I get asked “Do you want me to take your picture?” all the time. Why? Because I am constantly taking pictures, whether I am off getting groceries, at a museum, see some cool street art, or just see a really pretty tree or building. Paris does not have a bad side. Unfortunately, people that see me just assume I am a tourist. They are confused when I tell them I live here, as if it is bizarre for me to want to capture the beautiful city I get to call home. Since I am alone, the assumption is I travel alone and these kind strangers offer to take my picture. Or maybe they are trying to steal my phone, who knows.
Last week, I got to see the most incredible light show at Notre-Dame. I took so many pictures, I will just share a few with you:
Every day there is something magical happening in this city, you just have to be willing to look. Or you get lucky and that thing is happening less then 100ft from your front door and you notice when the crowd control barricades start going up a week in advance.
Exciting news: I finally got a french phone number!! Not only does this make my life easier, I now get notifications while I am out! I am no longer at the mercy of moving from wifi spot to wifi spot. I can snapchat in real time! After going without constant access to my phone for 4 months, it has really impacted how I use it. I am not on my phone while walking, or riding the metro, or waiting at a cafe. I was forced into appreciating my surroundings and am very grateful for it. It has become an appreciated habit of mine.
In general, the French do not constantly sit on their phones. When I meet up with friends, they never even check their phones. They are constantly engaged and present in the moment- another quality I admire about the French. One day I will adopt them all and seamlessly blend into the French culture. Until then, I will just keep getting asked if I am a tourist. Oh well.
Paris is unapologetically beautiful and has no bad side. Until (if ever) this changes, I will continue to take an absurd amount of pictures. Here are some from the past few weeks:
This week is a particularly interesting one as I have two appointments with the French bureaucracy. The first is a medical appointment, aka making sure I am healthy and not spreading tuberculosis around (although if I were infected, they did not do a good job by making this appointment 5 months after I arrived). The second appointment is to get my visa officially validated- which means I get to wait 4-5 hours for a stamp. All this, only to have to start thinking about the renewal process in January! I bet my next post will be about all this fun bureaucracy. I am sure you are dying to hear about it.