October 24, 2013, by Guest blog
Appreciating Parisian culture
I’ve been in France for about a month now and it has been, let’s say interesting. I arrived with mountains of paperwork, hoping to be ready for the bureaucratic administrative system that France is famous for. It more than lived up to its expectation and I have been inundated with yet more mounds of paper, many of which I’ve been told are for me to keep, though I think they serve no purpose. I am now nearing the end of this trail though with my only CAF still to apply for. As for the university, professors often arrive late and I have difficulty in understanding some of the lectures that are not for Erasmus students, though this should become easier with time though, I hope.
In a more positive light though, I don’t feel quite as anonymous as in London, perhaps because I am based near quite a few open spaces. I have not met the stereotypical rude Parisian, in fact most are very welcoming which pleases me greatly as I thought that all year I would be having to contend with impolite French people, but it seems as though this will not be the case. Perhaps most pleasing to me though is that many of the museums are free to enter for students, so I have plenty to do if I have some free time.
I have so far managed to visit a few museums and galleries including the Musée d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles, where I was able to see some of the paintings that we studied last year for ‘Huit Tableaux’. I have also visited Tour 13, a tower block given over to graffiti artists that has become an exhibition for the month of October. I waited for 5 hours for the eagerly awaited opportunity to see the street art inside and it was well worth the wait. My wait was made easier by the 6 French people that I befriended while in the queue.
There was a great deal of variety in the works on show.
I am surprised at the rather laid back attitude of the French. Many people have dents in their cars and don’t seem to exchange insurance details when they occur, I have witnessed a few. The shops are open for fewer hours and it seems that school just doesn’t happen on Wednesday!
I hope that things remain as interesting.
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