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Just A Whimper

Usually when I go on long extended trips (or move to new continents) there is pomp and circumstance involved. Lots of telling, lots of talking, lots of last drinks, parties, reminiscing and well wishes. My friends and I would head to a bevy of pubs. We'd huddle outside the doors, smoke curling from our lips, gin coursing through our blood, bawdy laughter and promises to keep in touch.

Not so this time. Although most of my friends likely know of my plans I've kept it slightly below radar. I've not discussed it at any real length unless asked, I didn't plan any dinners, didn't promise any last drinks. To be completely honest I want to spend one last night in my fancy bed, watching Parks and Recreation, snuggling my dog Elliott, and eating steak.

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^^That's my dog Elliott. He is quite possibly the best dog that has ever existed. Seriously though.

In a way I almost feel like I'm escaping. Running off to be by myself for a while. I need to get away from the city and the person I've become while living here. The level of dissonance between who I know I am at my best, and who I mutate into on the metro is frightening. Tomorrow is my last day in Paris. I wish I could say I was sad to see her go, but I've never been happier to leave a city behind.

Posted by LyseP 17:12 Archived in France Tagged paris the on a leaving plane jet globe 2012 trot Comments (0)

Can I go Yet?

No. No I can not. Stop asking.

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I'm ready to be done with Paris. It's such a shitty thing to say, really. People come from all around the world, oftentimes saving for years, just to see this city. But my Paris is less drinking champagne atop the Eiffel Tower and more drinking champagne in my bathtub. It is shoving my way into the crowded metro, elbowing the occasional pick pocket, and dodging strollers on the crosswalks. Don't get me wrong, the city is gorgeous. Even the most mundane buildings usually boast some architectural flair and if you're looking for sassy bitches (of either gender) believe me when I tell you the search can end here. Add to that the excellent food, cheap wine, efficient public transit and Paris has a lot going for it.

Paris has too much going for it. It's easy to become complacent and lazy. That laziness can, and often does, mutate itself into an almost palatable level of disdain. Parisians have an awful worldwide reputation for being rude little pricks, which in a lot of cases is entirely justified. Yet one must realize that this city slings an equal level of bullshit to counteract it's beauty. If you stay here long enough, you're bound to build up a social plaque. Your face will take on an almost formidable blankness as you ride the RER. You will need to learn a certain level of social aggression. Which is not the same as violence. In America verbal fights can quickly devolve into physical altercations. In Paris this rarely occurs. Rather, you must learn to state what you think, state what you want, and be ready to hold to your ground regardless of how ridiculous the situation becomes. Case in point: I once saw a man raise hell at a checkout stand because the cashier refused to give him an extra plastic bag. This argument carried on for a good ten minutes as the cashier continued to check out others. The situation could have been resolved easily and quickly. But that would have meant an act of either contrition or submission. Did I mention there's not a proper French equivalent for the word awkward?

It's funny at first. Then it becomes exhausting. Instead of fighting against it any longer, pretending that at some point the city is going to magically just snap out of it, I'm uprooting. I'll sail across Africa, landing in Nairobi. I'll begin a new life. I'll go on treasure hunts. I'll drink too much wine. No doubt I will wake more than one morning filled with regret and shame, bargaining with God for just one more shot. I will later tell these stories to friends in bars. We will all laugh and I'll order another round of martinis. I have a goal. It is neither noble nor distinguished, but it exists and that's all I need.

January 20th can not get here fast enough.

Posted by LyseP 14:11 Archived in France Tagged paris the preparation 2012 glob trot Comments (0)

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