Although the cultural differences of Paris and the U.S. are not as extreme as other parts of the world, adapting to a new way of life had the most impact on me. It took me at least a week to realize that I had to change to fit in to the environment to really enjoy myself.
I remember the first few days, meandering and dodging the fast Parisian walkers—I soon became a fast Parisians walker and the tourist began to dodge me.
The metro was our main method of transportation—not too different from any big city with public transportation--but I’m from Southern California where we drive everywhere. After navigating with the metro map and figuring out a few routes, I became comfortable crowding in the packed trains, reading my book and standing up off the pull down seats to make room for others.
I’m grateful for the books I read on how to eat in Paris. I’m still embarrassed when I remember when Bruce asked for a doggie bag after our first meal in a restaurant! I miss the small portions and lovely fresh ingredients—and now, I tend to linger longer in the restaurants here.
In Paris, I would assemble an outfit, with accessories and head out the door, ready to be seen. Upon my return, my “fashionista” adult daughter came over and did a makeover in my closet—creating new looks with my current wardrobe. I brought the art of Parisian fashion home—don’t be afraid of a splash of color, vest, scarf, shirt! Mix it up!
I’m happy to be home—everything is more beautiful and I’m more grateful for my family, friends and surroundings. I’m excited to experience more of my local culture, museums, art work, fine dining, and music. I feel physically and emotionally strong and happy to be back on chemo—and in the solution for my chronic illness.
Thank you to all who gave us ideas on what to do in Paris. We read every entry and I created a spread sheet from your suggestions and checked them off as we tried to completed them. Thanks to the locals in Paris who took us out to eat and shared their experiences with us. And thanks for all the positive comments on our video and info posts on the Facebook page. We read them and they made us feel like we were adding quality of life to many followers of our adventure.
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