Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Now At Last

Paris, for a while, seemed to be a make believe fairy land. Everywhere I looked eager couples and independent women were planning their extravagant escape to Paris to start a new life of glamor and love. But without fail, no one ever seems to make it that far.

Well, this girl did, suckaaaas.

No Ross Gellars or Mr. Bigs or Laguna Jasons or unexpected suburban fetuses or revelations of transexuality could keep J.Hindi behind. (If you understand all of these references... I am embarrassed for/love you.)

Anyway, let's get out of the 2D world.

I am a girl who really tries to not hold expectations of the unknown for fear of being disappointed. But when you're at home for an extra month waiting to go abroad, it's hard not to daydream.

I expected Paris' population to be exclusively tall, thin and beautiful people who look like they just came out of some hipster photoblogger site.
I expected Parisians and their babies to be clad in horizontal stripes, scarves and looks of disdain.
I expected to get spit on by every waiter, cashier and passerby.
And I expected to think the Eiffel Tower was over hyped.

Lucky for me, I was wrong on all accounts.

Instead, I see a mix of people like any other ginormous city. People are young, old, black, white, circle, square, etc. My waiter was jumpy and jovial and the man at the cell phone store gave me a discount and even remembered my name when I went in the next day with some friends... "Iiiindi! Ca va!?!"

And the tourist trap?

Well first off, I didn't spot the Tour d'Eiffel until about 35 hours after I landed. (Yeah, only I could lose the Eiffel Tower in Paris.) I was in the back of the cab driving from my student center to my new homestay. For some reason, the sight of it made me so absolutely excited and emotional. If it weren't for the scary roundabout intersection we were driving on, I probably would've grabbed my cab driver by the shoulders and girlishly shrieked, "Oh my Gaaad it's Paaaa-ris, Monsieur Cabby! It's so pretty eeek! I luff ittt!" And I was just seeing it through awkward angles out a taxi window, so I can kind of understand why a thousand billion tourists get giddy and take leaping pictures in front of it.

Okay well, I've rambled on more than I swore I ever would on a silly blog. So I'll just leave you with my two favorite parts of my homestay thus far.

1- I have a sink and mirror in my room sectioned off, so I don't need to be worried about obsessing about my curly hair or dragging my lazy ass to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

2- Every morning on my walk to the Metro, I get to just stare at the Arc de Triomphe.

I think I can live with that.


  1. ahhhh Jenna!!
    I was smiling while reading your whole entire post. Seriously, from beginning to end. It made me get emotional and tear up in this horrible godforsaken class that I'm sitting in right now. But I'm so glad to hear how wonderfully happy you are! Love you and miss you forever

  2. i get to see the statue of liberty every day on my subway ride to work. life is good, huh?

    miss you hindi! keep the updates coming.

  3. Oh jen. I think I did the same as Omayah. I was smiling and laughing at the appropriate spots. I love how you include the linked pictures, seems perfect.

    As for me I get cat-calls daily from the Madison homeless men who you know so well..lucky me.

    Love you.

  4. JENNA!!! You Blogging monster you! I was elated to find that you were wrong about Parisian snobs (in the short term...) I don't know why you didn't start writing sooner, finally putting all that journalism training to damn good use.

    Side not/request: make sure you don't surpass me in french skill, just so I feel good about only speaking 1.4 languages.