The other night, my host dad Pascal took me on a driving tour of Paris. Both of us had saved it in our respective agendas and so after dinner, the two of us were off to explore the beautiful nighttime air of Paris. He showed me every part of Paris – places like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay and Ile de la Cité, to places I had never had the chance to see like the Eastern border by Bercy through Place Dauphine on Ile St. Louis. He is a psychiatrist but does about a zillion other things. I’ve said before that I don’t think the French are career-oriented whatsoever, but my host dad is absolutely an exception to the rule. He leaves the house the earliest and gets back the lates, sometimes eating dinner around 10:30PM. He is also a professor and teaches med students. But, he isn’t a man of many words. In the most traditional sense, he is the silent but strong foundation for the family – incredibly patient and accommodating. I probably see him the least, but I’m going to miss him incredibly.
This tour in the most practical sense, gave me a look at Paris that I can’t achieve on my own since I usually take metros and the city is far too large to walk through in a day. But on a more sentimental note, I realized that I had seen a lot of Paris already, but there is always more to see. For example, he took me to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), which I didn’t even know existed but was one of the coolest things I had seen during my whole time here. It’s very un-Parisian since they resemble modern skyscrapers on the outskirts of the city. But there are four buildings that make up the library, all separate sections of corners, which are supposed to resemble open books. Mind blown. He also, as I mentioned before, took me to Place Dauphine, one of the most tranquil spots in the city I had ever stepped foot in. It has kept its medieval charm and is less-known by tourists. I had also seen the little island parks before, but had been completely uninterested, but I know now that those are my next destinations. They are essentially little parks in the middle of the Seine.
On one hand, I have so much to look forward to when I go home: our favorite family friends are visiting for one week, one of my best friends is visiting the week after, and then two of my friends are visiting after that. But I know I’m never going to have another semester like this where I just travel from country to country, with friends or on my own, not worrying about schoolwork, and then coming “home” to the most beautiful city in the world that is Paris. Waaahhh. I’ve seen so much, but I guess if I saw everything, I would have no reason to come back. To making 25 more days count!!