Paris Journals / Croissant Baking & the French attitude

Day 7, you snuck up on us.

One week here in Paris. I almost can't believe it's true. The whole trip feels like this strange, beautiful blur between real life and a dream. 

Some dear friends were passing through Paris this week and we got to spend some really special time with them. On Wednesday we took a croissant baking class together at La Cuisine Paris, and it was SO FUN.

I'm ignoring the amount of butter that goes into croissants.

We ate most of what we made, but I brought home the one pinwheel pictured above for an afternoon snack & some proof of our new baking skills! Is it possible to be proud of what you did if someone told you exactly what to do every step of the way? Haha, I'll say yes, for this.

We're starting to get our bearings a little when it comes to (the very very) basics of the language, places to hang out in the neighborhood, the general way of life here.

When I'm sitting quietly in a cafe or on a long walk through the city, these subtle thoughts and observations start to slowly hit me and develop in my head throughout the day. One thing I've noticed is that Parisians don't really smile at each other.

It could be why they have the reputation for being rude or stand-offish. But I think it's just a cultural thing, not at all intended to be cold. We've tried to blend into their way of life a little more -- saying "bonjour!" to people we encounter, but not necessarily bombarding our new friends with the southern hospitality that's so deeply in our bones.

Oddly, there's been some peace for me in dialing back the charm a little, which got me thinking a little bit more...

I've been feeling this subtle pressure to prove to the people I love and the people I meet (with my facial expressions, tone of voice voice, appropriately excited reactions) that I love them, or that I'm interested in the conversation, etc..

So funny, because I've never really thought about that before, but it's a pressure that has just sat there and nagged me, for as long as I can remember. I'm always wondering what that person thought of me, if what I said was stupid, and lots of variations on those thoughts. 

I'm going to try to channel my inner Parisian this week: love people well, let go of what I can't control, worry less, and see how it all goes.

I know I'm running a bit far with the Parisian analogy, seeing that I don't know any French people and I don't speak the language, so I can't ask them their reasoning behind their more reserved nature. But you get the idea--it's so much more about the idea of letting go of unspoken expectations, feeling free to own your resting face (even if it naturally looks a little frowny), and breathe a little easier as you go about your day, because it doesn't really matter what people think of you.

I know, I know, that sounds a little rude. But seriously, it doesn't matter.