Elisabeth in Paris

Elisabeth is a junior majoring in journalism from Denver who is participating in SMU-in-Paris this summer. She’s looking forward to learning art history inside The Louvre and traveling to the Loire Valley.

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Shopping, music and cafe culture

It has been one of the best weekends abroad yet. Friday I spent most of the day by myself. I am not a person who likes to be alone or be quiet very often, but the more and more I watch the Parisians, I understand how comforting it can be.

I explored the Ile St Louis a bit – finding the hotel I once stayed at and window shopping. I also went to an amazing store called Au Nom de la Rose. It strictly sells roses and sprays made from roses. My mom and I had been when I first came eight years ago, so I went back to 4 Rue Trunon and bought some home spray. It’s funny how comforting familiarity can be. I spent the rest of the afternoon resting at the FIAP and looking at what everyone bought out shopping. As people headed out to dinner, I crawled into bed and watched Remember the Titans. I had never seen it before but I really enjoyed it.

Saturday was a good day! A bunch of people went to the Pompidou Museum but I skipped out (only because I thought it cost 9 euros!). I’m going to try to go this week (because I found out we get in for free because we are art history students). I headed out to explore the Marais. I have been in search of some bijoux (that’s French for jewelry) since May, and even in Paris I have been highly unsuccessful. Many of the stores were closed in the Marais because of the large Jewish population in that area.

I took the metro over to Chatelet and began an immense shopping adventure including way too many stores! Don’t worry – I didn’t buy a single thing! I ended up walking to the Louvre from Chatelet in search of lunch. The place I finally ate at kind of sped me along so I wouldn’t sit for hours journaling (which was my plan – oh, well). I continued walking up St. Honoree all the way to Concord – peeping my head in all-to-expensive-for-me stores. I definitely got my fair share of walking in!

Paris1.jpgI spent the rest of the afternoon resting up for the Summer Solstice. In Paris the summer solstice is a huge deal. They have a fete de musique – a music party – everywhere in the city with all different bands playing all different kinds of music. We headed to St Michel and the Latin Quarter to check out some of the music. We were quite impressed with the quality of talent. We walked around a bit, but it was so hard to keep the group together that we eventually split up.

We headed over to St. Germaine des Pres (which took forever because of the crowds) and eventually met up with one of our friend’s cousins who lives in Paris. We spent the rest of the time enjoying the company of his friends. They were all really nice and had a lot of interesting things to say. We got home a bit late because the music didn’t stop until 2 or 3 but it was a night I will never forget.

So it’s hard to believe that I have less than one week here and I can’t believe it’s already over. I think I want to do this again next year, ok? Haha. This morning I got up and went to church with Whitney and Stuart at the American Church of Paris. The sermon was really good and the woman who preached is from Texas. I got to Reid Hall around 1 and wrote in my journal for a while. We have a paper due tomorrow so I’ve been working on that as well. Everyone is just getting back from their weekend trips (London and Amsterdam) so I’m excited to hear about their trips.

It is truly a very strange feeling that we have been here for four weeks and just as it begins to feel like home we have to leave. Experiencing the cafe culture here makes me wish we had that life in America. The cafe culture has made me a person who is ok to go somewhere – anywhere – by myself and enjoy the scenery or a good book. It has really just been within the past week that I have felt this way. I hope that others have been able and will be able to branch out and experience life unlike their own, with people unlike themselves.

It has truly been an amazing experience, and I will remember it forever.

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