A dose of people watching on a faux- spring sort of day


Parc Montsouris
It’s torture to sit in class when it’s 68 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Because it’s one thing for the light to pour through the classroom’s large (and on this beautiful day, too large I’d say) windows. But it’s another thing to be sitting at an angle that provides a direct view to the clear- blue sky of a gorgeous, faux- spring day.

I had searched parks worth visiting last night during my brilliant 1 am idea of Googling hidden wonders of Paris. It’s official that I have a problem making bedtime, yet I’ve noticed just how much more productive I become when trying to avoid going to sleep.

Come to think of it, I’m not quite sure if it’s a positive or a negative.


Regardless, I decided to eat lunch today at Parc Montsouris, a park in the 14th arrondissement situated directly opposite Cite Universitaire. The park, created under Napoleon III, serves his vision of adding greens to the city. And that it does: the contours of the park’s hills are blanketed by a sheet of vibrant green grass. The park was just stunning, the expanse of it all, refreshing. In comparison to the better-known parks within Paris, Parc Montsouris lacks a well groomed feel. Rather, it seems ordinary, normal. And it’s for this reason that it’s beautiful.

The trees grow as they will, many bent forward, the tips of their branches dipping into the park's central lake. There’s a soothing quality to the ripple of the water as the lake’s swans wade through. College students surround the park; they seem to speak louder than others around. But it's far from disruptive, merely adding to the sense of life within the grounds.

I love parks—loving the breath they provide away from, what can sometimes seem, the stifle of city life. 
_____________

I took myself to Les Halles, an area with an indoor shopping mall, later that afternoon. It's the first time I've shopped in, goodness, six weeks (withdrawal problems, I don’t want to talk about it). I went in aiming to purchase a camel colored blazer. I came out with a new pair of jeans, a shirt and a camel colored blazer. Not my initial intentions, but the process of transforming my closet from gym ware to European flare isn’t going to happen without a few additional purchases.  

After three hours of being cooped within the mall (torture for some, heaven for others), I rejoined the outside world, taking a wander around the area. I eventually sat on the ledge across from the square of a church. Figured after a hard day of shopping, a dose of people- watching was well deserved.

Which turned out to be quite amusing. There was the guy to my right who, out of nowhere, sprung up, turned around, bending his head forward as he covered a nostril to blow out a fountain of snot.  

There was the man walking by who I accidently caught his eye. Which, silly me, he took as a signal for him to approach me. Like excuse me sir, but um, NO. Totally uncomfortable as he stood there repeating “Comment ca va?” for like a straight 5 seconds (which in real time, feels like an eternity). I blatantly directed my focus in the absolute opposite direction. I swear, his nerve to distract me from people watching. He left, finally, and I took great effort to avoid making eye contact with any further men.

There was a couple seated to the left of me, middle aged and canoodling mid an in depth talk. Props to them for still being in love, but really no need to display it directly next to me.

See, the teenage couple, sitting on the ledge of the church, had it about right. They were sitting about a foot from each other, sharing an afternoon snack. She bent in to whisper something to him, leaning her body forward as he moved the curls shielding his eyes to give her his full attention. Now that's cute. Fondle in public couple to my right? Not so cute.

And finally, there was the homeless man, his pants held up solely by the grip of his hands. 

All odd, yet quite an amusing touch to the gorgeous, faux- spring sort of day.

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