Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I had heard rumors (mostly on the internets) before I came about how French people just do not smile at random strangers. Unfortunately, I also heard rumor (also on the internets), that if you do happen to accidentally smile at a passing stranger in the street, they usually think you're making fun of them in your mind (if they're female) or welcoming advances (if they're male). This effectively caused me to plan to never make eye contact, especially if it involved smiling, with a stranger in France ever. Ever ever. 

The beautiful roses that greeted me when I first moved in
So that was my brilliant plan. And it absolutely failed almost the moment I stepped foot on French soil. I was just so happy to be here, finally, and so filled with joy from the Lord that I wanted to smile at every single person who walked by and tell them through my expressions that there is Hope and Life and Love! 

 My third housemate: Echo
Of course, not all of my smiles are well received. In fact, very rarely do I have a smile well received. Usually people don't even look at you when you pass by. They sort of pretend you don't exist. Occasionally someone does actually glance at you, and it's usually kind of scary because they're analyzing you and you feel like they just know all of the stupid American things you've just done and are about to do. And then there's the occasional scowl I receive in response too. But mostly people just don't look. Not even the children. 

I've made it a personal competition with myself to see how many people I can get to smile in response. So far it's been two or three. 
A lake about five minutes away

One evening, when I was walking around this lake, there was a woman walking towards me with a content expression on her face, and she was.... humming! I knew I was going to get a smile out of her. I could feel it. So as she got closer, I looked up at her and smiled, and she smiled back! And I just about did a little victory dance in the middle of the walkway because I was so excited. 

But I refrained. No need to worry. It was at that moment that I resolved that I would not hold back another smile from anyone. Not only is it difficult, but why should I try to hide the joy that He has given me? I just hope and pray that people don't think I'm mocking them or asking to be hit on. Oh the horrors. 

I'm obsessed with these trees.
In other news, the weather has been exceptionally lovely ever since I've arrived. 

It's kind of ironic, really, considering that the New Mexican in me has been craving the rain. Apparently they had a really cold, rainy summer. And then the last couple of weeks in September and beginning of October were really warm (for Paris) and extremely sunny. But today we finally got the weather I craved: overcast with a hint of rain. More rain tomorrow too, which is quite exciting. Maybe I'll even get to use my umbrella!

It takes me about 20 minutes to walk to the University where I am studying French. I'm not actually a student there, I'm just taking part in this language learning program they have there.

I've also finally learned how to use the bus system. Why, oh why, don't we have better public transport in the United States? It's quite wonderful not having a car. In fact, I rejoice that I don't have one here. Especially when I see people parallel parking.  :) What wonderful blessings He gives me.


  1. I want to walk around and smile with you :) :) ..Though I dread the idea of encouraging a guy or mocking a lady...

  2. I love those trees too. Great place for a photo shoot