An Angolan in Paris
Updated: Jul 28, 2018
I arrived in Paris on the 2nd September 2016, it was an 8h flight from Luanda to Paris and throughout the flight I kept asking myself: "What are you doing Carla??"
I had never been in France before so this was the first time I was putting my feet on French soil, everything was unknown to me, I had only one friend that had agreed to help me settle in but other than that I was all alone. That is what caused me to panic during the flight, I was affraid of the unknown. But I prefered to face my fear than to go back to my previous life. And in case you are wondering, there was nothing seriously wrong with my previous life, I actually find myself a very blessed person, I was just tired of surviving, living from one day to another without seeing any evolution, always stuck in the same relationship and work patterns. Sometime ago I read a phrase that said " I am tired of meeting the same people on different bodies," I would add to that phrase, " and of living the same situations every year like an infinite déjà vu". Only the years changed, but the same problems and situations persisted. So I literally threw myself into the unknown and it was the best decision I ever made. Don't think I am saying this because things have been easy, living here has been challenging to say the least. The difference is in me, I have oppened my mind to new things, I've started to enjoy life in a different way and loving the little blessings that are given to me. Moving here has given me the space I needed to dedicate myself to me. I know it might sound selfish but just think about how much more you can help someone else when you are feeling good about yourself, "you can't pour from an empty glass" is a very accurate quote.
Chatêlet Les Halles
Paris is a beautiful city there is so much to do here, it is extremely busy full of people from all around the world. I've often heard people say that there are more foreigners than French in Paris and I came to the conclusion that that statement is not very far from the truth. I love the fact that there is an effort to include foreigners in their mist, the only thing that they ask of you is that you speak French, even if you don't do it very well. Parisians in general do not make an effort to meet you half way, you either speak their language or you don't speak much at all. I've experienced that at the beginning when asking for directions, calling any customer service or just interacting with them in general! I've had some adaptation problems, but that is to be expected when you move in to a new country, specially when you don't speak the language well.
So you must be wondering, why did you choose Paris?
Because I love the French language, and I've always wanted to learn to speak it fluently, and also because I wanted to be in a place where I felt safe and where I wouldn't have to worry about basic things like running water and electricity. Living in Luanda was not easy...
This is a very people oriented country and you get help to do everything, you just need to be very patience and speak French :)
I just want to make it clear that this is my experience and my point of view, someone else might disagree because they've had a diferent experience but fortunately we are not the same, so we do and experience things in different ways. Nothing better than to try something yourself to see how you like it, you might be surprised.
Église Saint Eustache