A week from today, I will no longer be in Paris. What the heck...not cool...how did this happen?
It's like I am mourning a death of a loved one or something...okay maybe that is extreme....
But my mindset is different walking around now. I never know if it will be my last time at each thing I do or see. It is horrible. I wish my mind were a camera, and I can capture these last moments just how I see them. And that somehow my last thoughts were recorded along with the image.
Ah, its hard because my blog posts are not even close to experiencing the real thing. No matter what I say, can't do this place justice. Or can't fully describe my experience. And everyone experiences Paris differently. Your experience will be different from mine, and I hope so. How boring would it be if you trusted me on what I said?
I'm not tired of the city yet.It still needs to feed me and let me learn from it. It will be hard to let go, and realize that it might be a long time before I ever get to come back. And when I come back, the city will probably teach me different things.
Like today for example...I started it off by going to the Catacombs. It is this underground old quarry, that the French government ended up using to house tons of dead bodies when the graveyards got too full. Sounds pretty gruesome huh? I have no idea why I wanted to go see it.
I just expected like a spooky mansion experience, but then it hit me, these are real bones. Which means they are real people. That walked this earth. That had lives. Families. Thoughts. Feelings.
No one else quite thought that...or didn't act like they were affected by it. Everyone in there was taking photo after photo. Posing and TOUCHING dead bones.
Where is the line drawn between tourism and respect for the dead?
You can draw it where you like, but I went on the respect for the dead side. It was just so crazy. Perfectly lined up bones on top of bones on top of more bones. With skulls. And there kept being signs with the year, and the cemetery they were taken out of every few feet or so. It hit me really hard surprisingly. None of these people had names. All that was left of them was literally bones.
It made me sad for these people. What did their life amount to? What does life amount to? One day I will be a pile of bones too, but hopefully in my own casket. Seriously though, death became a lot more real to me. It's just hard to wrap my head around the fact that living, breathing, vivacious people....and even boring people...will die and what will their life have amounted to? (I'll leave that to you to ponder.)
After I listened to what felt like endless stories of my friends raving about touching dead bones, I made sure to make the comparison, "What if that was your grandpa's bones you were playing around with?" Man, sometimes I can't hold back my sass.
Anyways, after that, I went to the famous Angelina's for some hot chocolate. At first I thought it was ridiculous to go into this fancy smancy place and pay WAY to much for a cup of hot chocolate. Like 8 Euros, for a teacup of this stuff. Literally, I felt like I had all the sudden entered a world of high class.
But, what entered my lips....Oh MAN! Oh MAN!! Oh MAN!!
The best way to put it into words, is a cup of PURE BRILLIANCE.
It was thick, dense, and just straight chocolatey goodness. Nestle has got to step up it's game. Just picture chocolate heaven in a cup. It was so thick, that I couldn't drink more than that teacup full. And I felt it in my stomach all day. Oh gosh, the life of that hot chocolate was short lived....
It is on Rue de Rivoli right across the Louvre and has been around for 110 years now in that spot. And so ya know, needing to use the bathroom, we went into the Louvre. Okay, that was just an incentive, but it was also my last time in the Louvre. I was so sad. How can I go back to learning about art in a textbook.
Ah, I got to see the Venus D'Milo, The Code of Hammurabi, and the Mona Lisa one last time. Walking around the Louvre is just an artistic overload of greatness. Walking out really was hard. Gosh, thank you Louvre for letting me experience some of the greatest artworks in the world.
Next, my friends and I walked down the Seine to find these hammocks. Okay, so we saw these hammocks one time along the Seine and had this brilliant idea to eat chips and salsa on them and study for our finals. I had carried a bag of chips with me all day, and I couldn't wait to eat my life away on a hammock.
French hammocks are the most uncomfortable things of all time. Yep, for some reason they put hard plastic squares where the ropes connect, and yep...hurts your back. It was a good attempt, and the chips and salsa were eaten. But not before this Parisian man commented on how unhealthy we were eating. Whatever okay?
Finally, we walked along the Seine, across the Champ de Mars and hit up our programs last get together in Paris. My contribution was 4 baguettes. Yes, you can never have enough. It was such a great dinner and time together with everyone. My professor and his wife are the coolest people on the planet. Down to earth and really care about all of us. My professor even gave me a pep-talk to help me stay calm about my mission. It's just nice to have that support here, when I can't be close to my family.
We watched a slide show of our trip. I have done so many things. I have learned so many things. I have a week left, to fully mourn the city that gave me so much. Man oh man, and to end the night, we all crossed the street and watched the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Never gets old.