Paris for tourists

Trip Start Sep 26, 2011
Trip End May 06, 2012

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Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Monday, October 31, 2011

After having lived in Paris for a little over 3 months, I left the city of lights feeling quite like a Parisian. However, after returning to Paris this past week with a friend from my assistantship program, I didn't feel like a Parisian; but as a tourist. 

It's amazing how much you can lose, if you don't surround yourself in the things you want to learn. The first day or so, I felt completely turned around: we were taking wrong streets and pulling out the map quite often. What happened? With a city that brought so much influence to my life, making me a stronger person, I left I wasn't apart of it anymore. 

Not to mention, after having lived here, I should know better about the crazy people you can run into in a large city. For example, the woman who wanted us to give her either a metro ticket or 10euros (because that is equivalent). And after having denied her both, she continues to follow us into the metro station screaming "you are just like the rest of them, you Communists!" Surprisingly, she was British too; not even French. 
Or the time, when we were enjoying a nice drink at a Brasseries by Ecole Militaire and a young French man sits next to us and continues to pull out two cans of empty cigarette rolls and fill them with tobacco. "Hope you don't mind me asking, but you see, I just got out of jail and I could really use someone to talk to. My friends and I were caught with weed and got put in jail. I could really use someone to talk to, to get my mind-off the matter. And when my buddy shows up here (at the brasserie), I think it would be cool if he saw me talking to two girls. So it is up to you, if you want to chat or not..." 
Or one of my favorite incidents, we were in an Australian bar and a middle-aged Indian man comes up to us.
"Hello, I'm from Bangladesh and I've been living in Paris for about 14 years. I noticed you two speak English." 
 Turns to Hannah: "What's your name?" I'm Hannah "Oh" 
 Turns to me: And I'm Alyssa "Oh that's a nice name, very pretty. My name is (something Indian). Did you know Bangladesh is in India?" 
 Me: Yes, I know that...
Or finally, the time we were enjoying ourselves a picnic in the Jardin des Tuilieres and a young girl comes up to use asking for our food. After refusing her several times, she reaches down and grabs my orange and continues to run away with it. 

Now granted, I should've seen this all coming, but I swear I didn't have this many crazy experiences in a 5 day time-span, when I was actually living in Paris. The highlights of the vacation weren't completely centered on our run-ins with the interesting. We did get to experience: tea at La Duree on the Champs, vintage shopping and falafels in Le Marais, top of the Notre Dame to say 'hi' to the gargoyles, Musee du Chocolat, and 3 days of renting velibs (bikes) and clinging to our lives while biking in Parisian round-a-bouts during high-traffic times. 
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