Finding Nouveau


So you can laugh at me all you want for saying this, but it is true whether you like it or not. I am actually the best explorer that ever lived. Like, actually. In Barcelona, we didn’t need maps. Why? Because my intuitive, psychic-almost, sense of direction led us directly to where we were supposed to be. errrr time. This intuition naturally leads me to the coolest places and best establishments, as you have clearly seen in all of my pictures and posts and such.

One such place is the Red Wheelbarrow Bookstore. It is an english language bookstore nestled on a tiny backstreet behind St.Paul’s church (my fav. church in Paris. that’s a big statement btw. there are a lot of churches, and i think i’ve been in them all.). And it is full of books… in english. When I say full, I mean the shelves, ten rows thick, are full all the way to the ceiling, and there are also piles of books on tables and the floor if need be. Half of the store is literature, the other half history/sociology/anthropology/linguistics/self help. and then the extra 10% (because there’s always >100 % duh.) is children’s books. The lady who runs the store is a little (read: very) eccentric, which is clearly right up my ally, and she is, of course, an american. There is also an english speaking store-hand constantly in the store with her, rearranging the multitudinous piles of books in some haphazard sort of system. They converse in english, and I get to ask questions in english, and talk to them about books. When french people come in they are all confused because there is so much english. And then the eccentric owner speaks to them in a french that has a wonderful, non-obnoxious, american accent, and i don’t feel so bad about my french. Then i buy a book, which i promptly devour on the steps of the church or along the nearby canal or in a little café with a cappuccino. I luf it.

Being at the end of my stay here (5 days left!), I’ve been getting quite reflective about the study-abroad experience. I honestly believe that, just like everyone tells you, it really is life changing. At the end of two months, I finally feel like I understand this crazy country and language. Having the confidence to communicate in your own language is one thing, but finding that confidence in another is an entirely different and very special, hard to find thing. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to try. I feel like this is just the beginning of more adventures and explorations to come.

Not all those who wander are lost

the best explorer errr,



About maryshorey

"I think about the hands I’ve held, the places I’ve seen, that vast lands whose dirt is caked on the bottom of my shoes. The world has changed me." Amelia Earhart
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