Aero: Amanda Vitale – France 2018 – City Life

Aero: Amanda Vitale - France 2018 - City Life

Aero: Amanda Vitale – France 2018 – City Life

Amanda Vitale

Amanda Vitale

Life as experienced in a big city is typically known to be bright and exciting. Paris, also known to be called “The City of Lights”, was just that. Paris was by far the most elegant and beautiful city I have ever visited. In many cities of the United States, skyscrapers or remarkably tall buildings are present. Contrasting from this, most of the buildings in Paris were very short or low to the ground. I enjoyed the fact that this let one see further into the engaging city from a higher point.

Paris is also a very old city compared to most of those in the United States. The famous monuments of Paris were so astonishing to see with the naked eye. For instance, seeing the Eiffel Tour light up and sparkle at night was a beautiful and unforgettable moment. I also found that Paris held large amounts of churches, cafés, and small high-class clothing shops. I remember that it appeared as if alcohol was sold at every restaurant or café.

Some roads of Paris were smaller or narrower than what I’m used to seeing. I also saw very narrow roads in the city of Vitré, where my host family lived. This is mainly because back when this city was built, cars were not yet existing. Therefore, the roads were not built for the large vehicles we have today. I also noticed that public transportation was more common in France than it is in many parts of the United States.

In Paris, the subway was a convenient way of getting from point A to point B fairly quickly. This is likewise for the big cities of the United States, especially New York City. I also believe the subway of Paris was similar to the one of New York City. In the smaller city of Vitré, public transportation was still widely used. I noticed that many people travelled by train or public bus, instead of by car. This is different than the transportation in smaller cities back home. For example, in the small city of Canandaigua most people drive a car to travel. In Canandaigua, many drive their own cars because we don’t have as many public transportation options. I believe France is advancing in being more environmentally friendly through its wide use of public transportation. This is a great advancement and I hope Americans can begin to follow in these footsteps.

Focusing back to the large city of Paris, I noticed that the French have slightly different attitudes while walking through the streets. For example, eye contact is not admired upon. Many of the French people in Paris avoided eye contact with those around them. This is different than Americans, for many are used to eye contact and even greeting random strangers. In America, saying hello to one you pass down the street is considered more natural, but in France it is known to be less accepted. This may show that the French are more private and enjoy keeping to themselves.

Another thing I noticed was the cleanliness shown throughout Paris. For the most part, Paris was cleaned up very well. I learned that the streets of Paris are cleaned every morning and that the large river running through the city is cleaned out every year. Even though I wish it was, this kind of sanitation is not shown in many U.S. cities, especially not New York City.

One last topic to add, is about the homeless, which I realized will sadly be seen in every big city. Something different I saw about the homeless in Paris was that every homeless person we passed had an animal or pet with them. I believe a reasoning behind this was to bring more emotion to those walking by so they would give an offering.

In my opinion, this worked in bringing more emotion because it was sad to see animals suffering. In all, the city life of both Paris and Vitré was a new and enjoyable experience. I learned plenty on how cities work in France and I’m glad I had the opportunity to compared this to my own past experiences and to the United States.

Amanda Vitale
Study Abroad – France 2018 @ FLCC

World Languages @ FLCC: France Study Abroad 2018

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