I’m staying with a friend’s family while I wait to move into my studio next week. There are some benefits to having lived in Paris before and being fluent in French: I have friends and families around here who are generous and kind enough to let me stay with them while I was apartment hunting and now while I’m waiting for the current resident of my studio to move out.
I didn’t do NYU Housing because I wanted to be immersed in French. Even though I found a studio, I’ll be dealing with the landlady and neighbors all in French, and I’ll be able to invite friends over, etc.
It is nice to live with a French family, though. The family is pretty big and they have a beautiful house in Boulogne. Saturday the mom and I went to the local market, which was enormous and sold much more than produce - it also had clothes, electronics, flowers, you name it. The market was a theatre of sorts- the vendors yelling out their prices and the shoppers trying to get attended to and snap up the best produce. We bought so many things that we could hardly carry them all between us - figs, tomatoes, kiwis, melons, mushrooms, spinach, grapes, prunes, salmon, shrimp, mangoes, endives, and so on. We all put away the groceries as a family and sat around the table as the mom made a salmon ceviche. We had a beautiful lunch that afternoon from the bounty of the market, and then took the youngest son and his friend to a carnival in le bois de boulogne. I’m an only child and I find that I need my privacy, but I absolutely love staying with big families and participating in everything. They are so wonderfully sweet to receive me and I look forward to spending the rest of the week with them, doing the little things that make up being part of a family.