Paris, France: Day 9

First off – Thank you so much for all of your sweet words. I re-read them probably a dozen times! They helped put me at ease and realize that everything really will be okay! Everything everyone said really hit home! Victoria, thank you for always sending words of encouragement. You have been one of the kindest people I have met through blogging! And thank you for Wordreference! It is amazing! Stephanie your words really hit home! I love the quote and hearing your story really touched me and gave me strength, so thank you, thank you! I really read each comment multiple times and took it to heart. Thank you all for taking time out of your day to send over some words! Through all of the support I have been receiving I have really been able to breathe. Knowing I have this system of people who are all their encouraging me has helped immensely.

The other night I actually had an epiphany while walking home from a party. The party was across from the Pont Alexandre III so about a 45 min walk home. I decided to a pied (walk) and take it all in. It wasn’t but 10 minutes into my walk that I literally had to pinch myself to remind me what I was doing. I took my time walking home and really came to terms with everything. By the end of the walk – I was completely content and ‘re-in-love’ with Paris! Paris at night is beautiful and can turn even the most anti-Paris person into a believer.

I absolutely love my school and learn so much everyday. But I have come to terms with the idea that I won’t have the perfect accent nor learn everything there is to know in a month. And that is okay! I am here to learn as much as I can and practice what I learn. It doesn’t always have to be now, now, now. All or nothing – which is something I struggle with. Coming to terms with this entire trip has set me at ease and allowed myself to breathe. In and out. The other day I had quite the exciting experience – I had TWO tourists come up to ask me for directions! I must at least look like I know what I am doing even if I have no clue!

Over the past week I have been really surprised by the French. A few things I have learned: One – they all LOVE New York! I mean, every.single.one. The first thing they like to tell me is that they have been to New York a number of times or lived there for an extended time. Secondly they all are dumbfounded by Americans love for Paris. They can’t quite wrap their heads around why we love it so much. I simply explain, it is our New York because I can’t for the life of me understand why you love NY so much (BOOM)!  Another surprising thing is that they think everyone from Texas owns a Machine gun. I knew they thought we owned guns but they skipped passed rifles and handguns to believe that we actually own MACHINE GUNS! This isn’t even one or two people but a handful I have met and each one is extremely educated. Ummm, I have never even seen a machine gun, anyone else? Also, french people, mainly men, do not care what temperature it is outside, they are going to wear their coat and scarf. I have seen more men dressed like it is 50 degrees than for the actual 100 degrees. I am in shorts and a shirt and they are in these coats and scarves. Clearly, I am American! And lastly, each Frenchie is dying to practice their english which makes learning and practicing my french difficult! But I completely understand and try to do halvies with them!

The last few days have been spent meeting new people (shout out to Out About In Paris for inviting me to the 4th of July Party at the Eiffel Tower), wandering the different quartiers with my camera, and drinking lots of rosé (for one). I can’t believe how quickly my attitude toward Paris has changed but I am so happy to finally be appreciating this experience! à bientôt!

** If you have any Paris recs I am definitely open to them! Comment or email – mary@sothentheysay.com

paris france summer-5 paris france summer-8 paris france summer-10 paris france summer-11 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-3 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-13 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-17 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-20 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-25 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-27 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-39 IIe Saint-Louis Paris France-42

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10 thoughts on “Paris, France: Day 9

  1. I just found your blog, via Victoria, and am in love already! What an amazing trip you are taking. I studied abroad in Paris for 4 months, so I understand your love for the city, and the difference it makes to learn and live there, rather than just touring. Also you’re so right – they all want to practice their English, so it’s impossible to practice French! They all tell you their English is terrible, and then hold an entire conversation. So funny. I never experienced the “I love New York” thing, but anytime I said I was from Seattle they’d list off everything they knew about it (rain! starbucks! gary payton!)

    Anyway, I’m excited to follow your journey!

  2. So happy you’re feeling better about everything and fell back in love with Paris! Looking at these pictures makes me wish I was there to experience all of the cool/beautiful things offered there! And I LOLed at that comment about Texas people with machine guns?! Haha too funny!

    Lauren
    http://oliverstwistblog.com

  3. Aww, you’re welcome, Mary! I’m glad you’re feeling so good about everything. You’re right — you can’t NOT fall in love with Paris at night.

    A few other things to share with you: one of my old French teachers in New York runs a travel blog and has all these AMAZING YouTube videos about speaking French…but not basic/boring grammar stuff. Instead, there are all these tips on sounding more French when you speak, in terms of colloquialisms, how Parisians chat amongst friends, how to swear, etc. 🙂 I think you’ll love it! Damon is the best teacher ever. Start here, and enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TD9NmzNp9c (I found the ‘quoi’ thing to instantly up street cred in Paris, if you can speak decently well when you say it. And dropping the ‘ne’ is 100% true. I don’t even know the last time I actually said “je ne sais pas”…it always comes out as “j’sais pas” now.)

    Ton accent: The best thing you can do for your accent is to listen to as much French as you can. It sounds so simple, but it seriously helped me so much — last summer, I had Parisians tell me my accent sounded incredibly good (which was kind of a detriment sometimes because they thought I was French, so then they’d speak way too fast and I had to admit I didn’t understand them!). I listened to tons and tons of music in French, radio shows, news bits on LeMonde.fr, French TV shows on YouTube, etc. It really helps. The other best tip I got about speaking with a better accent is to pronounce all the words in the front of the mouth, like you are puckering your lips almost.

    All that being said, you are right, it takes SO long to truly learn and know another language. But I think that by immersing yourself in it for a month, you will be shocked at how much you learn!

    Places to go: I know you have been to Paris a bunch, but have you walked through the Marche aux Fleurs? It is on the Île-de-la-Cité, and is worth the wandering (especially this time of year — it will be beautiful). If you get really adventurous, last summer we spent the day in southern Paris near Cité Universitaire. It’s way off the beaten path down there. Parc Montsouris is a beautiful park to visit — it is un jardin à l’Anglaise, so you can actually roam around on the grass, lay out, picnic, etc. The neighborhoods down in the 13th and 14th (Plaisance, Butte-Aux-Cailles, etc) also feel like you are in the French countryside! Some really interesting architecture if you want to wander around and take pics. Finally, if you want Greek food, I meant to tell you — that place you Instagrammed, Evi Evane, is pretty good! 🙂

    1. Girlllllllll! This is ALL so amazing! I just wrote down EVERY.SINGLE.WORD!

      First- too funny Damon is your teacher! I found him a few months ago and am now a big fan of Shut Up and Go! Their videos are the best! I bet he was an incredible teacher!!!

      SO SO happy to hear about Evi Evane! I would have NEVER guessed it was Greek! GOing there tomorrow!! I need some lamb 🙂

      – Your recs on where to go are perfecttttt! Like, I can’t thank you enough! I am going to try each one. I find myself wandering the same areas and have been wanting to explore more!

      Seriously, thank you for taking the time to write! YOu made my week! Means more than you will know! xx

  4. I think it’s so cool that you’re doing this, and I love these photos, it’s been awhile since I’ve been to Paris so enjoying seeing it now through your lens. Thanks for documenting it for me as I sit in my office in Dallas!

  5. You’re so welcome!! I’m glad you found a sense of peace so you can fully enjoy everything! (And even if you get overwhelmed, you’ll always have the amazing pictures to relive everything again and again)

  6. Yay! I’m glad you’re feeling better about everything! All it takes is time.
    Yea, I don’t get the whole NYC appeal either, I like it for day trips but I couldn’t ever live there. Although, I did work there for 2 years so that could have some effect on my feelings :p (But it’s also dirty and crowded) To me, Paris is so much more magical with the cool buildings, Seine, etc.

  7. Hi Mary,

    Apologies if you already answered this in a comment somewhere else, but what camera have you been using in Paris? Your photos are beautiful! Glad to hear you’re having an amazing time. I spent a semester in Paris while in college and I’m loving following along seeing some familiar places!

    x,
    Megan

    1. Hey! Thanks for your sweet feedback 🙂 I always shoot with the same camera- Canon 5d Mark III (although you could get away with a lower body if you need to for budget reasons) and then shoot with my 50mm 1.4 lens or my 24-70mmL 2.8 lens 🙂 I also edit in lightroom! I hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else!

      So happy you are enjoying the photos! I am not sure if it is overkill but I can’t help myself 🙂 xo

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