Some Observations About This Country a.k.a. “What’s The Deal With?”

Every day is a crapshoot. Some are awesome, things go well, discoveries or progress is made, and I’m happy. Other days, it’s gray, people are rude, I lose things, am late, etc., and my eyes well up and I want to go home. That in essence, is life anywhere and a big part of life- should I (or you) choose to accept it. While I am very much in the “3rd week freakout” I’m distracting myself with my work and supporting myself with the help of yoga. My friend Annie from NYC who lives here introduced me to this place right up the street from me where 30 days of hot power yoga is 30 euros. Not bad considering a monthly membership in the states is usually $100-120 at the cheapest and upwards of $200 (here they are like 300 euros per month). Practicing (in French!) has given me a bit of new life and I no longer feel stagnant. I also talked to my teacher Michelle who is overseeing my project, and am feeling much better about what I am doing here. It’s going to be a far more academic study than appeared at first, which I am excited about because I miss writing… and eloquence.

Anyways, over the past week I made some notes about weirdo things in Paris that I thought were amusing, to both myself and my potential audience (although I also feel like no one reads this… is that normal?)

Toilet Paper: A good portion of is it pink. Yes, pink. I’m not sure what the allure is of wiping yourself with sheets of pepto but they’re super into it here. It’s all over the grocery stores and in peoples homes. Now that I’m thinking about it, a lot of things here only come in pink though, like grocery bags and dish gloves.

Condom Machines on the Streets: enough said.

Scams: Def gypsies asking for money. Men claiming I lost my ring. Both encounters have happened HOWEVER I am really good at saying “No!” with a French accent.

Meat: The French may know what’s up with food and savoring a meal but there’s something a little deranged about their meat portions. I have often been walking down the street looking into Brasseries and observed tables full of men (usually at lunch time) feasting on what appear to be 24 oz steaks. Are we in Texas? Do you need a bib? Hand wipe? Pepto…?

Hairstyles: It’s kind of like living in an episode of Seinfeld.

The Metro: Closes weeknights at 12:30am, weekends at 1:30am. How efficient since they start dinners at like 10pm.Your best bet is to stay out all night and take the first train home at 5:30am. I love the sounds of birds chirping when I haven’t slept all night. Not.

Sports: What sports? Exercise? C’est n’existe pas.

Les Halles: Hell on earth. An underground mall I discovered when I was super hungover after the back to school party. A million people going all different directions with no intention. Homeless people having heart attacks, street kids getting into fights. It was like shoving Times Square into a box in the ground aka HELL.

Refrigerators: Okay, so in NYC I had a medium sized fridge in my room because our apartment was so tiny that we couldn’t have a main one. Here, it’s the same deal only they’re tiny and the settings make no sense. I thought I was turning mine colder and I shut it off- the whole damn thing thawed and flooded the kitchen. I’ve now successfully flooded my bathroom since it’s like washing in a birdbath with a curtain, and the kitchen which is really just a 3 square foot cupboard under the stairs…Which reminds me, photos of my loft (or silo as I like to call it) to come soon.

Like traveling into an episode of Seinfeld. Kramer, Jerry, George, Mr. Pitt…

And Now for some observations from personal encounters/random cool stuff I’m happy about:

Fauxhawks: Still quite a popular hairstyle, and thank god because it gives their puckered raisin faces (seriously, quit smoking people!) a Brad Pitt/David Beckham aura.

Student Discounts: If you’re under 26 in Europe everything is discounted for you, including museums. Although I’m not an art history student, which is required in order to obtain a pass to the museums through AUP, I managed to get one because I’m an art major back home. Woo hoo! That means I’ve got a second student ID that gets me into museums for free. Yes, I’m going to go buckwild at the Louvre, the Pompidou, and the Musee D’Orsay STAT.

Velib: The zipcar of bikes. I just mailed in my subscription. It’s 39 euros per year for 45-minute rides. There are stations basically every 3 blocks with a line of 50 bikes. If you’re a student it’s 29 euros, if you’re a scholarship it’s 19 euros. Schwing!

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