… but I do have a two hour lunch break
A few observations about the pace of life in Paris.
There are neither social rules nor sanctions for walking in metro tunnels, stairways, or sidewalks–no such thing as slow traffic on the right. It’s as if the French ares saying, ‘life is not in a hurry and you shouldn’t be either’. I’m learning to be more than ok with this.
Service is slow to come, decent when it’s present, and they never rush you. You have to ask for the bill if you want it.
Women wear heals all the time. It’s kind of inspiring.
Paris knows how to make public space beautiful. Parisians know how to appreciate it. Despite how narrow the parks might be and how many trees might obstruct your badminton game, the space is incredibly adequate.
People don’t smile freely. I’ve had to restrain to hold a straight face more than once a day. French men generally dress really well, wearing pants that fit, and this is something to smile about.
On a more personal note…
*My French is improving gradually, with 6 hours/day in a classroom it should be. I’m in the most diverse classroom I’ve ever been in, with students from Turkey, Germany, Denmark, China, Taiwan, Iraq, Poland, US, and Thailand. Our common denominator is French which is a 2nd (3rd or 4th) language for all of us except the instructor (who is not allowed to speak English in the classroom). This is a fabulous way to learn.
* My host family living arrangement is great- great food, fun roommates (that graciously translate for me so I can understand our host mother), adorable space, and comfortable sleep.
* I love it here even when it rains (or maybe even more).
* I’m looking forward to exploring the music and art scene with recommendations from a local frenchie (thanks to Ross for the connection!), exploring the textile district for fabric and frills, studying french/ people watching in sidewalk cafes, finding a healthy balance between French food and walking long distances, and trying to be fully present in my paris life!