Culture Shock: lil country bumpkin, big city

Coucou! (this is an informal hello!)

It’s Sunday night and I can hear the bustling traffic on the street below the apartment. Every once and a while an amblulance will roar past. Weird to think that I’m already becoming accustomed to the sound of the city!

Culture shock: I am not at all used to living in a city! Every day I walk down flights of wooden, winding stairs, open a door, and BAM, I walk right out onto a busy main street where there are people selling phones, shoes, coats, etc. Then I walk into a subway station (where there are guys loitering and trying to sell packs of cigarettes by approaching every pedestrian and muttering  “Malboro Malboro Malboro” but they do it so fast that it sounds like “burro burro burrro” )

Push through the turnstile, wait at the stop. People watch. Homeless guys, business men, women in heels, couples, families, kids. Mostly wearing dark coats and of course, scarves. Seems to be the Paris uniform. Train vazooms into the station. People stream out the doors, people stream in. Fun fact: there is cell service in the Paris metro! Even so, there seem to be less people talking on the phone while walking around the city (versus NYC/Boston).

When I tell people where I’m living in Paris, they describe it as “vivant,” or lively. Apart from being a busy area, it’s also diverse. There are a lot of middle-eastern eateries and also a lot of stores with products for African textured hair. Near me is an area called Goutte d’Or (Drop of Gold) which is kind of like a “little Africa”- tons of African products etc. Even though I’m not used to living in such a busy and diverse area, I already find the sights and sounds kind of comforting. It’s not the typical/steretypical Paris experience, but I love getting that extra peek into the daily life of all sorts of people.

Lucky for me, I am living just five minutes away from Sacre-Coeur! I took this picture on Saturday- clear skies but still cold.

This is a pic of the open-air market on Sunday. So cool to see all the veggies, meats, and fish on display. There were tons of clementine peels everywhere! A few blocks away, there were also markets selling handbags, jewlery, and clothes.

-A

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One thought on “Culture Shock: lil country bumpkin, big city

  1. Gah, Everything sounds so exciting, alive, bubbling, foreign, chic and french! And about the people selling ‘burro burro’s, ya never know, they might actually be selling donkeys or butter. (burro is butter in italian and donkey in spanish).

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