PARIS, France—Sometimes I feel like such an American in Paris. Whether it’s when asking for directions or not being able to open the door to exit the Metro, it’s taken me a bit of time to get used to the pace of this city (not to mention the pace of the language). Nevertheless, there is no doubt that there is something magical about these streets, where great minds like Picasso, Hemmingway, and Einstein found inspiration.
There is a definite artsy, intellectual vibe present in Paris. Of course, it’s obvious in areas like Montmartre, littered with artists begging to draw your portrait and street musicians playing the violin for a few Euros—but it is also present in the culture of everyday life. Last night was Fête de la Musique, a huge party in the streets of Paris where professional and amateur musicians alike play all night for free. One either takes the Metro or walks from one pocket of the city to the next, pausing to listen to a jazz singer at a café or a Swiss rock band performing in three languages. It was just another example of the vibrant nature of this city.
While I definitely don’t feel like a local here, I’m beginning to assimilate to the Parisian lifestyle. I eat a lot of baguettes, a lot of cheese. I wear a trench coat. I go to the Musée d’Orsay after class. Even without the Eiffel Tower in view, the spectacular feeling of just walking through the streets, lined with khaki-colored buildings and perfectly-pruned streets, never ceases to impress me. I am happy here, and it is easy to see why.