One Month in Paris – originally published on 9 April 2005

It’s my one-month anniversary of living in Paris!

Things I’ve gotten used to:

  • Not having a job
  • Becoming the least-traveled, least-cultured person in any given situation
  • Watching movies in English with French subtitles
  • Using the pedestrian crosswalks bravely, ie: walking out into traffic, 99.9% sure that they’ll stop (they always do!)
  • Staying up until 4am every day
  • Eating fresh-baked bread and going food shopping several times a week
  • Thinking in Euros rather than USD
  • Making my own coffee every day instead of buying to-go
  • Living in a small apartment (28 sq meters at most) with my boyfriend
  • Hearing French all the time, looking at advertisements in French, etc.
  • Heating up water in a kettle
  • Drinking unfiltered tap water
  • Seeing boobs on TV and magazine coversThings I haven’t gotten used to:
  • The fact that this is really my life
  • What day of the week it is on any given day
  • Not having 90% of my shoe collection here
  • The fact that the Paris streets are really, really, really not a grid at all. At all.
  • The metric system
  • Not having a good computer desk/table (we keep promising to fix that)

Things I haven’t done in (at least) a month:

  • Eat a burrito (or anything mexican-ish)
  • Use my debit card to pay for a purchase in-person
  • Lift weights
  • Ride a bike
  • Buy beer to keep at home (just wine)

Things I’ve done that I’m very happy about:

  • Had a few interactions in French that actually worked
  • Figured out my way home after the last metro closed (I had only been here a little over a week!)
  • Jogged outside on a regular basis
  • Figured out how to bypass a big section of the lines at the Louvre
  • Made a lot of incredible new friends
  • Had language exchange meetings (and more are lined up!)

Things we’ve figured out together, of which I’m oddly proud:

  • How to use a french laundromat (who knew it would be so different?)
  • How to take the RER line out of Paris into the suburbs
  • How to use the pocket streetmap books to navigate ourselves
  • How to weigh and tag produce ourselves using the machine at the grocery store

Things I’ve outright failed to figure out, of which I’m very ashamed:

  • How to set up my voice mail on my cell phone
  • How to use the weird oven-like appliance that everyone swears works like a real oven
  • How to send money to someone’s bank account through the post office (thanks, Mom)