My first experience in Paris was when I entered my apartment. The address was hard to find. Finding this place was even a struggle to my driver. The first time I looked for my apartment I was in the wrong building and the wrong floor. Thankfully he spoked English and French, which he helped me find the apartment much quicker than expected. Climbing up the stairs was such a struggle since my luggage was bigger than the width of the stairs. In addition to the size and the weight of the luggage I came to realized that there were no elevators and that my apartment was located on the 4th floor of the building. Every step I took climbing up the stairs echoed a sound that was unbearable to hide, even if I tip toed. It all seems so strange and new to me. The drive gave me this bizarre key to open the door. I came to noticed that the door handle was in the middle of the of the door. The light switches were in the circular shapes and difficult to find around every room. For a moment, I thought that Parisians don’t like lighting. The irony to would be is that why would this be considered the “city of light”. Once I turned on all the lights in the apartment I came to examine the true beauty of living in another place.
I walked back and forth and all I could see was white asymmetrical walls and long white curtains covering long paneled windows. The floors were wooden and so were the doors. The doors contain no locks and every room was tiny, but everything was so well organized that it looked that everything belong where it should. The idea of having a big house with a big bathroom and a big room vanish in my mind. I came to comprehend that living in spacious settings is a luxury but it should not be considered a need.
After looking around my apartment a few times, I came to realized that I needed to feed myself after a ten-hour flight. I also came to realize that around 7:30pm everything looked to be closed, according to yelp, except from Franprix. I observed that people walked at night as often as if it was daytime. Going into the supermarket to find something to eat was like a labyrinth. I could not find eggs. I could not find bread. I could not find a salad. With the little French I knew, I tried to ask around. Took me a while to decide what I needed, but eventually I found everything. Being spoken to in French at the register seemed surreal and at the same time, stressful. Not having enough knowledge of what they were saying made me feel like I was vulnerable and taken advantage of. After, I went to back to my apartment.
Everything seem so peaceful the first night in my new home. No sounds of television, radios, children, no noises. It almost seemed that I was the only individual living in the building. The quietness and calmness quite disrupted me the first days and I felt that whatever sound I made in the comfort of my own room could disrupt the individuals around me.