February 9, 2014

Visual Diary: Tourist or Resident?

It's been nearly a month since I've arrived in France, and one question has been rolling around in my mind constantly - am I a tourist, or do I live here? I think the answer to that question is a definitive, neither.

Paris doesn't have the same angelic glow it has when first laying eyes upon it, the boulangeries and rows of pretty buildings now feel normal. I still find it charming and beautiful, but the sense of adventure and discovery and exhilaration one feels when traveling to new places is definitely lacking.

I've been splitting my time between touristy outings, household tasks, and establishing new routines; Finding a favorite bakery, becoming familiar with the layout of the nearest Monoprix (A french supermarket), and learning to do laundry without a dryer. I also play a lot of video games and watch a great deal of TV. I take sporadic trips into Paris when I'm feeling energetic, but the bulk of my time has been spent doing "homey" things.

Niether of these activities - sightseeing and everyday living - feels completely accurate. I'm no longer a tourist, but I don't quite fully live here, yet. I'm looking forward to the day when I've sorted out all the paperwork for a residence permit and established a job. Lately I've been very stressed over all the little details of becoming "legal," going though all the worst-case scenarios in my mind. I've come to the conclusion, as I have many times before, that the only thing I can do is take it one step at a time. There's no use worrying about things I can't control, only handle them when they do come.

My visual diary of last week includes another trip to Montmartre and a bit of walking around Versailles:







Restauraunt - Refuge des Fondus:




Around Versailles:
This is our little window. I got some plants to spruce it up, but the intense winds the last few days have forced me to bring them inside!





This coming week I'm heading into the foreigner's welcome office to get some more solid information on applying for a residence permit, I think after that I'll feel way more in control.

After exploring a bit of the Canal area of Paris with LouLou - who is also a blogger and was kind enough to reach out and share brunch with me last week - I've been eager to find places in Paris that I've never explored, a different kind of charm.

Coming soon: Musée Jacquemart André, and Chateau de Versailles.


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