Today’s blog comes to you in three parts.
Part one: the thief.
Imagine getting off the train at the station around 8:00 am near your university. You wait for your friend, and when he arrives the two of you begin the five minute walk to your building. As you begin to walk, three men start asking you questions in French, trying to distract you. Knowing something is up, you clutch your bags closer and walk a little faster. They leave you alone for a while, but as you reach campus and there are less people around, one of the men runs up behind you and your friend. He pushes you to the ground and steals your friend’s $500 necklace, giving him a bloody nose and a raw neck in the process. Luckily, for the most part, both of you are okay, just a little bit shaken up.
Monday was an interesting day. We can’t say that we weren’t told about the thieves in Paris, but there really wasn’t anything we could have done differently in that situation. We had to report the incident to the police (it was good practice for French, I suppose) and also our program directors. All in all, it was very interesting, and not something I’d like to repeat. Ever. But we’re able to laugh about it now, and we’re smarter about walking in bigger groups.
Part two: the professor.
I have five hours of French class a day during the week days. I love it, and I don’t love it. My French is improving immensely, though, and our professor is wonderful. He makes the time fly by. Let me give an example of his wonderful teaching style. The other day he was trying to explain to us the difference between three verb tenses in French. I won’t go into detail about the tense, but he used Cinderella as an example, and pretended to be her in the story. This included him prancing around the room, throwing his shoe, and speaking in a high-pitched voice that had all of us cracking up. We couldn’t be happier with our professor, and like I said, my French is improving quite a bit. In fact, when I first started writing this post, I started it in French out of instinct!
Part three: the Parisian.
In the mornings when I go to class, I get to see the city wake up. Stores are opening, people are sweeping the sidewalks in front of their shops, and others are off to work or eating breakfast. French surrounds me and I’m able to converse with people more often than I used to be able to. I’m beginning to feel like Paris is more like my temporary home rather than I place I’m vacationing in. Today I visited the Louvre and walked around Paris a little bit. It wasn’t too crowded, and I went with a friend who spoke French with me the whole time. Afterwards, we found a little café and drank some tea and hot chocolate while watching the streets of Paris. It was wonderful. I truly felt like a part of the city. It’s hard to believe how much you can pick up and understand about a place by taking the time to slow down, enjoy it, and watch the people in it. It’s a fantastic feeling to feel like I belong somewhere that I didn’t before.
I was able to attach some pictures this time! Below is a picture of what you get served when you order hot chocolate (they literally melt chocolate and slowly mix it with the milk), as well as a picture of the Eiffel Tower from the day I visited that. Paris is slowly becoming a place full of stories and memories.