But I do want to mention something that’s been swimming around in my head lately. Namely, do I like where I am and did I make the right choice? And the thing is, it really shouldn’t be a question ha.
The short answer is yes. The long answer is, I’m frustrated.
I’m frustrated ’cause we aren’t really doing anything. I still haven’t even scheduled my classes, let alone gone to any. I’m frustrated because being here has reignited a lot of my passions and ideas about the world that have kind of been dimmed down recently. And I feel ready to act on them. Except I can’t. And that isn’t even necessarily a product of being in France so much as I still have two years of study ahead of me. And if I’m going to do what I believe I should, I’m going to need it.
But things are happening in the world. Things are occurring and I want to just be able to go out and experience it. I want to take my first steps in a developing country as someone who lives there, and not someone who’s just visiting. I want to know what it’s like to personally know people in a state of life I can still, despite all my experiences, hardly imagine.
And here. Ha. It’s the complete opposite. I live in the second most expensive city in France. It’s painfully bourgeois. Painfully. I’ve literally seen less than ten homeless people here in almost a month of living here. And it’s usually the same ones too. And, yeah, that might be normal for like, a suburb. But this is a “medium” sized city. We walked just a mile or so to the beach yesterday and I saw as many or more homeless than my entire stay in Aix. It’s just. It’s a fairy-tale.
But I need to be here. Something tells me that is definitely true and I’m not entirely sure why. But I’m willing to believe it. And it is wonderful. It’s a beautiful place, a really interesting and fun culture and a people that have experienced atrocities (to put it in perspective, World War I hurt the French more than the second World War and in that one they straight-up got taken over by Germany) I have no way of beginning to imagine. And how have they reacted? Well, they’re really pessimistic about life, but they also take all the time they have. And enjoy it. It’s the reason things take a while to get done here. But it makes sense. If I might die in my sleep tonight, why shouldn’t I take time to enjoy good food, good wine, good friends and my family? Maybe there’s something for all of us Americans to learn from this culture.