2017 m. kovo 28 d., antradienis

A lot of Paris: "Bienvenue!"

“Hello. I’m Aistė. Aha. Well, it’s similar to “ice tea“ – yeah, that’s easier to remember. I’m from Lithuania. No, not from Latvia, from Lithuania. From the North of Europe, yes. Riga is in Latvia, we have Vilnius in Lithuania. Aha, that’s a long road, a long road... No, English isn’t my native language, in Lithuania we speak Lithuanian. I’m the first Lithuanian, which you have met in your life? Well, it’s possible, we are not a big nation. I’m very tall? And very white? Oh, thanks…”
Something like that. Something like that is how all my, very tall and very white person’s, conversations begun last month. In France. In Paris. As an Erasmus exchange student. Surrounded by people from all around the world. In fragrance of croissants, cheese and wine. In a huge adventure. 
Twice as fast heartbeat. At least two hours of sleep before the exam. Fourth exam. Fourth day in a row. At least two serious considerations: “Was it worth that?”
Something like that. Something like that is how I had to live my last two months, before reaching Paris. Well, apparently, student is a kind of important package – if you want to send him somewhere, you had to deal with a lot of important persons. I’d love to present them. First of all, it’s an honorable man – Mister High Average of Grades. You have to have a nice relationship with him at least two semesters before your departure. Secondly, it’s auntie Bureaucracy. Not the most pleasant auntie, I have to admit. But I had to interact mostly with her: “Here is one document. There is another one. And this one you have to sign also! After this one, only one and that’s almost done! Oh, and when you reach Paris, there you have to sign pair of documents as well…” Third person I hope I will never ever see again in my life. Yes, it’s a miss Pre-Exam Session. Because studies in Paris started way earlier than miss Usual Exam Session leaves the University of Vilnius, I had to have a relationship with miss Pre-Exam Session. I think that exactly this lady made my heart beat faster. And not because of extraordinary sympathy, believe me. Some other persons deserve to be at least mentioned – Mr. Plane Ticket, Mrs. Search of Flat in Paris (oh, we’ve spent a lot time of together) and Mr. Properly Packed Luggage were my travel attendants as well.
At least two croissants per day. At least two kisses on the cheeks, when you meet someone you know. At least two “pardon” when you exit from a full train in the morning. 
Something like that. Something like that is how my days here go by. Package, name “RAKAUSKAITE Aiste” (this is how the French write names, weirdos), successfully reached Paris and started the second semester of third year studies of psychology in the University of Nanterre. Beginning isn’t easy, I’m not going to lie. I had to encounter some very important persons here as well. Some deals with auntie Bureaucracy. Some deals with Various Cards – student identity card, transportation ticket and other similar members of this family. Make a friendship with Metro Map – at first, I didn’t understand him at all, but soon I realized that he is such a simple guy. And, of course, lady Adaptation. It’s not enough to eat baguette and put on a beret in order to make very tall and very white person just a little bit more French. You need to change the time – turn one hour back. You need to understand, that no one in your university speaks your native language. You need to get used to standing in lines – everywhere! You need to have a lot of patience for using super slow Internet (well, we have the fastest Internet in Lithuania!). You need to forget the taste of cepelinai (traditional Lithuanian dish). You need to take notes in French in French classes. But day by day I meet more and more pleasant people. Miss French Cuisine (oh, I hope, that our relationship will last forever). Mister French Language (he is such a nice person, but, unfortunately, very complicated, so we don’t have a strong relationship yet). Mister Good Weather. Often these persons are real ones (for example, Maria, Faye, Joy, Fanny, Mali, Liucia, Alessandro, Mateo). That’s why my heart beat gets slower. At last a smile appears to the face, in the corners of the lips appear crumbs of croissants, in the eyes appear the reflections of antique architecture, in the head appear plans of places to visit (and just a little bit of studies).
There is a lot of Paris. There is a lot of Paris everywhere. In the glasses of wine. In the cheeses. In metro stations. In endless excuses, when you accidently touch a passenger’s shoulder. In the sight of Mona Liza. In the lights of The Eiffel Tower. In the tunnel of Arch of Triumph. There is so much Paris everywhere, that I even don’t know if I’ll be able to cover it. 
Somehow. Somehow I’m going to cover Paris in the next four months. Very tall and very white person from very far is almost used to the rhythm of baguettes and berets. That person smiles kind of widely. And says, that it was worth it. And bites a croissant. 

for my lovely lithuanian-non-speaking buddies.
this is the translation of the article, which i have wrote in lithuanian, on february 26th (http://www.bernardinai.lt/straipsnis/2017-02-26-paryziaus-yra-daug-bienvenue/156043). 
to be continued! 

because of being such a loser in film photography, i have only three photos out of 36. but... honorably presenting my life in Paris captured on film:

Pont Alexander III and Les Invalides

kitchen dances - my favourite dance style. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears was playing at that time

have you ever heard about double exposure? forget it. i present you n-times exposure!
a lot of Paris in one picture. by accident. you can see Arch of Triumph, lights of The Eiffel Tower, birds in Versailles and other famous places here