Bonjour encore! As I begin to wrap up my first week in Paris, I am starting to feel more and less integrated with the culture. I have moments where I feel as though I am starting to understand the life and actions of the locals, but I’m also faced with situations where I have never felt so American and so out of place.
One of the first things I noticed was that in the business field, the French value time more leisurely than Americans do. I did not know my company placement until after I had arrived in Paris. This was very stressful for me because I felt as though I was taking a huge risk, walking into an unsure situation. For the French, this was a normal practice. One of my advisors here stated, “En France, tout s’est fait, mais nous prenons notre temps.” This means that everything gets completed eventually in France, but the people here take their time.
This week, a few friends and I decided to take a walk and watch the sunset before the Eiffel Tower. This was my first moment where I came to the realization that this incredible city will be my home for the next 3 months. As we made jokes, where we compared Paris’s pride to Oakland’s pride: Cathy, we took are time to take in this moment as a symbol of the start of our sejour.
These first few days have been a mixture of emotions; confusion and appreciation seem to be the most popular. I wish to keep learning from this experience with time, and hopefully dig into the city a little more.
As for now, my journey is just beginning. Stay tuned.