“Vienne la nuit sonne l’heure
Les jours s’en vont je demeure”
– Guillaume APOLLINAIRE, Alcools
My days in Paris could not have passed more quickly. Like all wondrous summer nights, the first morning breeze always comes early to dispel the remaining dreams. As I was writing before my departure to school, I still felt as if I was on my first day of arrival, with a huge unfamiliar city awaiting in front of me. Now recalling once more Hemingway’s famous quote, that “… Paris is a moveable feast,” I cannot help feeling bittersweet precisely because I have started to understand his words better. With my previous journal entries, I hope I have done an acceptable job sharing with you a five-course French feast. Yet for myself, I am certain that my taste buds would trap for a long time the taste of Paris.
For my last two weeks in Paris, I have finished my studies at CCFS and waved goodbye to my amazing classmates. An extra surprise on the last day of class was that our professor took us out to a picnic in Jardin du Luxembourg! Even thought the elegant garden is only five-minute on foot from our classroom, it is indeed the first time I spent a fair amount of time there. One of our classmate happened to be a great classical guitarist. Thus amid the pleasant August sunshine and shades, we sat along, shared foods and listened to wonderful music. The scene was indeed like one of those lovely movies, and I could certainly say my six weeks at CCFS ended in perfect joy and company. Looking back on the six weeks, no doubt I have picked up numerous nuanced language points. Yet more importantly, in daily action with my classmates I became used to speak French more at ease. As I have repetitively noted in my previous entries, French came alive during my time in Paris from what was once only learned in classroom.
After the classes ended, however, I also continued to travel a little bit in and from Paris. Compared with my arrival, I found broadcasts on transportations much more accessible either from familiarly with its content or (I hope) my improvement in French. While not learning any more French deliberately, knowing the language made my travels so much more memorable as I could make sense of most signs and conversations around me. Rather than an isolated passer-by in completely foreign surroundings, France now seems to be more welcoming than when I visited it years ago.
Coming back, I cannot wait to continue the study of French with another course. On the other hand, it is certain that this brief stay in France would be an irreplaceable experience of learning and living in a francophone environment. Now each time I unwittingly say short expressions such as “J’sais pas,” inevitably I am reminded of my time in Paris. Thus it is after returning that I felt a renewed gratitude for the funding that make this trip possible, and I am sure that it would remain a truly special memory.