The last week or so has been a rather emotional one, with lots of farewells. With a month and a bit left in Paris myself, this has got me very much thinking about my own departure. The ridiculous weather has continued, with tropical-like storms that have woken me up twice in the morning (never appreciated). I also got absolutely soaked when picking up the kids I look after from school, which all the pupils found pretty entertaining of course. Already stopped tutoring with my favourite family, which was pretty sad – though they have already said that I’m welcome to pop in during my time left here!
Before the mental storms invaded Paris, we made the most of one (almost) summer evening enjoying drinks, nibbles and a singsong by the Seine. We made friends with some guys with guitars and ended up singing Wonderwall – being the only English girl knowing all the words, I belted it out loud and proud! My first goodbye was to Nicolas, a fellow Sorbonne student who had had enough of the miserable Parisian weather and was due to head back to Marseille. We ended up in an English pub around Le Panthéon, which gave me a very bizarre taster of what I will once again encounter once back over the Channel. Bumping into two drunken Brummy lads was almost a bit of a culture shock, though I did give them quite a shock when telling them to pipe down (they had thought I was French).
Before I knew it, I found myself saying goodbye to another friend, Cristina, which was pretty emotional – she was one of the first friends I made in Paris, having met her at the Cité U in September. Though the bonne nouvelle is that she is coming back for a visit in July! Even though goodbyes have been hard, the consolation is the fact that with many, it is not really ‘goodbye’, but merely a ‘see you soon’ – I know that I have made some friends for life here. I’ve been invited to Alicante as well, which I will definitely be taking up (it’s the only sun I’ll be seeing all year by the looks of things!) For Cristina’s last day in Paris, we had a rather swanky afternoon tea at La Durée – an upmarket salon du thé best known for its melt-in-the-mouth macarons. We then saw our Spanish senorita in style with a soirée at Grégory’s. It was a good night to see off a very good friend. So much so that myself, Gregory, Cristina and Caroline pulled a nuit blanche (all nighter), with Cristina going directly to catch her flight the next morning!
My third farewell was to a fellow Warwicker Mairead – someone who I will most definitely be seeing next year (she’s one of my future housemates, the poor girl!!) We enjoyed a rare outbreak of sun sitting on a terrasse before the heavens opened in the evening (which is when I got absolutely drenched from head to toe…) The next evening was spent with people from my residence for Sandra’s birthday. With everyone bringing food and drink, (including lots of homemade crêpes accompanied with my absolute favourite Spéculoos spread) we were all rather full and merry by the end! Being to begin with the only foreigner in a group of completely Frenchies would have been pretty daunting at the beginning of the year (I remember my first experience of this in September), though now I am able to hold my ground. Meeting a Spanish guy who had just moved in and arrived in France 3 days ago brought a flood of memories back – he looked like a deer in headlights bless him. I reassured him that it would get easier with time and practice! My final goodbye up till now was another good friend that I made early on here, Paulina from Poland. We had a cosy little gathering in a rather cool bar near Saint Germain-des-Près. It is starting to feel like the Paris I know is starting to empty itself.
I then played hostess with the flying visit of my dad here on a business trip. Whilst his stay was short and sweet, I still managed to fit in quite a lot of sights – and gastronomy of course! Arriving to meet him at St Michel, one of his first comments was just so English: “It must be about 25 degrees here and everyone is wearing winter coats, I don’t get it!” We saw several live street performances for la Fête de la Musique during our Friday evening promenade, before enjoying a sumptuous dinner in one of my favourite local restaurants. After a typical petit déj, I continued my speedy tour guide and enjoyed some more food before having to say goodbye – though my dad will be returning to help me with the big move back to London at the end of July or beginning of August. Had drinks last night in the Latin Quartier- that leaves me up to date with the blogging.
With all the goodbyes of the last week, my idea of leaving this incredible city is becoming more and more a reality and not something in the distant future that I can ignore. All the more reason to make the most of the time I have left.