Perspective, She Is an Elusive Hussy

I'm convinced that no one has ever actually been to Paris, because no one can believe that I'm happy to be back in California. I'm still working on a pithy phrase to explain it to people. I just don't think anyone who hasn't lived there can really get it (people who have may feel free to chuck the first and ensuing stones as they see fit.)

The term started today, although classes don't start until tomorrow. Today it was cool and misty all day, clouds of fog and drizzle wrapping up the redwoods and providing a pleasant drippy backdrop to my walks around the Humanities building and to and from the library. I got to catch up with my adviser (who spontaneously made me chat with him for a few minutes in French...quelle dommage) and a couple of my homies from the program. I got books, I read some of Gorz's interminable treatise, I "wrote" some "paragraphs" of my "dissertation," and I was loving every minute.

I don't want to belabor the point, but it took four months of me wandering around Paris like a headless yankee chicken, scratching and pooping in the yard of the BNF,* to really, really come to terms with how much I love the basic framework of being a skinny would-be academic on the radical fringe of blue-state America. I'm with B, I'm with Pesto, I'm looking forward to a week of sushi and beers with friends and the new D+D game, and I basically feel like I landed in a version of my life from six months ago with all of the consternation and whining lanced and drained.

* I mean this figuratively. Except that one time.


ninjahq said...
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ninjahq said...

That last sentence made me really happy for you! I'm glad you got a good dose of "big picture" :)

I wish that for us all!

Rebecca said...

I can relate to being in Paris and wishing you were home... Last time I was there, I had a cold and had been away from Ransom for over three weeks, and it's a hard city to travel in alone. The thing I enjoyed the most was watching people get their pictures taken in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Also, I'm totally flashing back to when I came back to the States after four months in Europe. It took being away for that long to actually figure out what being an American meant to me (or perhaps a West Coast American, if we want to get technical). I dig it.

Of course, this won't stop me from being jealous of your travels. Even being miserable in a foreign country can give you a different perspective on the world.

Welcome home.