And here I am, after several days, but still alive.

With ambivalent feelings.

At the same time I love and hate Paris. At the same time am I happy that I chose the right way to learn French and am I sad because the lack of community and Erasmus spirit.

So, let’s explain.. 1: I am spending most of my free time rambling around the streets of Paris. The weirder and more unknown/less touristic the street is, the better. And may it be looking over the busy Boulevard Périphérique or striking the cobblestone streets of Montmartre (not completely free from tourists of course, but at least guided tours seem not to prefer it) or taking the tram across the 14th and 15th district (why I love these districts so much, I don’t know…) I am so amazingly happy to discover more and more each day. However, what I realized is that I could have been living here for years, still I wouldn’t call Paris my home as it seems so big, urban and a bit impersonal. Even Budapest is so, sometimes. I think the ideal size of a town for me stops somewhere between 300,000 and 500,000… 😉 Also, I am seriously convinced that I should escape some parts, especially where fashion addict, rich singles from abroad are doing their comfort shopping. (There are two things that piss me off actually, one is human stupidity and the another is megalomania/snobism. Got the consequences?)

And the 2: I came, I saw and I started to speak French. My Business French teacher who also gives Intercultural Management classes, is a wonderful Dutch woman who has been living in France for like twenty-five years. I really love her. She does everything to encourage the group (of 3 people :D). It’s a little bit sad though that there are actually 3 people from the whole international student group who actually can speak French on a somewhat intermediate level. And I am not satisfied with that group at all. I miss the variety of countries, I miss the Erasmus spirit. Most of them have come from the United States, China, Singapore etc. and of course they aren’t Erasmus students either, but arrived here as the result of a collaboration between this institute and theirs. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but I really miss people from more different cultures. I think the only real Erasmus students, besides me are a Spanish guy, an Italian guy and some girls from Sweden and UK. And as you can guess, we don’t live in a common residence but in different places, most of us are in “homestays” so after classes everyone goes home or spends the time with their friends – currently staying in Paris – whom they have known before. No talks, no excursions or walks together, no parties or just simple reunions, no cooking feasts dedicated to national cuisines. No nothing. It’s depressing. Maybe we just still need to find the common voice and find out something interesting to do. And I have the feeling that maybe I should do something myself to improve the situation. And besides my French school, I think I should also contact students from my college who are studying in different institutions in Paris, maybe we could do a Hungarian party one day… Just be creative, Kriszti.

And I think there must be a point 3 after all, but without any doubts and ambivalences: my roommate, Tanya, from Russia, is one of the most amazing people you can imagine. When I am home or travelling together with her (like last Sunday to Chartres) I feel so happy and cheerful and alive. We are joking and laughing a lot… God, thank you. Thank you for her.

*just looking around if everyone understood these incoherent writings* – but if not, it isn’t a problem either. I am tired and off to sleep now. Good night.