|The dining table where I sat|
To understand why I did not pause to investigate, you must consider the setting. The window in the kitchen welcomed the shuffling of my courtyard neighbors, and the washing machine cycled through a short setting so that my roommates and I could spread our wrinkled clothes to air-dry soon after. The shouts of street vendors on market days and the whooshing of cars, scooters, and pedestrians floated to my fifth-floor window. The continued Noise blended well with the music around me and the one I blasted through my headphones; I continued to type my essay.
During weekends when I could relax or grocery shop, I better appreciated my local environment. About two streets away, the red Monoprix quickly became my go-to store for toilet paper, easy pasta, affordable meat, and new French foods. I didn’t have to go far for fresh fruits either. Two or three times a week, Marché Porte Dorée offered me fruits, cheeses, meats, flowers, souvenirs, and clothes on nearby sidewalks. Although I didn’t enjoy cherries before purchasing them here, I savored them along with many yellow kiwis.
My neighborhood district did not just benefit my stomach; I got my steps in, too! One Saturday, my friend and I searched for this well-known scenic place of flowers, Promenade Plantée, and walked into much more.
|Picture taken along the way|
After heading in the wrong direction, we finally found the cute space, took too many very cute pictures, and filled our bottles with sparkling water at a public fountain.
|Free sparkling water!|
On my last night in Paris, I reminisced about my five weeks along the path around a small lake within the Bois de Vincennes, a large park of grass and trees. I belonged to the movement of this life; I had not just visited, studied, and interned in Paris; I lived there.
|Me and my last night in Paris|
In my apartment on the day I heard the Noise, I finally took a break from typing and removed my headphones. In an instant, I was at the window door and saw 10 of them. As I later found out, I had just missed about 100 horses galloping on the main road in front of our building. How embarrassing to share with my peers! I guess it really is important to pay attention to your surroundings, especially in Paris.
|On Bastille Day, July 14th at 6 a.m. (taken later, when the horses came again)|
Abigail Suleman is a CEA Alumni Ambassador who studied abroad in Paris, France, during Summer 2019. She is currently a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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