Like Going HomeParis BIA, Fall 2009
In the time that’s passed since my last post, I have discovered some more of Paris, said goodbye to a friend, learned more French (Numbers! How to ask questions! Verbs in the present tense!) and visited Dublin, Ireland. Let’s start from the beginning.
One of the French classes here has been instructed to make goals for themselves for the semester. I’ve overheard some students thinking about joining sports teams with French students, experience Paris by way of coffee shops, and consider taking every city walk in the Rick Steves guidebook. Inspired, I have selected a goal for myself although it’s not a requirement of my class. I would like to visit the most well known pâtisseries and taste their famous macarons – Ladurée, Dalloyau, Gérard Mulot, and Lenôtre are on my list. I have already begun my quest for the delicious cookie-like pastries with Pierre Hermé. Scrumptious.
In between mapping out these macaron scavenger hunts, I have been traveling, both around Paris and outside of France. I went to an antiques market a few weekends ago near Porte de Clignancourt and bought a French Vogue cover from 1920. I think I actually did a happy-dance as I handed the amused salesman my money.
This past weekend, I visited Dublin with some friends. Being Ireland felt a lot like going home. A part of this feeling can only be attributed to the language – it was at once wonderful and strange to speak to cab drivers, salespeople, and waitresses without first having to mentally plan exactly what to say what I wanted in French. But on top of that, it was great to eat the same food I eat at home and to walk into a pub and suddenly feel like I was at a college bar near my school. More than anything, though, everyone was so damn happy in Ireland. Maybe it’s the Guinness, maybe it’s the whiskey, or maybe it’s the fact that the most beautiful hills and lakes I have ever seen are so close by, but man, those people are happy.
There is also a sense of welcome in Ireland that isn’t as immediate in France. I don’t mean to say that like that it’s a bad thing. It’s cultural and it is something I am learning to appreciate along with all the other French quirks. So it’s a little weird to be back in France now. Luckily my mom and Grams are coming on Wednesday! A little bit of home is coming to me this time.
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