April 21, 2014, by Guest blog
I now see getting around via the Metro as a normal thing I could do with my eyes closed…
I’ve made many connections during my Parisian year abroad thus far, mostly due to language. Because of the multicultural aspect of my new internship with a translation firm, I finally feel myself becoming more proficient in the everyday, informal bits of French.
Especially now that I chat daily, in French, with the interns from our different linguistic teams (French, Italian, Spanish, German, the lot), I think I can slip into Francophone more easily. It also gives a nice sense of unity to the whole experience, in that we might all be far from home, but the language is a common theme.
I also had an experience of the French Connection through my first internship, which was with the English branch of French film website AlloCiné. The French interns sat just across the office from us Anglophones, so lunches and apéros quickly became part of the agenda. What I found strangest, though, was that they wanted to speak English more often, and so I sometimes had to brazenly start conversations in French, just to be able to keep them that way.
However, as is sometimes the case, those acquaintances were more of a case of nice-to-chat-to, and I haven’t seen them much since. It’s sad in a way, as at times I get the feeling that all the different bits of my year abroad will appear and then fade away again just as quickly.
But one of the AlloCiné team, Rosine – a proper employee, I should add – has become a more permanent fixture of my time in Paris. She has kept in touch, and is forever suggesting things to do and see. Her boundless energy is simultaneously both heartening and exhausting.
However, as well as its people, I also feel more connected to Paris itself, and now see getting around via the Metro as a normal thing that I could do with my eyes closed. The various places and landmarks – The Champs-Élysées, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, etc – have started to take on the status of familiar, to the extent that I don’t quite know how I’ll feel when the connection has to be broken when I return home this summer.
But though I’ve been here six months, I haven’t yet found that one special place in Paris that I feel a real affinity with. Only time will tell whether I do. I can’t wait to see what’s up next.
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