Ross Daniel Dance Blog
Reflection on What to Expect in Paris
Over the past semester I have been planning my time in Paris in small increments, gradually so that I wouldn’t over whelm myself with the rush of information, and also so I could stay in the constant mindset that I would be over in this city for the month of May. I kept a calm thought process similar to how I was when I spent a summer in New York City. Before I knew it I had somehow convinced myself that this transition to Paris would be simple and understandable, “I have nothing to worry about.” I had addresses to studios, the locations of where I was staying, a cell phone “wifi” plan, and a European power adaptor; I thought all was set up. I soon landed in Paris with my bags in hand and I realized “wow I didn’t land in JFK Airport or LaGuardia,” I had a rush of panic for about two seconds then I walked around the baggage claim area in Charles de Gaulle about 17 times. I wasn’t lost I just needed to walk off the fear and catch up to the facts that I was in Paris. After I felt inside my own head I walked down to the metro section of the airport to get into the city center. It took me a while to figure out the metro, but once I had it I felt unstoppable. In hindsight I wish I could have been less nervous but it kept me alert to stay aware of my stops. When I arrived and placed my bags down in the hostel I was staying in for the night I became overwhelmed with a since of accomplishment because I made it! If I can navigate then I can live in this city.
I was off to explore. Once I left the doors of the hip hostel I started walking, down the street, around the corner, up a side road, and I realized where am I going? Once again I felt this overwhelming panic because, yes I can ride the metro, but no I don’t know where anything is. So I walked back up, around, and down to find the metro station closest to me; I snapped a picture of the metro map and leapt into action, FIRST STOP EIFFEL TOWER! I decided it would be the appropriate stop for a first time Paris explorer and I was right because the experience of riding the “6 metro” across the river to the Bir Hakeim metro stop, and I saw the Eiffel Tower. Seeing this monumental structure standing in the near distance was one of the most remarkable moments of my life. It took me by surprise because of how the metro is set up, as it raises from underneath the street and juts out from in-between buildings. That moment of surprise was when I knew that no matter how much I thought about Paris, or read the books, studied studios, and research pictures I would always be surprised by its beauty and culture. I reflected on what Paris could be, but I never expected what it actually was.