After three days of jetlag, I’m starting to get used to time in America. Everything else, not so much.
From Thursday to Saturday of last week, there was a phenomenon that couldn’t be explained in the Paris metro cars (parce qu’il n’y a pas les places sur le metro!). Twenty-somethings would randomly burst into tears passing the stops, and none of the Parisians knew how to explain it.
At least, I hope I wasn’t the only one doing this.
My last weekend in Paris was easily the best. Friday, after cleaning all day for our landlord inspection, I went to Odeon to watch Minuit a Paris with my friends. Little did we know that the very theatre in which we were sitting would appear on the screen two minutes in! The plot was very typical of Woody Allen’s style, but he captured (almost) everything about Paris that I love in under two hours. The ending was so sad, because I knew I was going to be leaving soon, too.
Saturday, I met Emily, Ashley, Rebecca, and Maggie at Ari’s Bagels in Republique. Then we decided to walk to St. Michel from there (they were going to Montparnasse, but my stop was on the way). We walked in and out of shops in the Marais, then I walked over to St. Michel to sell my books. Gilbert Jeune only gave me seven euros for 14 books, but it was better than nothing and definitely better than trying to fit them all in my suitcase.
I wandered through the Latin Quarter for the last time by myself, stocking up on souvenirs that I had procrastinated on. I never wanted to leave.
I took the bus back to my apartment, and sat on my suitcases long enough to force them to zip closed. Heaven help the poor TSA worker who inspected my bag and had to rezip it, I have NO idea how he managed it.
Afterwards, Emily and I went to the Champs Elysees to go to the Monoprix. I know that sounds silly, because Monoprix is the French equivalent of Wal-Mart and they are everywhere, but I needed to by chocolate for my mom that I had only been able to find there. After squeezing through the crowds and some sort of unknown parade, we made it into the store, bought the chocolates, and headed down to St. Michel again after saying goodbye to the l’Arc de Triomphe.
We ate at a restaurant right next to Shakespeare and Co., called Le Petit Chatelet. At that point I was worried I wouldn’t have any money if I had to pay extra for overweight bags, so I had an avocado tartare with shrimp…which was basically guacamole with shrimp in a mold. It was really good though.
After getting all the free baguettes we could, we stocked up on treats from the Franprix, and headed down to the quais along the Seine for our final goodbye.
Ashley and I brought champagne we had bought in Epernay, so we popped one of the bottles and commenced our dessert picnic, with cookies, strawberries, and chocolate. Boats continued to pass by us, and there was a birthday party of French students next to us. We stayed there for a long time, drinking champagne and avoiding going home.
After crying once saying goodbye to Amanda, we went to Rebecca’s apartment in the Marais, got a bottle of wine, and talked as long as we could without the metro closing on us. When the clock struck midnight and the metro grew dangerously close to turning into a pumpkin, we said goodbye (quite unwillingly) and headed toward the station.
The next morning, I struggled for about 45 minutes to get my four bags out of my apartment. It made me really wish that I had made friends with my neighbors beyond saying bonjour and bonsoir in the hallway. I finally got outside, lost my coat while crossing the street, and finally ended up at the bus stop to the bus. The Roissybus is an excellent way to get to Charles de Gaulle for people on a budget, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it with so many bags. If it weren’t for the kindness of strangers, I never would have made it.
Two hours later, standing in the United line at the airport, I prayed as hard as I could that my bags wouldn’t be overweight, cause I didn’t have enough money to pay the difference. Luckily, the woman at the check-in desk overlooked the 4lbs of extra baggage, and I was free at last from my weighted bags. After joking with the security guards, I took a short nap while waiting for my flight.
Too bad the movies on the plane were broken. That was a fun 8 hours of my life that I never wish to re-live. If I hadn’t gotten free wine out of it, I would NOT have been a happy passenger.
My last few days in Paris really made me appreciate everything that was happening around me all semester. It’s not everyday that accordion players can make you cry while walking across the Seine, right?