[France] Au revoir!

Photo taken from 2nd story-Eiffel

The decision to spend my last week in France in Paris was, without doubt, one well made. After nearly 10 quick sniff-n-run visits this semester due to train transfer, airport transfer, welcoming, and seeing people off, I was ready to never come back here again. Nevertheless, I figured I never really did give it a chance…all my visits included me…freezing my toes off, spending most of my time in underground Paris metro system, running breathlessly, dragging small and big suitcases up stairs, down stairs, from one body-squeezing metro car to another. The other enjoyable visits I had were only a day long, never close to outweighing my built-up “animosity” to the sight of Paris in general.

The warm weather has given a point-booster to my stay in Paris this time…plus the fact that I have no reason to rush myself, I have had the time and comfort to stroll down the Parisian streets and learn why it is deemed a world-famous romantic city. Sun opens access to undiscovered parks and green spaces…a book and a worry-free mind, best place to be. Sun opens access to cafe on the terrace, sipping, and munching on a melting coffee-dipped chocolate, people-watching all the colors that the Parisians have dug out of their closets for summer. Sun giving a different cheerful gleam to all monumental sites as opposed to the gloomy, rain-dripped, soul-less mass that greeted me other times. Nights here are absolutely amazing, it is warm enough, moderately breezy enough to stroll along the light-lit paths hugging the side of the Seine, who glitters in all her beauty under the early summer’s moon. Such cheesy description, yes I know but Paris in warm weather brings out the romantic in everyone.

Considering these are my last days in Paris and in France…I had a whole list of things that I needed to do. In the past 4 days, I’ve finished a box of chevres, half a box of camembert, countless bread…I’ve drank some kind of wine for every meal with my cousin. I’m a big food person, you can tell. I’ve been, in the words of Mme. Rouchet, trying to “profiter” my every day left here. I have kebab checked, I need to get a croissant, a pain au chocolat and at least 2 more coffee on the terrace before I mount my plane tomorrow.

No, my checklist does not only include food….though..,it does count for a lot ^^. I went to see Versailles, like I always wanted, spent at least 30′ in the Hall of Mirrors. I climbed up the Eiffel Tower yesterday and took a picture of myself similar to the one of grandpa with part of the Tower in the background. I walked along the Seine at night for around an hour. I ate with my cousin in a Vietnamese restaurant in the 13th district. I stood at a traffic light in the middle of Champs-Elysees and got my ‘wanted’ photo of Arc de Triomphe. I ate in the Latin Quarter again last night with Vanessa. Today, I probably will go see Montmartre again, and then visit the Jewish Quarter, find a good place to eat tonight, watch a french film, go to sleep and call it FRANCE ^^.

There were some unexpectedly exciting things that happened unlisted. I met Rit, my former co-worker at Thai Chef in DC, right in front of the Louvre, out of all the places. I had not seen him in a while and to meet a close friend like that just randomly in the middle of Paris. I was, as you can imagine, super-happy. Second wonderful thing that happened, I met Sarah Jessica Parker. Yes! I was walking on Champs Elysees and I saw this huge group of people congregating in front of Sephora. Curious like I always am, I jumped in questioning people as to what was going..turns out SJP was merely a few meters away signing autographs. So after only a 30′ wait in a crazy mass of fans, I was standing there in front of her…for 20 seconds, she said “Bonnn – jurr” (which I thought was hilarious) and then “Merrr-si” …I was kind of frozen, just nodding and stuttering a “hi” or two. Yup, anyway, that was my 1st ever 20 seconds in front of a celebrity and in Paris, out of all the places. Good way to wrap the trip up.

Vanessa was also in town, so I had dinner with her yesterday. My cousin has been out of town for work so it was nice to not be kind of alone here. My stay in Paris has also prepared me better to leave France. It is utterly beautiful here, but again as Mme Rouchet said in her “re-entry” meeting, the place is not the same without the people. It is clearly not as fun being by myself. I’ll wait for a reunion. Au revoir France! A +!

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