Aero: Hannah Miller – France 2018 – City Life

Aero: Hannah Miller - France 2018 - City Life

Aero: Hannah Miller – France 2018 – City Life

Hannah Miller

Hannah Miller

While I was walking around Paris I thought that it was very similar to New York City, but also very different. New York City is the only other major city that I have ever been to before Paris so it is the only thing that I can compare it to. I think that it was mainly the hustle and bustle of the city life that reminded me a lot of New York City. Everyone had a place to go or be and it seemed like they were late for wherever they needed to be. You could tell who the tourists were and who the Parisians were very easily.

The amount of homeless people who had pets was something that really shocked me. Having pets really pulled on my heart strings and made me want to help. I know that is exactly what they were trying to do, but it still amazed me that so many had an animal or two. Before we went we were warned that many of the people on the streets that seem homeless are in fact not actually homeless. There was one women on the metro stairs who was wearing Ugg boots which are not cheap, it was subtle things like this that you would have to look for to determine if they were in fact homeless.

Something that I found very neat was how they would hide the construction that was being done on the buildings in the city. To keep the elegance of Paris they would put up a huge tarp or billboard that had the picture of the building printed on it where they were working so it does not seem like they are doing anything at all. The Louvre was having work done on it and I did not even notice until it was pointed out to me that an outside section of the building was not like the others.

One day while walking back to the hotel our whole group witnessed a drunk older gentlemen urinating in the streets, with his pants around his ankles, and shouting obscure things. I believe that everyone in my group will be mentioning this in their paper because it was definitely memorable. Later on that day when we went back out we also saw this same man sitting outside at a café. Most of our group assumed that he would probably be arrested because in New York City, or more generally America, the police would probably be on you in minutes and you would be spending the night in jail.

There are not a lot of taxis in Paris like there are in New York City. A lot of people either drive or take the metro. If I was living in Paris, I would probably take the metro because I would not feel comfortable driving in the traffic. There were bikes and motorcycles weaving in and out of cars and there were very few lines on the road to tell you where to go. There were no designated lines to say how many lanes there should be, so in some places there would be four different lanes of cars and in some there would be three. The cars are also a lot smaller, there were no mini vans or pickup trucks on the streets even when I lived with my family out of the city.

While I was with my family I really enjoyed riding in their car and looking out the window at all of the scenery. France is very flat compared to the United States and there is a lot of open fields that are as green as can be. While driving on the road I could look out and see for miles unlike in the United States when you look out and see building after building. Even if there were buildings I could still see a bunch of them because they were not very tall.

Paris is a lot older than the United States in general (obviously) which means that the buildings are more medieval and not modern looking, at all. There is a section of Paris that we were shown that had more modern looking buildings and they built these on the outskirts of Paris to keep the older feel in the center of the city. These buildings were also debated on whether or not they should be built at all. Some believed that it would take away from the look that Paris is known for and others thought that it was time that they modernized a little bit.

The roads were also mostly two lanes and very narrow. There were a couple times where I thought that we were going to run into a car that was coming from the other direction. My host father was the one who usually drove and he drove super-fast, I was not sure if this was just the way he drove or if this was a norm in France. This did not go well with my stomach especially when we went around all of the roundabouts. There was a roundabout like every two minutes.

I definitely want to go back to Paris. I would not like to live there because I do not like city life with all of the running around and traffic, but I would love to back especially since now I know my way around…kind of.

Hannah Miller
Study Abroad – France 2018 @ FLCC

World Languages @ FLCC: France Study Abroad 2018

(Click here to browse the entire FLCC @ France 2018 Gallery!)