SO, I wrote the following like a month ago, but I never posted it. I was in a pretty bad mood that I am slowly getting out of. I think things, both good and bad, come in waves while living abroad. I just happen to be in a more trying period atm for multiple reasons. One being that right now is a do or die moment for my visa after finally getting all my paperwork. I am having my old host father come with me this week when I go, and I hope he can make these people at the prefecture love me. I have plenty to write about and catch up over the past two months, but I thought I would start with this post as life abroad isn’t always easy.
Oh my! Pardon my French, really. I must be the worst blogger in the world! I have a crazy few months. I should probably finish out fashion week, but I will save that for its own post. It was nice, and I saw a few more lovely collections. But, more on that later.
I like to think I was just taking a break from blogging, yet I just have not been bothered to deal with it. I have plenty of things to write about, but I have not been in the mood to update. But, now I am!!! So- still no word on the visa front. Frankly, I just do not care either way anymore because I know I will stay in Paris in the end. I think that is what matters most.
If I have to go home or move to Italy, then so be it. Paris will always be here. I am not going to give up easily, but sometimes there is only so much bureaucracy one can take in one year. I can always do three month stints or come back for a masters next Fall. I just am not sure I really want to go back to school at this point. It would be better for me, I suppose, if I want a long term career-type job. I cannot be a freelance copywriter forever because its too stressful. Yes, I have my freedom, but at what price? I don’t have anything a real adult should like a car, a home, or even a 401k. I actually do have stocks which I would like to expand, but that is so far off atm I am afraid.
In a city like Paris, it can be really hard to meet people because there always travelers or those who stay for only a few weeks or months at a time. Its hard to meet French people (at least for me) because its not like I am in a school or job where I can meet them. I guess any city can be lonely, but even more so as en etranger or foreigner.
Its not always a piece of cake here!
I do not like admitting that, but I think people do not realize that living in Paris is not exactly a piece of cake that Marie Antoinette offers you at leisure. You have to work to at it and deal with a foreign culture, language and people that are not exactly the friendliest bunch. In fact, the enlightened French even admit to it. For example, I went to open a bank account yesterday and the banker would not stop ranting about how closed and mean her countrymen can be. This is not an uncommon occurrence for those that have traveled or experienced life outside of France. Those who know better or are not from Paris know that people from here can be aloof (or “chi-chi” as the banker said. I have never heard this word before, and I cant seem to find it online!). Its the French way, and you grow accustomed to it, but still! Would it hurt them to smile once in a while?
I remember my year abroad and I was just so enthralled with living here. It really was a year long vacation because I did not have to worry about anything save what to wear or do on the weekends. I also had a program to rely on for friends and entertainment. Now, I do not even have TAPIF, and I feel like I constantly have to meet new people in order to keep myself going out. It was fine at first, but it just gets harrowing and lonely after a while.
I am not introverted, but I have always preferred being by myself. Alas, it comes at a price when I do want to be surrounded by people. I just have trouble maintaining friendships for whatever reason. Plus, I cannot say I am a joy to be around at the moment either because I am really not happy with my current visa status here. I cannot be bothered to make an effort to really meet more new people if I am going to be leaving in a month for an extended time. Plus, I am constantly working (another reason I do not want to be freelance!) just to break even in this city.
I am not writing this as a complaint, but more of a warning for those who want to come to Paris. Its a glorious city that has its moments where you know it was made for you. However, there is plenty of down time where you have to navigate the problems of the French life for yourself. I am not saying its like this for everyone, but it is a reality for me.
Paris will always, always, always be my favorite place in the whole world. Sometimes I wonder why I live in this crazy city, but when I walk down the Seine, or attend an amazing event, I remember why. Paris is just so….. sparkly, for lack of a better word. I love it here, and its hard to imagine life elsewhere. I feel I can be my happiest in Paris even if I am experiencing a trying period at the moment. Living in such an exalted place might take out some of the mystery, but that does not make it any less magical.
I still live in the shoebox for many reasons. One of the most important being that I do not know my situation at the moment. I want to go to Australia for my birthday which happens to be their national holiday and also happens to be summer in the midst of a freeeeezzing, grey cold winter in Paris. I think it sounds like a fabulous idea.
The only thing is I am not sure for how long I plan to go. Part of me wants to go for a month and really explore- maybe even tack on a few Asian countries at the end. However, my finances might not allow it as I am currently in a spot. If I figure everything out, then I would be fine with “starter” tour of that part of the world. Perhaps AUS and Singapore? That would be fine with me! I just am not sure how it fits in with Xmas break, visa issues, and packing. Would I go straight from the US or fly from Paris? Those issues have yet to be determined. Luckily, my brother still works for AA and I get put on the special flying list woo hoo!!
Anyway, I love wandering this city- especially at night with all the monuments lit up. It just makes me so happy as silly as that sounds. I would have thought it would be common place, but it really doesn’t. I live in PARIS!!! I LIVE IN PARIS!!! I love that sentence. I just hope it continues to hold true in the coming months.
I must say I have not been doing too much wandering because I have been busy working and…well living. If you live in a city like this, you do tend to find your section and stick to it. I tend to stay around Saint Lazarre/ Opera because I know it so well. Neuilly is too small and annoying to be anything exciting. I have to head into the city if I want some excitement.
Speaking of, Forever 21 opened and it was a big old mess. They were supposed to be handing out gift cards up to 210 euro to all the people, but the store never opened. Some very classy looking girls where frantic and the police had to come. I just left because I had already been in earlier. It was nothing to write home about which is funny because I always wanted one here. Several years ago I would have gone nuts that it was opening. Now, I realize it is just a bunch of cheap crap made for 14 year olds. I just wanted a gift card to get some… some boots or a necklace for a little wardrobe update.
I had actually been to Forever 21 in the banlieu (suburb) earlier this summer. I got a purse I loved that looks exactly like a J. Crew bag.
Excuse the ad picture, but its all I could find of the original version of the purse as I didn’t even know if was based off a J. Crew design if you could even call it that. I think they look pretty similar though! I guess F21 is good when you need a cheap update in accessories.
Mk, this post is getting long enough. I feel better now that I have updated and whined. I guess my sky doesn’t need to be grey/gray any longer.