Three days down and a whole summer full of fun yet to come. As I write this in a cute little café, that’s blaring George Ezra, serving me a delightful cup of cappuccino and surrounding me with an incredibly lively atmosphere that is filling my ears with ‘beaucoup de francais’. I never thought I’d be saying that I’m writing a blog post in Paris. The city that is going to be my ‘home away from home’ for the summer. I have to admit it took me a little longer than I thought to settle in, as everything was so new, the streets were filled with voices that I couldn’t quite understand that were giving me weird looks because of my colorfully bright exterior, and my surroundings were far from familiar, however now I must admit, I love the place.
Yes the city is beautiful, the family that I’m living with are just so so lovely, the children are beyond adorable, and their home couldn’t have welcomed me any better, but one thing I’m disappointed about is the people. Before I prepared for my departure from home, everyone was telling me how difficult it would be, how rude the french people are, how crazy the city streets are, but none of that is true. I have tried my very best to speak ‘en francais’ when I can, I have begun to match the speed in which everyone walks across the street, and because I love mixing with people I enjoy spending time with the family when I can. Yes it’s lonely at times, and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to meet other au-pairs in the city, but I’m really starting to get used to it. The thing that surprised me most is how everybody dresses around here.
In my eyes Paris is the fashion capital of the world, but living her the past few days and being immersed in their everyday lives I’ve seen a wide variety of people pass me by and I’ve only ever taken a second glance at a handful of people, with most of them being business men in their suits (I’m sorry but when you see a man dressed in a navy suit with coordinating headphones and satchel, you can’t help but glance curiously!) I’m really finding it difficult to comprehend that Parisian people don’t dress that well. Now don’t get me wrong, they do not dress badly, but I was expecting to see girls in shiny patent heels on a regular basis, or tailored bold coloured blazers, or girls with colourful accessories galore, but everything seems far from that.
I guess I’ve flicked through the pages of the Sartorialist a little too much, spent too much time drooling over the Paris section on Street Peeper, or simply just had too high of an expectation. Now I know that the Parisians don’t believe that it is summer time just yet, but why are they so afraid of colour? Even when it is winter I love to add a splash of colour to my cosy, thick fabriced outfit, or wear a bold pair of shoes, but in this stunning city everybody seems to be a lover of the minimalist, simple coloured, nominalistic look. I think that is why I got weird looks today for wearing my monochrome dress, with an overloaded burst of red accessories.
Hey, you may be able to take the girl out of her home, but you can never take the home out of the girl… It has thought me a big lesson really that as much as I adore this city, and even though I’m having an experience I don’t think I’ll ever want to forget, I wouldn’t let wherever I am change me. Yes it might teach me things, open my mind more, offer me bigger opportunities, introduce me to lifelong friends, but I couldn’t let it change one of the biggest parts of me…my style. As Ms Chanel once said “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different”.