My First 7 Days.
Bienvenus a Paris!
We made it. Through the 15 hour plane journey, the 60 kgs excess luggage, the visit to our apartment, the kids’ entry into school. Our first 7 days were … challenging, in many ways. It is one thing to visit Paris as a tourist who immediately immerses himself into the surrounding magnificence of the city. It is another thing to visit knowing you will have to make it your home. The priorities in both cases are just completely contrasting.
Before you can even begin to feel at home, you will have to:
1. dive (not drive!) into the dreaded corrida at the Champs Elyssee roundabout with at least 12 exits, while giving the millions of pedestrians the right of way and spotting the traffic lights which are 6 feet above the ground (why couldn’t they make it higher for everyone to see?)
2. learn to eat a french baguette every morning without gaining half a kilo a day
3. master saying “Bonjour” and “Bonne Journee” at every encounter
4. go to the supermarket and decipher each product in French (how the hell do you know when something is low-fat?)
5. squeeze yourself into the Metro like a sardine while guarding your purse (after learning its in’s and out’s, of course)
6. make a firm resolution to learn the language (i will get to that… one day…)
7. watch your 4-year-old son board the school bus for the first time in his life without tearing
8. tell your daughter things will be fine when she comes home from school on the first day, culture-shocked about how the other kids her age were preoccupied with cigarettes, hang overs, getting stoned, and belly rings
9. figure out the 12 various product codes that you will need to buy to construct one Ikea cabinet
10. drive to Ikea by yourself!
Yes, life is not a bed of roses when everything around you is just so overwhelming. But I will try to focus on living life in Paris just like a tourist would, only after I have learned to make it my home. It’s a long journey ahead, and all I need to do is take one step at a time. C’est la vie.