Week 1: StairMASTERS in Paris

First off, I apologize for the lack of photos in the upcoming days (weeks?)... we still don't have the internet at our apartment and I can't say that it looks promising for this week. I've been able to check email, etc at school, but that's rare and there's always about 10 people behind me on line hoping to peer pressure me off the computer. Also, depending on the day, I might have titled the first post from Paris "I'm coming home: see you in 8 hours!" or "Now that I've broken my mother's heart, I'm jumping in the Seine... nice knowing you." I won't lie: the first week in Paris has had its share of issues.

But it has also had a large number of victories. Battered and a little beaten, the truth is that I LIVE here and that in itself is amazing. What began as a minor hope almost two years ago (after reading Hemingway, I might add) is now reality. Sitting at your desk at work, daydreaming about doing something and actually doing it are two different things... and I think it's fair to say that most people (maybe rightly so!) don't dare shake up their lives like this.

I can only compare living in Paris (I make this distinction because it's not the same as living in other parts of France at ALL) is like finally meeting and having dinner with the celebrity of your choice. The sights that are printed on postcards a thousand times per day are the background to life here and when the walk home from the bakery takes me past the Arc de Triomph, I get a little case of vertigo. To read Baudelaire and pass where he used to live on the way home from classes, to learn about the French revolution and later walk through the square where the infamous Guillotine stood- THIS is how to learn language and culture.

My sister will be leaving next week for Africa, which I can't really even fathom. My patience may be running thin with the phone company and my landlord, but let's keep things in perspective: electricity and modern housing are luxuries compared to where she's headed. Our French lessons do differ a bit, despite us both being in francophone countries. I'm looking up "wireless internet" and she's more ... "cockroaches the size of mice."

Our apartment here in civilization is fantastic, spacious, and... A FIFTH FLOOR WALK-UP. These words were included in the description, but we preferred to gloss over them and read "american, fully-equipped kitchen" and "bathtub" instead. The result of the stair situation is that I hope to have a Jane Fonda ass by Christmas... though seeing as how I'm constantly forgetting things when I leave the apartment, it may be Thanksgiving...

Stay tuned for pics of said stairs, apartment, and Jane Fonda asses.


seasidesar said...

so glad you're still alive & made it to paris safe and sound! ;) super busy and haven't read your blog yet... but glad to see you can access the good ol' internet even from la france.

ev, tj, & dani said...

we're betting aurelle's ass will be even nicer than matt's by thanksgiving, too! :) we miss you!