The French like big baguettes and they cannot lie(though they don’t know the big butts song which is sad). I’ve been in this country for just over a month now and there is many things to notes on the differences between France and the US. Among them, but not limited to, are the food, transportation, infrastructure, sanitation, and attitudes. I would like the break down each one in posts to give a summary of my time here. I should note that all of this is strictly pertaining to Paris specifically as I have note traveled around much outside of it as of now. To start off I will just explain what my conditions have been like for this past month and what I’ve been doing.
For those who don’t know, the majority of my family lives in the city of Paris so on any given day I have three options of place to sleep and spend my time: my dad’s house, my aunt and uncle’s house, and my grandparent’s house (these are all apartments I should note). My dad’s house is more or less home base and is located on the outskirts of Paris though the city is easily reached by a combination of bus and train in the morning and afternoon. The rest of my family lives within close proximity of each other in the area of Batignolles- a rather nice area of Paris. My grandparents live above a church (as my grandfather is/was a preacher) as they have for countless years. My aunt and Uncle has an apartment across from the local Martin Luther King Jr park where they live with my 3 cousins. Batignolles is located much more in the heart of Paris with landmark such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame relatively (depending how far you’re willing to walk) within walking distance or a short metro ride away. For this reason I often stay there when touring the city and at my fathers for a more relaxed setting.
And tour the city I have. Paris is plagued with landmarks from one street to another. Among the places I’ve been are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Cœur, Le Jardin (garden) Du Luxembourg, Panthéon, The Louvre, Petit and Grand Palais, Champ de Mars, Arc de Triomphe, and I could go on and on.
This illustrates the reason that Paris is the biggest tourist destination in the world: there are beautiful sites everywhere. Some days I literally stumbled into these places while just wandering about the city. You can’t go far without ending up in a famous destination.
There is much more to Paris then simply the sites obviously and I will try my best in this blog to portray a picture of what life is like in the city more than gush about how fantastic and pretty Europe is. When I first came I was of a mind, and still am, that the sites of the city aren’t as important to me as observing the people and the culture are. More than anything I must say I’ve been consumed with learning the language and it’s probably a big reason I delayed a blog till now. I am by no means a perfect observer but I hope my thoughts on this city give some insight into what Paris, and by extension France in some ways, is like.