World Citizen

A huge Greece post is in the works, but I feel I wouldn’t be doing life justice if I let that stop me from posting about Paris before I leave in a few days.

It’s raining in Paris. No surprise there. But it is nearly June, and you’d think that it’s March, based on the weather we’ve had since the sunshiny heat was broken Friday evening by the biggest thunder-and-lightning storm you’ve ever seen. Supposedly there were 300 coups, which I’m not sure but might mean that lightning hit something 300 times during that storm? Or maybe there were just 300 lightning bolts. Either way.

Friday I finished my last piece of work – a paper on Purim (the only carnavalesque Jewish holiday for those of you less familiar with obscure cultural references) – and turned it in. I am now work-free and officially a senior in college. Let’s not think about that. I’m ignoring many things these days.

This week was pretty much my only week of work all semester. They really need to learn to spread things out here.

And so, with these being my last two weeks, things have been winding down. I taught my last class to my little French boys last week. I think they were mildly less crazy than usual as a goodbye present to me. But I could be deluding myself.

The little girl I babysit has grown up since I started babysitting for her and she is now much more well-behaved, and we get along quite well, and she adores me. Every time I go home, she wants to come with me, and she occasionally tells me she prefers spending time with me to with her family. She’s very distressed about the prospect of me leaving this week, and on Friday told me that she wants to sent me brioche that she knows how to make. I confess, she’s grown on me quite a lot. And I’m starting to take pride in the fact that I am helping her grow up. I’ve also been experimenting with her a little bit – I’ve been introducing her to the tolerant ideas of which four-year-olds aren’t usually aware, and I’m hoping that by doing so, I will be helping her out in the life ahead of her. Fingers crossed, we’ll see. I’ve discovered something about myself while babysitting, too – I still love playing make-believe. She and I have some of the best games where we’re playing that we’re pirates, and then one of us gets hurt in an ambush by our enemies who happen to have a dragon at their disposal and the other one gets adopted by fairies in order to gain the power to save the other, and so on and so forth. I have to wonder how many people my age – how many adults – have imaginations that can rival/keep up with a four-year-olds. I’m beginning to wonder about my sanity.

Another thing of great importance to these last weeks: people are already starting to leave. It is disturbing and sad and leads to unexpected bouts of tears, particularly when you realize how little time is left until you yourself leave. And it’s not to say there aren’t things I’m looking forward to about being back in the States, but there’s so much I’m not ready to leave. Particularly the Foucaults. And, well, Paris.

In other news, tonight was… quintessential. Allow me to explain. Selene and I went to the Opéra Garnier (my new favorite building in Paris) for their ‘dimanche musicale‘ – a chamber concert performed by some member’s of the National Opera’s Orchestra. I ended up having to wait in line forever to get tickets in the 45 minutes before the show, and during this time, I ended up talking to the girl next to me in line. Who happened to be from Vienna, and was in Paris for barely 3 days. So we ended up getting seats together (Selene was joining me there) and then after the show we all went out for a drink (and dinner for me, since I hadn’t had time to eat beforehand) and talked for hours. It was seriously one of the best things to have happen near the end of this year, because it so sums it up. This year has been all about meeting new people, learning about and experiencing other cultures, hearing other people’s stories, and just being open to life and wherever it may take you. So now I have a new friend in Austria.

At what point do I get to call myself a citizen of the world?

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