“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Living in Paris for a time and going to school to (re)learn French has been a point on my bucket list for near 15 years.
Now it is done. I have checked off this point on the list… And I have massively improved my French, made some friends for life and collected a bucket of new jokes and hashtags to take with me. #PourqouiMoi #PourqouiJapprendsFrancais #Pepe #Boulangerie #LhommeDeVache #LaPorteEstFermee #FrancaisEstUneLangueTresRiche
My stint in Paris this time didn’t include a lot of sightseeing, really. It was my 10th time there so I’ve seen most of it already. I did however manage to see the catacombs, which was a first for me. In addition, Paulina took us to see L’Atelier des Lumières, Paris’ first digital art museum. I also brought La Familia to see the Panthéon again and checked out Montmartre and Sainte Chapelle with visiting friends. A few of us from class also went to see the Notre Dame Light Show (very impressive!), so I’ve been touristy for about 15 % of the time.
Most of my time there was spent at France Langue though, my school, in the company of new friends and cool teachers like Christine, Carol, Jaouad and Catherine. Christine was amazing, I’ll miss her so much ❤ The others were also great, it’s no diss to them, but Christine was special. Perfect teacher for me, great mix of serious and funny, down to business and finding joy in language. Jaouad also had a special joy with regards to language – but then, he speaks SEVEN of them. (He studies linguistics… go figure). It’s crazy to think about… I think it was French, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, English and two more…
I was gonna do this blog “before I forgot everything” and now I’ve already forgotten it 😛
(EDIT: he also spoke Spanish and Mandarin!)
I stayed in three different places during my four months in Paris. I had to move around because the apartments I found weren’t available for four straight months.
My first apartment was close to the Chinese Quarter (13th arrondissement), close to Place d’Italie and meant I got to take the metro straight past the Eiffel Tower every day on my way to school. That made me really feel like I was living the dream… First day I saw the tower I was amazed, I didn’t realize the metro went by so close to it. Perfect.
After this apartment I moved to the 9th arr. but this apartment was too small even for me. Quite uncomfortable and no room for anything at all, so I cancelled it after the mandatory month (you don’t get refunded the first month if you book more than a month on AirBnB for some reason) and moved a slight hop eastwards to the 10th arr. This apartment was amazing, I could’ve lived there permanently.
I realize this blog post is gonna be boring as hell for anyone who isn’t me, so if you’re reading this and you’re not me, I’m sorry. Go read something else. It wont get better. I’m not in the most amusing place right now and I am literally writing all this down just so I wont forget the little details… Like the hashtags, jokes, the fact that I loved my first apartment despite the fact that I almost didn’t have room to dry my ass in the bathroom… It was a great apartment though… my cosy, little cave…
I had visits from Ragnhild, Tia, Rune, Thomas, Janne, La Familia and spent a day with Genevieve and Vincent (who I met on my first safari tour in Africa) AND Michael (who I met on the bus between Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal), so this rapidly took over as the country where I experienced the most meetups with old friends.
Other than that I spent the time eating croissants and practicing French – trying to let some routine balance the chaos that entered my life this June. I spent a day at the Père Lachaise Cemetery with Michael and did a soppy thing. There was a place there where people had “scratched” the names of loves ones into the dirt and dust of and old grave. I scraped Eysteins name in there, rather clumsily, but at least now his name rests at Père Lachaise… Someone remembered and loved him enough to commemorate him. I don’t want him to be forgotten, so… I choose to reminds myself of the ones I’ve loved and lost in as many ways as I can. It keeps them with me. (And that grave’s never getting cleaned, so he’s gonna be there forever).