Contemplate death and feel a stronger sense of life: an afternoon spent in Auvers-sur-Oise

 

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I’ve always had a great interest in tortured artists. I’m not entirely sure why, but I feel that it has something to do with the fact that there’s a part of me that feels understood by them, the part of me that feels a little lost and always pondering life’s deepest and darkest questions. I find beauty in the way that they bring light to pain, beauty because it’s a natural part of being human and living life. Tortured artists help us to remember that our pain can be used to create beauty.

I’ve always felt intrigued by the works of Vincent Van Gogh, most notably his Starry Night (Yes, I know. I’m completely cliché) and his works displaying the everyday life, painting those everyday moments the way they actually appear, sometimes dreary and sad, the reality of how life can be. It’s not all sunshine and butterflies all of the time (though I like it equally when it is).

That’s why when I learned not only about the beauty of the small village of Auvers-sur-Oise but also about Vincent Van Gogh’s small stay there before his untimely death, I was immediately intrigued and put it on my list of places to go during my Toussaint break.

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Somewhere in the middle: contemplating my expatriation with Thanksgiving and such

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I must admit that my lack of consistency on this blog derives mostly from the fact that I’ve become quite unsure about the direction that I want this blog to go in. I love writing, and I love telling my story, especially in regards to traveling and living as an expat. However, I eventually want it to be something more than that, more solidified. So, it thus why writing on here has been much more sporadic than in the past.

Regardless of that, however, I feel it necessary to express my thoughts and feelings on my current situation.

The truth about my life in Paris is that it’s both difficult and easy.

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Enchanted by the Medieval wonderments of Provins, France

When we think of Europe, we most often think of glorious and romantic cities like that of Paris, or our minds are brought to charming little villages that leave much wonderment to behold. The everyday living in Paris is not all sunshine and romances my friends. Yes, there are beautiful parts and beautiful things in and about Paris. However, living an everyday life here is just that. It’s an everyday life. I spend more time underground, underneath the streets of the city than I do actually walking the streets of the city.

For my Toussaint break (France’s version of a Fall break), my friend Catherine and I decided to take full advantage of our Navigo Passes, our transportation passes that allow us to get anywhere in the Île-de-France region using buses, metros, trams, and commuter trains. Both of us finding ourselves in a financial bind and not being able to support large and extensive travels, we decided to go on mini day-ventures, trying to still make the most of our time here in France.

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*sigh*: Culture shock and Paris

The first time I attempt to actually give a comment/opinion/try my best to contribute to the class discussion in my compared literature class, my lack of interaction with actual French speakers is minimal, so thus, I stumble over my words, realizing that in some ways I’m forgetting how to speak French, thus making a fool of myself. Did my professor understand what I was trying to say? Most definitely not. *sigh* Well that was awkward.

It’s rush hour, and in trying to get home the man in front of me as I walk onto the metro train stops right in the middle, not realizing that there are about 20 billion other people trying to get on. They start to push me to keep going forward, but I can’t because said man is in the way. Before I can say anything to him though, they push me just enough that I bump into him and the dumbass finally realizes, that oh “yes, sir, this is fucking rush hour in Paris, so quit being a selfish asshole and move into the empty spaces.” *sigh* I hate metro rush hour.

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