Me: I’m studying in France.
Friend: Oh, how’s Paris?!
I believe France shares the same “blinders” as New York. Whenever you bring up the country France, or the state New York, people seem to be wearing blinders shutting out everything but the path to the big cities Paris and NYC. I lived in the upstate NY for a year, so I got this a lot. I have never been to Paris, and I do hope when I do go I get that <<American in Paris >>feeling, where I want to gracefully dance down the Parisian streets with a new found love. But that is also the reason I did not want to study in Paris for long term. The bar is set really high for anyone who visits Paris because of movies, romantic travel destinations, and famous artists who got their inspiration juice there. The main reason I did not choose Paris is that I was afraid Paris would be very commercialized in helping tourists enjoy their stay. So, I choose the south of France, hoping to discover traditional French culture.
The string lights ❤
The same day I went to Montpellier, I came back to Avignon around 8pm and had dinner with my homestay, her coworker, and a friend of Batiste (a little german boy named Luca). My homestay’s cowoker bombarded me with questions (which is very good since I want to practice my French) but after a long day of walking and getting a caffeine/sugar crash my French was not up to speed. I accidently said “I don’t want a girlfriend right now” instead of “I don’t want a boyfriend right now” My homestay giggled and I was quick to realize I said une instead of un. From now on I will be using the word <<un copain>> instead of <un petit ami>> haha. After a delicious meal we headed to a block party, where I experienced the true French culture. The soirée was down a small neighborhood street from where I live. We got there and I was graced by a giant band (it looked like a high school band) but the musicians were all ages, from teenagers to older gentlemen. One of the older gentleman casually lit up a cigarette in-between his tuba breaks. haha. Another band started to play, I don’t know what the correct name is, but my Polish Grandma would say <<Polka band>> They had on traditional French outfits and instruments. At this point, every one was a bit tipsy, and they were all dancing and chanting along. The soirée was set up with a line of picnic tables. By the time I arrived, the tables were filled with empty wine bottles and empty pastry boxes. I really wish I knew about this soirée ahead of time, because it was a very intimate feeling. Everyone was together, sharing drinks, dancing and singing along. Not to mention a ton of adorable French men attended wearing vintage looking outfits <<I was blushing the whole time>> A lot of homeless teenagers also attended. Their dogs were pilled up on top of each other behind the band,cuddling and sleeping. I don’t know if homeless is a polite word to use, so I want to start to say <<travelers>> because they are young people, about my age, and they just look very organic, some with dreads, some with flowy beautiful printed fabric outfits. Well, one boy did have a shirt on that read <<N’aime pas Sarkozy>> haha. One of my favoirte moments was when one of the young travelers began to dance with someone’s baby. She was making her clap her hands along to the music. It just showed the community coming all together, no matter the class. My homestay told me the soirée lasts all night, until the morning. We only stayed for an hour because Batiste and Luca had to go to bed. If it wasn’t from my Montpellier day trip, I would have defiantly come back to the soirée to dance and chant along. Yet, I was so thankful I got to experience some true French culture.
Older gentleman taking his smoke break.
Yes, the men looked something like this. You can see why I was blushing, THE.WHOLE.TIME.