just have more people to visit, a lot to catch up on, and a wonderful group of friends and family to see!!
Blog post #6: http://capaworld.capa.org/a-weekend-in-paris