I just got home from Paris last night, greeted at the airport by Seth’s smiling face. He’d offered to pick me up and left work early to do so, showing up looking handsome in a blue-and-white plaid button-down tucked into khaki slacks. He wrapped me in a hug and then, from behind his back, pulled a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers dotted with tiny purple daisies. My favorite.
He insisted on carrying my luggage, kissed me sweetly when we were alone in the elevator, and made dinner for me while I showered at home, washing off more than 15 hours of travel. Other than my daddy, I’ve never had a man meet me at the airport with flowers – and certainly not cook dinner for me as well. Seth makes me feel like a princess.
I’m still processing everything I saw and experienced during my whirlwind of a trip to Paris, but in the meantime, my travel-fogged brain has been musing over a couple of things.
I got sick my first day in Paris, and I am not sure if it’s because:
- I was stuck in a petri dish of an airplane for ten hours with coughers and sneezers,
- My body subconsciously wanted my French to sound more authentic (i.e. more nasal-y), or
- I am allergic to socialism.
With the EuroCup going on, Rachel and I made a lot of new friends – British, Welsh, Polish and German, but no French. I was disappointed to discover that Parisians were just as rude as all the stereotypes. I’m wondering if this is because:
- They’re bitter about only being back-to-back World War Champs because of American rescue,
- They have stale baguettes stuck up their butts, or
- They are living under the stench of European socialism.
In the 18 hours I have been back in America, I have already experienced some reverse culture shock. Most notably:
- When someone passed me on the street this morning, I surprised myself by automatically clutching my purse closer to my side, wary of pickpockets.
- I walked past two women talking in the office and heard one begin her sentence, “We pardoned…” and was stunned to realize that my mind heard, “Oui, pardon!” I think I need to purge my brain of the last week of French speaking.
- I passed by a TV screen declaring Hillary is picking up votes. Not that I’m exactly a Trump supporter, but I’d thought I was escaping socialism when I came home and was disheartened to realize that – in actuality – perhaps the difference in culture is not quite as significant as I’d hoped. Regardless, I am beyond thankful to be back home in the Land of the Free & Home of the Brave.