LD: Dog Days Are Over

Rebecca Cao DiplomatThis post is part of Le Diplomate series, in which I will chronicle my travel joys and tribulations as an intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. OECD in Paris.

I sincerely apologize to all of you who have been waiting patiently for this post! I know I should blog more, but it’s really hard when life starts speeding up. Yesterday, I realized that I was aiming for a little too much in terms of social activities and I should take my foot off the brake a tad. As someone who is happier busy than lackadaisical, however, I don’t mind running all over Paris in search of the next big thing. In fact, the title of this post refers to this, the epitome of a summer tune and of happiness.

I’m in absolute bliss, happier than I have ever been in my entire life. Finally, I feel at home in Paris, instead of a tourist make-believing. I know that if I turn the corner and walk down Rue de Belles Feuilles, I will find both my laundromat and my grocery store. At the laundromat, I can do my laundry for a total of €6.50 and 55 minutes. During this time, I will guard my clothes (because horror stories have left me paranoid) while continuing my first French novel (a whopper at 432 pages). At the grocery store, I know that I will find my favorite juice in the world, a peach and apricot blend.

I have never tasted heaven like this.

The “adult lifestyle” has settled in — yesterday, I bought replacement soap because I finally got sick of using dish soap to wash my hands. Soon, I will have to replace the toilet paper and probably find a way to clean the floor because I shed like a dog. Considering that I’m 20 and an average American college student, you would think that I’m doing relatively well in the clean department. Don’t even get me started on my roommate this past year (hehe, love you Jade!). According to Luc, however, my kitchen table is a mess and I need to clean it so that people can eat on it. My first objections would be: 1) it is an organized mess, 2) I have nowhere else to put my camera, scarves, hats, etc. and 3) nobody eats there anyway! But he’s right. The more I look at that table, the more frazzled I feel inside and I am determined to reorganize it.

It looked like this on day one. Now…ahem, imagine slightly more clutter.

I think it’s just French culture to keep homes orderly and inviting permanently. I’ve seen a few bachelor pads while I’ve been here, and they are cleaner than my apartment. Even with the smallest spaces, people make do and create a positively cozy and charming ambiance. I adore the way the French decorate with books and records and musical instruments. Sometimes, I feel like I was born to live the French lifestyle and now that I’m here, it feels like I’ve come home. Perhaps, I’m finally done running.

On another note, I’ve really been enjoying the time I spend with my fellow interns, Jean-Michel and IA. On Monday night, we camped out in front of La Comédie-Française for hours in order to get free tickets (we did!). My favorite part of the night, though, was definitely arguing over who should go to the grocery store to buy beer and snacks. The conversations were also excellent; they ranged broadly in topic and resembled an 8th-grade slumber party at times, for which I’m still clearly nostalgic. I kid you not — we actually played telephone. Example (with heavy Indian accent): “My auntie eats chicken curry on the Himalayas.” Is this not PC? Oops.

Is there a place on earth where you feel most at home? What does “home” mean to you? Is it more about the physical location or the people you’re with?

À demain,



One thought on “LD: Dog Days Are Over

  1. Ha! I initially overlooked the caption of your photo and thought that that was your definition of clutter. Glad that it’s not or else you would be horrified to see my desk right now.

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