i'm in love with paris. i think i could live there. i think i want to live there. it's huge but not overwhelming, dirty but not smoggy, cold but sweet, grand and exciting. i feel very comfortable in paris. i do not feel afraid for my safety and i know how to ride the metro. it's possible to have very little money and still have a decent time in paris just walking around looking at things, watching people, window shopping. who knows, maybe paris is in my future.
i got up at the buttcrack of dawn saturday morning with two other assistants from my school, J and O, and caught a bus to paris. we left at 7:30 and arrived at 9:30 at the old opera house. four other assistants were already there, waiting for us at starbucks (of all places!).
there are five starbucks in france and they are all in paris. walking in was like walking back home. it smelled like home. i had a huge chai and we took up an entire corner couch upstairs. K and G were both in bad moods but E and C were just as excited as i was ordering their caramel machiatos. O pouted the whole time we were there but J is easygoing and talked to my other friends.
the boys went one direction and us girls went another. we went to galleries lafeyette, a huge department store, in search of free maps. saturdays in paris are crowded with shoppers, and galleries had just unveiled their xmas window displays and put up their huge xmas lights. that store is gargantuan. we also went to printemps, another huge dept. store, and browsed around for a bit. O decided she wanted to see the city on foot and alone so we bid her good riddance. the three of us, K and E and i, headed to the champs elysees, home to mecca: the flagship sephora. i bought lipstick and nailpolish; little pieces of expensive paris heaven.
we all met back up for lunch then went to shakespeare & co. bookstore to browse. i could stay in that rickety, cramped, charming store for hours and come back the next day and do it again. bought two books, headed for some shopping at the louvre (there's a mall under there!) and finished the day back at the champs elysees.
K and G kissed and made up and were gooey the rest of the day. i definitely felt like a fifth wheel. it just confirms the fact that i prefer to travel alone. i like to meet up for meals, but i'd rather be in charge of me and not feel like i'm dragging anyone with me or feel like i'm being dragged somewhere i don't want to go. and when i'm in paris, especially for a finite amount of time, i walk fast. i can't help it. everyone else is walking fast so i'm just going with the flow. K and G walk sloooooooooooooow. it's infuriating. and they're always in some sort of passive-aggressive fight or make up session. god, i don't have time for that.
i wanted to soak in everything i could in paris and i did; i left satisfied. i struck up a conversation with a guy, B, who sat next to me on the bus-- he turned out to be so, so, so cool. we talked in english and he's a teacher here in reims, too, at a different high school. hopefully we'll hang out and introduce each other to our friends. i love meeting someone you just click with, like you've been friends forever and are just meeting up again. it's such a treat.
can't wait to go back to paris. will be there in about 3 weeks to welcome my b.f. from home.