I was so focused that I almost didn’t realize that there are actually three parts to my journey. The second one being my middle, in between period in Paris.
This second part ends today because tomorrow morning I’m leaving for my new family. This transitional period has been just as essential to my year here than the months that have passed and those that will follow. I may not have gone to school in this time but I still managed to learn a heck of a lot.
I guided myself through one of the biggest cities in the world, learning the Paris metro by heart. (Not to mention where all the Starbucks are!) I’ve taken advantage of free admission and visited a pretty solid amount of places.
I was a different kind of tourist than I ever will be again. What I mean by that is, I was just as much a tourist as all the other Americans visiting sites, considering I was at those places in the first place… But they are all getting on a place back home in the coming week, while I, as we all know, am not. I’m here long term, I gave them directions and could answer questions.
At orientation back in September people often said their goal is to be mistaken for a native. Well I’ve learned that all that actually takes is walking like you know where you’re going and looking confident. People often came up to me and tried to ask me for directions in French. The rush of relief on their faces when I answered them in English was priceless.
But I can’t act like I was the only Anglophone in the city. In that way living in Paris was extremely different than my life in Tournon. (As well as being five times more expensive!) I could go to Starbucks and talk to Americans and shop at the brands that I know and love from the U.S (i.e, Lush and American Apparel). A big city is international which makes it a very different experience that a small town like Tournon.
But my coffee runs and shopping sprees have now come to an end. Tomorrow I’m headed to my new town, Pesmes.
Don’t worry, no one in France has heard of it either!
It’s a small village and those that do know of it are quick to inform you that that it is “un des plus beaux villages de France”. It has a population of 1,000 (+1 tomorrow) and according to the Internet looks something like this:
I’ll have two host sisters at home and an older host brother away at university. The two girls and mom have already contacted me via facebook. They seem really nice and eager to host me!