As can be expected, my life has increased in excitement and social interaction the second Elze moved into the apartment. Now instead of having a roommate who flickers in and out of the door like some sort of apparition and who spends her time at someone else's apartment, I now have a roommate who brings everyone here. While the New Year's party may be the most extreme case since the 5 days of Elze's occupancy, our door still hasn't quite stopped revolving, it just moves a bit slower these days. Last night, for example, Elze informed me that Suanne would be coming over to pick something up. A few moments after she arrived Wayne rang the buzzer since he too, apparently, was invited. I'm not sure if Elze intentionally left his part out thinking that she has to spring human connection on me like some covert spy operation. No matter her motives, I am definitely enjoying the change in pace.
During "our" party, Elze, Suanne, and Wayne attempted to talk me into staying in Paris with them, forever. I can't say I wasn't just a tad but tempted, and flattered, too. It'd be lovely to continue frolicking about the City of Love with my new found friends from all over the world, but that just would not be the reality of it. Besides, I'm not exactly madly in love with Paris. The city is incredible, and while I've warmed up to the French and their inability to smile at a customer, I just don't see myself living here. This isn't where I want to end up, but I am more than grateful that I got to stay as a long-term tourist for one glorious year. And I can't deny that it will be hard to leave these people behind. I keep trying to convince them all that they should come live with me in America, but apparently not everyone thinks it's number one like we do. Who'da thunk?
It's hard to express my feelings about my stay here. I certainly love France. It's just so darn old! This is Europe, where history comes from, after all. Every corner has some hidden little story and charm overflowing through it's eyeballs. The food is incredible. The pastries are mind blowing. And while the people may be some of my least favorite parts of this city (their lack of customer service, the horridness of ever having to deal with any french bureaucracy, and the fact that so many natives seem to have lost the muscles required to smile), we are kindred spirits in the sense that we are all snobs about food, fashion, art, architecture, and pastry. These are my kind of people. Now if only they would speak english and do it with a smile, then I may never be able to leave! I guess I could learn french to help ease the process along, but that just sounds like so much work on my part.
I am definitely looking forward to all of the upcoming visitors I will be receiving in the next few months. My mother, Kirstie, and Nance, definitely rejuvenated my feelings of adventure and enjoyment. I can't deny that I was feeling immensely homesick upon returning from my surprise visit to Grant. But since my family came, and sadly left, those childlike feelings of being left at a camp when you're obviously going to be the target of bullies and you never really liked nature anyway, have gone away, and I'm feeling much more Thoreau and Emerson about my stay here now.
My mother was kind enough to buy me a pass to the Louvre and I am planning on going and visiting it multiple times while I can. I'd love to snag the Alexander the Great and Forbidden City exhibits before they leave, since I've always had a thing for Alexander (I don't care that he was rumored to be gay, Rock Hudson was a hotty to, and they're both dead anyway so it's not like that is getting in the way of us being together) and who doesn't like something forbidden? And a whole city of forbidden goodies? I'll take two!
The truth is that I've enjoyed myself immeasurably. I wouldn't change a thing...ok, I would. I would go back and pick a different internship at someplace that doesn't study the teachings of Hitler on their days off. But, alas, time travel hasn't come to fruition yet and so I am stuck with the memories of some of the worst times of my life. At least I learned a few things from them, like what not to do, and how to spot an asshole in a half an hour. And the benefits of this entire escapade have far exceeded the suffering. And, even more importantly (and cliche), it's a new year! New beginnings, growth, all that mumbo jumbo, ramma lama ding dong, and what not. Pain de Sucre is in my past and it certainly has granted me with some riveting stories for the people in the peanut gallery back home. Now it's up to me to create some more (hopefully uplifting) tales to share, and more importantly, experience and cherish! 2012 has a nice ring to it, don't ya think? I'm fairly certain it's going to be a good one.