What is it like living in one of the most romantic cities in the world? Honestly, it gets pretty repetitive. My Mondays start nice and early at seven in the morning. I wake up and give myself a solid hour before preparing to take on the RER B train, the fastest but often unreliable way to get to school from the Cité Universitaire, a student residential building. I’m not going to lie, the RER B sucks.
I leave at eight to get to my nine o’clock. Why you ask? Well, that seems to be the only time I am not asphyxiated by the smell of other people’s sweaty armpits. Rush hour on the RER B is no laughing matter, especially since the Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, one of the main train companies in France, has been striking since early April.
After my nine o’clock, I run to the bakery a few steps away to grab a delicious chaussons aux pommes — think a fancy apple tart –— and then I head back to school to finish up some homework before my eleven o’clock. After I’m finally finished with morning classes at 12:30 p.m., I’m in desperate need of lunch.The two best options near the academic center in Paris, at least in my opinion, are La Parisienne and Breakfast in America. Both are reasonably priced and in easy walking distance of school. A lot of people will disagree with me, declaring these two places are not worth it, but oh well. I like my comfort food, which Breakfast in America offers in a classic New York-style diner fashion.
After lunch, I head back to the academic center to be distracted by the view on the eighth floor instead of doing homework. From this floor, the building has an unobstructed view of almost every landmark in Paris. Now that it’s starting to warm up, students lounge about pretending to do homework with the windows thrown open. It’s a great feeling.
At around four o’clock, I head back downstairs for another class. It lasts for about two hours and then I have the choice of either taking the bus or the RER B. Mind you, the hours between five and seven seem to be a perpetual rush hour on the RER, so, I usually opt for the bus. It’s roughly a 45-minute ride if the bus stops at every stop, but at least you can breathe in the fresh spring air.
Finally, I arrive home to the Maison d’île de France at about seven o’clock and head to the kitchen to make dinner. I share one kitchen with everyone on my floor. Mine is shared with four Italians and a lovely girl from Lebanon.
Honestly, my Mondays are a little boring, but I never know when a class is going to make a spontaneous trip to the cafe for a writing session or an adventure to a museum to discuss some piece that we’ve been studying. These little surprise trips that break the schedule, I think, are the best part of studying at NYU Paris.
Email Kaity Berg at [email protected]