Observations from Paris
So much has happened so far in Paris, and I’ve been here less than a week! I can’t believe all the incredible places I’ve been, people I’ve met and things I’ve seen. I’ve been here for five days, and it still feels surreal to me to walk down the street and see the Eiffel Tower peaking out from behind a building. Aside from my gallivanting around Paris, I am attending my classes…but no one wants to read about that.
Some of the things I’ve noticed about Paris so far:
- Everyone smokes. This isn’t my favorite thing about Paris, but it’s part of the culture.
- There are dogs everywhere — which is one of my favorite things about Paris. And people take their dogs everywhere! I saw a woman with her dog in the H&M on the Champs-Elysees the other day. Never thought I’d see that.
- The metro is not as confusing as I initially thought. Although it can be hot and crowded, it’s really efficient, and so much easier than driving through heavy traffic and trying to find parking spots.
- French people are nice. I’d always heard the stereotype that French people were not friendly and somewhat rude, but I have found the opposite to be true so far. They do not seem to be as openly warm as Americans, but if you talk to them and are nice to them, chances are they’ll be nice in return.
- There are more than three times as many people who live in Paris than all the people who live in my native state of Kansas combined. That said, the diversity is incredible. I never know when I wake up who and/or what I’m going to see that day, and I love that. Life here is so unexpected, which is a nice change for me.
Other than people-watching and going to class, I’ve been exploring the city more each day. Today I visited Chinatown, Napoleon’s tomb and saw the Musee d’Orsay. And after that, I spent an hour on a bridge over the Seine just talking to one of my friends in my program. I could seriously get used to this!