Notre Dame de Paris (and other adventures) / by Hannah Harley

Today was a luxurious day of walking, riding, exploring. Just another day of Paris continuing to be such a magnificently beautiful and lovely city. 3V2A9589EDITED

Above: Looking towards the Île de la Cité

After an exercise with my program, a couple of my new found friends and I wandered over to Notre Dame. It happens to be just a 6 minute walk from my program's campus. It's not a "downtown" quite like Pittsburgh, but Paris' Île de la Cité is surrounded by water meaning bridges everywhere. It's not so different from Pittsburgh, right? 

Wrong, very wrong.

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Above: Outside Notre Dame

The French treat emotions entirely differently from Americans. From what we've been taught in our culture introduction and our time here, the French find emotions to be indicative of weakness. Overly happy, excited, sad, or expressive people are not encouraged in French society. When you express, you do so softly, calmly without interrupting the lives of others. You ought to be quiet, perhaps even coming off as reserved or harsh to someone raised in American society. For these folks, the French seem rude, but this new perspective has been eye opening for me.

You see, I'm not an entirely emotional person. I'm passionate, excitable, happy, sad, etc, but I'm not the extremes of those. In America, there is a strong emphasis on the image you are presenting others. Typically, we strive to be (or at least appear to be) constantly happy because we, as a society, consider happiness a sign of success. The French don't see it as such. The French don't concern themselves as much with their outer expression; they are more concerned with their inner personality, emotions, etc.

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Above: Inside Notre Dame

In orientation, our director talked in depth about specific studies that looked at the social differences between the interactions between French mothers and their children and American mothers and their children. These interactions completely shape how society thinks, feels, judges, decides, and everything else. Thus far, it has been fascinating. So if anyone happens to know of a course I could take about this topic, please forward me that information!

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Above: Bus reflections and Busts

As appears to be the case every single time I write a blog post, I wander off down a different path than I originally planned. I meant to give you the run down of "I did this and I did that and today we saw this and tomorrow we'll see that", but at a certain point, I just have to let the pictures take over to explain what I've done. And since I have no idea what tomorrow will bring., it'll be tough to really give you the itinerary for the explorations and adventures. Perhaps one of these days, I'll outline my blog post and give you each detail from the day.

But if the day isn't overwhelming, exciting, etc, why even bother reporting it to you? :)

Merci beaucoup for reading this, as always!

Just really quickly -- I am grateful for the people who have offered my the support to get to (and stay in!) Paris. You are all wonderful people, and you absolutely deserve a thank you right now.

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Above: Hotel de Ville

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Above: Inside Notre Dame

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Above: Eiffel Tower, me

3V2A9806EDITEDAbove: Inside Notre Dame

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Above: Notre Dame, unedited

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Above: Cafe, me