PARIS, FRANCE. After a long day of souvenir shopping, I started to make my way back from Montmartre. I walked down my street, Rue de Turin, and spotted my host sister, Marie Charlotte, and my host brother, Sofian. They were on their way to go get some kebabs for dinner.

Every time we try to communicate it’s quite humorous. With our lack of language skills for opposing languages, I was able to decipher that they wanted me to get drinks with them later after dinner. I wasn’t too keen on the idea of staying out late, but was intrigued to see what it would be like to hang out with them. I accepted their invitation.

We ventured towards a bar down on Rue de Rome- one that sits right next to a firehouse I went to for Bastille Day.

As soon as I followed Sofian and Marie Charlotte into the bar, I was greeted by many unknown faces and a lot of bises! I was a bit overwhelmed, but eventually plopped myself down next to my host siblings.

I sat at the table observing interactions between friends, mannerisms, and social ques. When the waitress stopped by to get our drink order, I ordered a “un petit” beer. As soon as I ordered it, there was some commotion. Everyone was speaking so quickly, and discussing something with the waitress. The next thing I know I have a huge flamingo-looking, champagne, sparkly, pink drink in front of me with a large piece of watermelon dangling off of the side of it. Everyone is looking at me when she sets the drink down in front of me. I look at the drink confused…then at the waitress confused. They all began to laugh. Marie Charlotte explains to me that if I don’t like it, I can get a beer, but that this was her favorite drink and I had to try it. It was very delicious, but after that, I opted for my half pint of beer.

The table held three of Sofian’s friends. They were quick to realize that I don’t speak French very well, so they began speaking to me in English. My jaw dropped- Their English was impeccable! Arthur, Breseid, and I sat and talked about everything for three hours; the main topic discussed was the differences between our cultures within our generation.


When landing in Paris, I mentally prepared myself for a whole new world. Cafés and cigarette smokers lined the street. Baguettes rode by on bicycles. French language swam through the air around Notre Dame, the Arc de Triompe, and the most known monument in the world, the Eiffel Tower.

**Flash Forward**

After discussing how social greetings and goodbyes were different within our culture, we realized that not much else is different. This experience was the most eye opening for me. I realized that although everyone leads different lives in different places with different languages, we’re all still human. We have the same needs, wants, desires, and social interactions…. We’re really not all that different.

After this night, I also realized that even though I’m in Paris, I’m still myself. It’s reassuring to know that I am myself anywhere I go in the world.