So here I am in Paris, living life: going to class, hanging out with my friends, and being an regular ol’ college student. The thing that’s slightly different is that (in case you didn’t know), they speak French here. And kinda the whole point of me being here is to learn French.
It’s difficult to speak French all the time when you live with other American students. It’s so much easier to default to English, and spit out whatever you want to say without thinking. I’m funnier in English; I make better jokes and my vocabulary is infinitely larger.
In French, I’m a little bit of a dunce. It takes me awhile to figure out what I’m going to say, and I have to concentrate intently on the other person speaking to me. I’ve been made to look like an idiot more times that I can count, which is equal parts frustrating and embarassing.
Lately, though, I feel like I’ve been turning a corner. My transactions in stores and restaurants are becoming almost automatic, and I don’t have to plan out what I’m going to say each time. I can exchange some on-the-spot banter without too much trouble. I still make tons of mistakes, often correcting myself mid-sentence, but I finally feel more comfortable simply speaking the language. Which is good, because that’s precisely why I’m here.
As a side note, today Paris hit into the high-60s, another absolutely gorgeous day. I went to Berthillon, a famous ice cream parlor on the Île Saint-Lous (which is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in the city). I sampled a scoop of the “Caramel Beurre Salé” in a cone, which I took down to the Seine to enjoy. My book, an ice cream cone and a cloudless blue sky- what more could you ask for?