Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Holy Crap. I Live in France!"

Maybe its the move to a new city, or maybe its the sudden change in season that's caught me off guard, but for the past 2 weeks I've been learning to really see France all over again.

metz 046

It's really funny how the details of life can totally numb you to the amazing stuff that's in your everyday environment. When I lived in New York I hardly actually lived in New York. For almost 6 years I shopped at Century 21 without ever looking down the block to actually see the World Trade Center. I walked to my Times Square painting studio everyday without stopping to look up Broadway, and for a brief time I took the Staten Island Ferry to work every morning without giving the Statue of Liberty a passing glance. I'm trying desperately not to repeat those mistakes here in this new chapter of my life in France.

metz centerville

Last week, on yet another really chilly day in France, I took a nice walk from Metz Sablon to Centreville with Mademoiselle R (Partly by accident. We got a bit lost.) After a lovely glass of champagne at one of our favorite tea salons, I stumbled home at sunset. Maybe it was the champagne, but that evening I fell in love with France yet again.

metz mary

Metz in particular has a subtle charm that sneaks up on you when you least expect it. One minute I'm doing something as mundane as wandering around the grocery store looking for garbage bags and then the very next minute I turn the corner and end up walking down the cheese aisle (which is approximately 1.7 kilometers long) and at that very second I realize where I am.

metz doors

It's so easy to forget sometimes that your everyday life is someone's dream come true. For every gripe I have about this country, there are 10 people that would happily trade places to be right where I am now.

metz sidestreet2

So, from here on out I'm going to make a genuine effort to sleepwalk less through this whole experience of living in France. Here's to hoping that at least once every day I stop and say to myself: "Holy Crap! I Live in France!"


Leah said...

Good post. Thanks for this, I needed a reminder as well!

Seattleite in Paris said...

I've lived in France for about 4 yrs and sometimes I'll look around and think - wow, I'm really here. It's been happening less often recently. Thanks for the reminder :)

Travel said...

I'll trade places with you, you'd enjoy the bluegrass region here in the land of the Kentucky Derby.

We all need to be reminded to see the wonder in our everyday suroundings, though your are hard to beat.


Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog some time ago and am happy to say that I've found it once again. I lived in Paris for 5 years (I left 2 years ago) and am falling in love with Seoul, South Korea by the second. I too love France and can relate to your "dream come true" feeling of living there. I have yet to visit Metz but your writing and photographery (I'm a photographer in Seoul working with one of the best British furniture designers!) make me want to pay Metz a visit!
Thank you!

joy suzanne said...

How true! I need to stop more often for those Holy Crap! moments.

You've given me the idea for a weekly Holy Crap segment, highlighting stuff from my city. What a good idea! I'm gonna start next week. Everyone should do it. Then we can see the sights...

Monica said...

Ah... I get that feeling occasionally too. Gotta love it.

Penny said...

So true!

The Late Bloomer said...

What a wake-up call for me too... Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself how lucky we truly are, even if life isn't always easy. I try to put things in perspective and realize that even appreciating the simple things makes life in France all the more special. I've grown and changed so much in the last three or so years, and much of it is thanks to my life in France and the things I've been doing. Here's hoping I'll manage to keep the wonder in my life as well -- thanks for this reminder!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Great post....and pictures. I'm moving to Rome next year and I will try not to take my new views for granted like I did when I lived in NYC.

DMB said...

It's so wonderful that you are taking the time to stop and smell the roses. Awesome, ain't it?