Friday, October 29, 2010


My week in Paris was fabulous because I got to spend time with one of my best friends that I grew up with in Saudi Arabia. Sylvia is in her second year of a Masters program in film, but she’s lived in Paris for five years. We haven’t been able to spend more than a couple days or even a couple hours together from time to time since I was 12. When I arrived, we picked up right where we left off and it was as if we had never been apart. It only could’ve been better if Meggie were there too. Sylvia even let me come to two of her film classes. The first was a film history class where we discussed the works of David Lynch. The second was a viewing of Apocalypse Now Redux with an introduction given by the editor, Sean Cullen, who is also the new editing teacher at the school.

I did see some of the sites while I was in the city as well, and made sure to partake in the excellent restaurants, patisseries, and chocolate shops. I had an excellent hotel in the St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood, and the price was unheard of - only 55euros a night!

I got to spend time with Sylvia’s French boyfriend as well. Simon is a gentle giant who drives celebrities and models around the city all day for work. His real passion though is his band that travels a lot for concerts. He was also a model for about six years, and Sylvia showed me his portfolio regardless of his protests.

My favorite culinary experiences in the city were pastries from Ladurée, falafel from L’As Du Falafel, Henri Le Roux's CBS caramels, Bernachon chocolate, and roasted chestnuts from the street vendors.

My overall feeling of the city was that it was huge and international. I was shocked at how much English I heard (as well as other languages). It was very different from the rest of France that I visited. Everyone I spoke with was nice, and I was very happy to be able to speak some French. Even though I heard a lot more English, I think the visit would’ve been difficult without knowing some French.

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