Friday, December 21, 2012

Bits and Pieces and Paris

These are a few of my favorite bits of the day we spent in the sunlight in Paris. And this is it for now. Paris may come out for one more special occasion but after that, it's being tucked away until we travel there again. Or until I find myself particularly void of any other means of entertaining you. Aaaand maybe for one more second tomorrow. Or later today, depending on my ambitions. Here we go:

hello tiny eastview mall copycat

The funniest thing about moving to Europe has been the strange influence it's had on my self-consciousness. I was the typical easily-embarrassed 13-17 year old but once I hit my mid-college years, I left most of my insecurities behind. Yet with my first few days in Belgium I realized I was speaking quietly when Chris and I strolled the streets and was constantly studying the fashion of people my age, ready to fit in; afraid we'd be found out as Americans and then shunned (who would be doing the shunning and why it mattered is now beyond me).

After a few weeks I shed those silly thoughts and became more myself again but as our Paris trip loomed, it all started to rush back. I'd heard of everyone's love for the city itself but I had also heard of the inhabitants themselves and their wonderful fashion and reported airs. I feared the ultimate shun of all, the Parisian Snub.

The outfit above took over an hour to decide on...please, feel free to chuckle, I'm smiling with a grimace myself. All black? Oh goodness, I caved to every "French fashion" blog I read and went overwhelmingly monochromatic and simple. It was as close to fashionable and blending in as I could possibly be while also staying warm, keeping my feet from aching in potentially unfashionable high-heels (my black boots were completely wrecked by our cobblestones. tear.), and keeping the color to a I said, I may have gone overboard in the last effort. My hair was supposed to look lovely and tamed and it did until the downpour on our way to the hotel the night before rendered that impossible with no means of fixing it in my tiny "overnight" purse.

And with all that know what? I'm not sure we encountered more than a few true Parisians all day and when we did, who could tell? It was Christmastime and the streets were full of other tourists like us, French and otherwise. If anyone did see us as unfashionable and unsophisticated Americans, we would never have known it and in the end it didn't matter in the slightest. When we go back to the city of light, I'll hopefully return as one more wise, with the knowledge that probably not one person took notice of us this first time around and most certainly won't any other trip either.

The one tiny thing that did happen that whole day which could have potentially bruised my spirit was when my pronunciation of "croissant" was corrected to "kwassohn?" Listen to it here: Maybe I spoke too quietly again. But if not, then uh, yeah, the crescent looking thing I was pointing at while I said it all "American-like", that's what I'd like to chow down on. Make it 3 of them, please.

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