fbpx En Route #3 — PCA

En Route #3


A Slice of Home

If Week One of the semester is like dipping your toe into the pool, then Week Two is like plunging into the deep end. Fortunately, I had a rather graceful leap from summer to school. During the weekend I did end up reuniting with one of my favorite restaurants in Paris, Comptoir Coréen right across from the Cité Universitaire metro stop. It’s a little off the beaten path but more than worth the trip for authentic Korean food, a comforting taste of home for me.

For many, Home is not a place but rather a collection of many things, feelings, food, friends, family. Paris now houses many memories of mine and has become a place that does feel like part of my home. Still, I do enjoy the occasional pockets of the US I find scattered across the city. I recently went to the American Library in Paris and was astounded by the familiarity I felt surrounded by shelves of books, over 19,000 in fact. It awakened an urgency for one slice of home I’d previously never been able to find here in Paris: Proper American bacon.

Okay hear me out, I am a very happy convert to the Parisian lifestyle in many aspects. The clothes, the attitude, the metro, and I’m even happy to give up AC (more so now that Fall is coming). But breakfast is just one of those ingrained habits that, despite living in and visiting different countries, is nearly impossible to shake. While my American palate appreciates that fresh squeezed orange juice is plentiful here, I cannot just have a croissant for breakfast. My stubborn American stomach finds it difficult to accept anything other than eggs and bacon before noon.

As it happens, my quest was fulfilled by pure chance this week. After leaving several grocery stores empty handed I ducked into an unassuming corner shop for a quick browse where the slim packet marked Poitrine fumée all but fell into my hands. I find that much of enjoying life is accepting the fact that things that rarely work out as you expect and that this can be a blessing just as much as a rather inconvenient curse.

Philosophizing aside, the main highlight of my week was definitely the Paris Inside/Out class visit I went to. We were taken to Pantin on the outskirts of Paris and led through an immersive photo exhibition of Le Grand Paris at Les Magasins Généraux. Linda Jarvin, our fearless guide and expert translator who also happens to be PCA’s President, made sure we had an in depth experience of the space, explaining each artists’ intentions behind their work.

Afterwards, we walked alongside the simply lovely canal and basked in the perfect weather. I’m not one to wax poetic unnecessarily but it was glorious. The strong breeze lifted all our spirits and, I kid you not, cleansed my weary soul. I was talking with an exchange student from Denmark during the visit and as we strolled down past the canal we agreed that it’s only by leaving your home that you can truly appreciate it.

Until next time,

f t p