I've been in Paris for almost three weeks now including this past weekend being spent in Belgium (more on that soon, but let's just say chocolate chocolate chocolate!) And I love it. So much. I'm not sure how I'm going to leave. I've gotten to a happy point where I can navigate easily around the city, including long walks down to The Seine or The Louvre.
It seems I buy a block of cheese every other day, along with a baguette from the bakery right outside my front door. The women there now recognize me, since I see them so darn frequently. A lot of cheese + bread gets eaten for dinner around here. No complaints.
Very slowly my French is improving and I'm beginning to get the accent down. I know words and can string together simple strands of conversation. Mostly when it comes to food or ordering. Go figure. But I've finally gotten over being hesitant to sound foolish and now will let the words spill out of my mouth. Fake it til you make it, right?
Just a few days after I'd arrived I was making my way out of an elevator and said "excusez-moi" to the people in front of me. As soon as I stepped out, I froze. I was speaking French! Without even making a conscious decision to do it! It was happening, The Change was happening! I was becoming French!
I went home and celebrated The Change by watching Julie + Julia for the 256th time while devouring a new round of Camembert + fresh baguette. As one does.