The summer friends

- Deborah: Had met Deborah at Chabad just before I had left for spring break. She invited me to a party, my first weekend during the summer.

- Amelia: A California native and fellow AEPHi sister, Amelia and I met, as she was finishing up her year working as an au pair in Paris. She returned home at the beginning of July, headed back to start her studies for a teaching certificate.

- Eric: I had met Eric at Chabad, a few weeks before the end of the semester. I had bumped into his girlfriend, Audrey while on a bus headed to Sacre Coeur. She was meeting Eric for coffee—inviting us along? Eric and I ended meeting back up at Deborah’s party. He had spent his summer alone, while interning in Haifa during his college years. As a result, he took me under his wing—calling me often to set me up with plans to got to Jewish get- togethers, drinks with his friends or dinner at various kosher restaurants. I also had the pleasure of joining Eric and his family for Shabbat dinner at his home.

- Audrey: (Hopeful future wife of Eric), I had met Audrey at Chabad, the same evening I had met Eric. In addition to coffee, I got together with Audrey for dinner with Eric and Erica—getting to say our last goodbye at the Jewish soiree I attended, my last Wednesday in Paris.

- Mariene: The girl who became one of my closest friends this summer. A British nanny, who I had met my first shabbat during the summer, Mariene had moved permanently to Paris. From spending evenings with her various friends to cooking pasta dinners, watching the fireworks on Bastille Day and getting lost on our way to a Jewish bbq, we shared real quality moments together. She’s promised to come visit the states in April—and I’m truly looking forward to it.

- Lili: Also one of my closest friends this summer. I had been put in contact with Lili through Eric, meeting her at Chabad. She has such a unique sense of humor, a genuine kindness and warmth to her personality. And while I only got to spend about a month with Lili (given she headed home to Berlin for her summer break), I truly savored each memory from our adventures—evenings at Jewish soirees, afternoon in the Marais and shabbat dinners at Chabad.

- Arien: A boy from the Netherlands who lived in my homestay for the first month. We had interesting conversations, typically centered on the differences within our religious beliefs.

- Fernanda: A girl from Brazil who took Arien’s spot in my homestay. She and I became quite good friends, eating and cooking our meals together, spending our morning on the Champs Elysees for Bastille Day, heading to the Jardin de Tuilleries and taking a quick nap before ending our afternoon together at the Louvre. We also spent an afternoon at Angelina’s, me introducing her to the loquid goodness of Angelina’s hot chocolate.

- Alexi: Madame’s 31-year-old son. Often in his own little world, as a result of functional mental illness, Alexi was nothing but warm. I loved our conversations, his touch in making the apartment I lived in feel more like home.

- Madame: The most charming, sweet and genuine woman who I lived with, this summer. I rented out my bedroom in her apartment—a beautiful location in the 6th arrondissement. Madame was a terrific cook, stirring up home cooked meals for each of the four dinners I paid for. We’d sit for over an hour, during dinner. Wonderful conversations and good practice for my French.  

- Nicholas: The French intern at work. I had thought we weren’t going to be friends, given he didn’t talk to me much back in June. But come the end of my internship, he and I regularly had conversations.

- Eric: My co-worker who trained me.

- Michelle: My summer, good- luck charm. Had met Michelle, a Canadian, med- student, at Chabad—she was traveling alone in Paris for the week before meeting up with friends for three weeks in India. Michelle and I spent a Sunday together—showing her my favorite parts of the city before meeting Joh and Phillipe for an evening in Montmartre.

- Joh:  My summer Prince Charming. From a boat cruise along the Seine to dinner in a restaurant in the Jardin des Tuileries, Joh added quite a different dimension to my summer.

- Phillipe:  A recently, turned orthodox- Jewish man, Phillipe is on the hunt for a wife. But I told him his best bet is not to look. For when you’re not trying is when you end up finding.

- Judith: A chatty, lovely 22- year- old, who I had the pleasure of meeting at a birthday party Eric had invited me to. She had invited me for drinks, two weeks before I left Paris. We grabbed kosher sushi for dinner in St. Germain, my last week in Paris—wishing eachother goodbye at the Jewish get- together on my last Wednesday.

- Julia: Also put in contact through Eric, I joined Julia, a Parisian native, on her mission to take Paris on as a tourist. We met up at free yoga at the Jardin du Luxembourg, in addition to heading up to the Montparnasse Tower’s viewing point.

- David: A native Mexican who spent time living in the states (in addition to studying at Georgetown), David moved to Paris as a result of a job offer. I had met him at Chabad a few months into my semester, meeting back up during the summer. We walked to Pont Alexandre, one evening after Chabad—pretending to be on a guest list for Showdown, the club just under the bridge. David joined Naomi, a camp friend who came to visit during a weekend, for an evening at light and sound show at Versailles.

- Naintara: A classmate from my time in French Grammar. I had always quite enjoyed talking to her during class—both on the same page as to how confusing our teacher made the lessons! Naintara and I got together for drinks with Astrid, a fellow classmate. Naintara joined me the following Friday for Shabbat dinner (although she wasn’t Jewish), ending our evening at one of Joh’s friends, Benjamin’s apartment just on the Champs Elysees. Naintara met me for lunch one afternoon at work, the two of us spending my break at the Jardin du Luxembourg.

- Astrid: Out of the hundreds of people at a free concert at l’Hotel de Ville, I happened to bump into Astrid and her boyfriend! We, along with Naintara, went for drinks an afternoon after work.

- Naomi: A camp friend who came in town to visit. We spent a lovely weekend together—starting as just over acquaintances and ending off as truly good friends.

- Ari: A friend of a friend who I had been put in contact given he was traveling in Paris, alone. I spent the weekend taking Ari around the city-- from Chabad Friday night to a Gay Pride festival at St. Michel on Saturday. 

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