I admit, I have been having some difficulty this year with my second experience in France. Le Nord is the polar opposite of Le Sud, and Valenciennes does not even compare to the dream life I lived in Aix-en-Provence.
But nothing is as we expect it to be, is it not?
France has tested me a lot these past 4 months. It has been pushing me-mind, body and soul- just to see how much I really do love it and how, despite all the troubles and heartaches, I will forever except it for what it is and cherish it in my heart.
Yes, France is like any romantic relationship. It is passionate and exciting, yet it is real and flawed beyond belief. But that is the greatest thing. Because despite its flaws, you can come to truly love it--to see past those bumps and sharp turns it may throw your way. You will love it no matter what, and it will love you right back.
That is what Paris reminded me this past weekend. There is nowhere like Paris, and each time I go my heart is filled yet again with my childish hopes and aspirations--and it is just so refreshing!
My other assistant friends and I rented a studio apartment in the Marais during our short sejour (something I highly recommend as apartments come fully equipped with towels, linens, kitchen supplies and the like). We spent our days strolling the Champs, shopping in Passy, tasting the best hot chocolate in the world (no joke) at Angelina, climbing Montmartre, attempting to visit the Eiffel Tower in a rain and wind storm, dining at Chez Fernand and sampling some truly delicious boeuf bourguignon, consuming copious amounts of wine and cheese and dancing the night away in Bastille, Saint Germain des Pres and the Quartier Latin.
All in all it was the perfect Parisien weekend, and to top it off I was able to have a mini Aix reunion with my friend Jennifer who is living in Neuilly-sur-Seine just outside of Paris. She is working in probably one of the best boulangeries I have been to in my life and stuffed us silly with macaroons, chocolate mousse, quiche and pain au chocolat. Merci beaucoup!
Jen et moi