I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that Paris has truly started to feel like home. I have made little adjustments recently that make me feel like I know the city a lot better, and have made me fall in love with it even more. For example, on Friday afternoon I took the bus home instead of the metro. I have only taken the bus a few times in Paris because I am much more comfortable with the metro routes. However, the bus is so much better because you actually get to SEE Paris as you’re getting to wherever you need to go. The route from Sciences Po to my apartment goes through the cute winding streets of Saint Germain-Dès Pres, across the bridge on the Seine River, from which you can see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, and right in front of the Louvre! Who knew! As I was riding the bus home, I couldn’t help with smile at amazement and gratitude that I’ve been given the opportunity to live here.
Although I haven’t been eating out at restaurants as much this semester (for money-saving purposes) I do treat myself to French baguettes or croissants a couple times a week at the boulangeries on a street near me. My favorite thing to do for lunch now is to grab a cheese or two from the supermarket and a baguette from the boulangerie. It’s cheap, easy, and just so French! Also some days on my way to class I’ll grab a pain au chocolate, warm straight out of the oven…yum.
One other thing, just last night, I decided to take an evening walk because still quite warm at 5 PM. When I set out, I originally planned to go to the terrace of Galleries Lafayette to watch the sunset, only about a 15 minute walk from my apartment. When I got there, however, I noticed that the department store was closed. I thought about just walking home, but decided instead to walk to Place de la Concorde and then to the river. I got to the Seine just after the sun had set. The sky was still orange and pink, and in the distance I saw the beautiful silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. I took a very peaceful stroll down the river and then walked home. It was such a relaxing evening, and I decided that on weeknights that I don’t have class I’d like to make evening walks a regular thing.
These little adjustments in my daily life have had a big impact on my general happiness here. It’s the little things that make Paris truly feel like home, and it’s the little things that are going to make it so hard to leave in June.