January 14, 2010

Friends and fishes.

Three days in New York means three new friends. Three new friends meant at least one to three months and a craigslist ad requesting friendship in Paris. This is not a value statement, just an observation. I haven't really changed (or maybe I have; for example, I would not blow bubbles on the subway in Paris - more on that to follow). People talk to me in street in New York; it is not just me being Emilie-unrestrained.

(These fish live at Broome and Mott).

For example, the bubble gum story. I got on the V train and walked to one of the puke orange seats while blowing a nice round bubble of gum, letting it sit on my lips for a little extra minute. I was rather pleased with the situation because I felt no shame for my action and shamefacing me didn't seem to be part of anyone else's plans. In fact, some guy sitting across from me remarked, "You're blowing bubbles," in this go-ahead, endorsement way. I nodded and said, "Still." Then we talked to each other for a while and it turns out we have almost the same birthday and are the same age and he illustrates things for a living and now we are friends.

In all likelihood, this friendship making has to do with how Paris changed me. See, living in France and speaking to and approaching people in a language that was not mine and being in all sorts of situations where I just felt bulky and graceless makes me pretty intrepid around anybody in New York. I feel like I have crazy social grease, just by comparison.

Plus, New York harbors some of my very best friends to begin with (and Stephen - winsome Stephen), so I am feeling felicitous all around. I arrived and stepped off the plane and there they were at the Shake Shack waiting for me. We had all agreed we would meet back in the city in five years; well, it has only been three, but here we all are.


erin said...

that's so funny 'crazy social'... i was curious to see and hear how it is to be an expat who heads back to the states. wishing you all the very very best possible as you embark on your new nyc adventures. so happy to follow along!

pilar chapin said...

Somehow I think wherever you are you could make the same encounter! GLad to hear all is good in NYC. Miss you.

Thomas Hardy said...

I know this example really does not compare, but after our Mediterranean cruise a couple of years ago (french, Spanish, and Italian languages) we flew to London. It felt so good to just to be there. It felt very familiar even though it was our first time visiting the UK. It did not seem "foreign" at all.

Jill said...

I love this post! Your personality and NYC...a match made in heaven!

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