Out my Parisian Window

Out my parisian window_pic 5

This is foreign – all of it. As I sat down to write my first post, I kid you not, my neighbor across the courtyard was practicing violin and the music came drifting through my open windows in the most lovely way. I stood by the window for nearly 15 minutes trying to pin-point the location of the music so that I could politely knock on their door and present wine and cheese and a baguette and ask if I could pull up a chair and stay for awhile. But I couldn’t find the apartment – or the words to say in French, not yet.

And that isn’t the only sound I regularly hear from my Parisian window – I often hear the screams of children at recess in the school yard near my bathroom window. And birds! So many birds. Today, a child happily belted “Old McDonald” out his apartment window and he butchered every word and every letter in the chorus, and I wanted to yell, more! Church bells ring all day long. Utensils clatter on countertops. Traffic roars dully near Bastille. And occasionally, I hear a siren not unlike the emergency sirens that lull me to sleep in Chicago, although the tune to its ring is naturally foreign to American ears.

The smells of dinner on the table as I walk through the courtyard at dusk are entirely different, and I wonder, did that family buy the bird at le boucherie with the feet still attached and feathers to be plucked? My laundry detergent is so fragrant, I know that my neighbors can smell it from their windows and I fear I didn’t completely rinse all of the soap from my clothes despite running the load for over an hour on the cotton cycle. Bananas are sweeter. The toilet barely fills with water. I have to shower with a mop because my apartment is a bit on the tiny side – to the tune of 350 square feet. And yet, the experience has started off on such a sweet note, I cannot imagine what the next few months have in store for me.

In an attempt to capture the visual sensations of this trip in a slightly different way, I purchased a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8. Having never played around with such a simple camera before, it’s been a learning curve at the expensive of awful pictures. The options are simple and there are only five icon settings to choose from – house, cloud, little sun, big sun, and “high-key.” As it turns out, the suggested light setting does typically result in the best photo, although suggestions change at the flick of a wrist. Not entirely sure why I resisted selecting the suggested setting until the fourth picture below…that said, this is one of the aforementioned Parisian windows in my apartment that I adore.

1. Use “Hi-key,” why not?

Out my parisian window_pic 4

2. I’m inside, use house option! Out my parisian window_pic 3

3. It’s cloudy, maybe cloud setting?       Out my parisian window_pic 2

4. Sigh. It’s the big sun.Out my parisian window_pic 1

Apologies in advance for the sideways video (below) out my window showcasing my neighbor’s violin skills. While I can navigate a foreign city in a foreign language, I can’t turn a video 90 degrees. It’s something I’ll work on over the next couple of months. Désolée.


One Response to “Out my Parisian Window

  • Josh Villas
    2 years ago

    Hi Ashley-

    It looks like you’re having a great time in France. I’m jealous of your adventure! You’re going to have a blast over the next three months. I look forward to following your adventure. Have fun!

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