If you have ever been to my house in Court 3, then you've probably been sufficiently weirded out by Abu Sayyah, the taxidermi rooster that sits in our kitchen. His feathers are real but the eyeballs are not.
So this rooster is a Mothers' Day gift from my brother that sort of mocks my mom's strange love for buying rooster-themed objects for the kitchen. Well it turns out that 100 years ago (kidding Mommm) back in the Middle East, a beautiful little rooster centerpiece used to adorn the coffee table in my grandmother's house. Just recently this decor made its way through the Syrian customs right to Oak Brook, Illinois.
I have to admit that the little centerpiece is quite charming. But I mean it's a rooster...
But through all the teasing from my brothers and me, my wise mother just smiles and says, "It's not the thing, it's what it means."
I'm the girl who saves every ticket stub, receipts from fun meals, notes from the 6th grade clique, and I forcefully believe in the importance of signing yearbooks. So it would only be hypocritical of me to knock clinging on to an object for its sentimental value.
When my mom was in Paris, I tried my best to show her a combination of my "regular" spots and new sites. I took her to get falafel from the Marais and eat it in the Place des Vosges- a routine well-known by any and every American student in Paris.
During this meal I realized a harsh reality: The falafel from the Marais isn't that good. (I'm not even going to pretend to be humble on this topic. The best falafel I had was in Damascus from a stand outside my uncle's apartment. Yeah. I said it.) But why I love L'As du Falafel so much is because it reminds me of our first tasting after a less-than-enthusiastic tour of Musee Carnavalet or stopping for the sandwich in between class and thrifting through Paris' best.
On that same note, Shakespeare and Co. might not be the most extensive bookstore in Paris. Regardless, I find myself constantly praising it because it brings me back to my favorite day when I walked across the city at the height of spring and ended up bumping into two of my best friends from the program after browsing the books.
The Arc de Triomphe was the last stop on my walk home and the Seine became our hangout when every other option was out of our Euro-range. I couldn't tell you the name of the opera I saw, but I remember in full detail sitting on the steps with the classiest Parisians (if classy = homeless) after the show.
I do miss Paris, but in reality I know if I were to go back tomorrow it wouldn't be the same city to me. I understand that the city can still run without Jenna Hindi (I mean it's probably way boring but whatev) but my semester is over. And I'm okay with that.
After three weeks of seeing my friends and family in non-Skype land and listening to trashy Chicago stations in the car and using dollar bills and telling jokes to waiters (just cuz I can) and being lazy by the pool, I can't help but be excited to be home.