“Is this gonna last forever?”

So I’m realizing as I continue further into my abroad experience that we are now beginning the beginning of the end. Wow, that’s redundant but nonetheless true. As we were enjoying our new purchase of Belgian chocolates in the Brussels airport on our way over to Prague (where I currently sit in Suzy’s living room writing this entry as she naps off last night’s escapades), we realized that our lives really are unreal. I, of course, related them immediately to David After Dentist. If you have no idea what I’m talking about and have just crawled out from under your rock to read this blog, create a new tab, go to YouTube and type in David After Dentist. Watch it and then continue. Did it? Good. The Remix is worthwhile, too, so now you have something to preoccupy your time after you finish reading this too. Thank me later.

Anyway, right now I find myself in between when the drugged out little child asks “is this real life?” and “is this going to last forever?” And the evil father figure filming answers, “no, bud.” And it’s true. These past four months are something I thought about ever since my older cousin, Gina, went to London for her abroad experience. What would it be like? Who would I meet? Where would I go? So many questions that always seemed to have answers so far in the future it seemed I’d never find them. And now I’m here. I’ve answered Where and Who and What – and am still answering them. But someone so eloquently reminded me that “Ali, you leave in a month and a half.” He then added that we had to take advantage of the time left – and it’s true. Now is the time to profitez-bien from the time I have left, in Aix, in France and in Europe as a whole. In the words of one of our French friends: “t’as raison faut profiter.”

But it’s strange to start looking back. I’m ready to be back in New Orleans, but I know that I’m going to miss this new lifestyle that I’ve become so accustomed to. And I wonder if I’ll experience that same culture shock I felt in those first few weeks in France. It always takes leaving somewhere to realize why you chose to be there in the first place. It happened first when I left NY for NOLA and now NOLA for France. Most of you who’ve talked to me, or maybe it’s only been Foster who’s gotten the most of this, have known that I’ve been very back and forth on France. But as I sat in the cab on the way to Suzy’s yesterday night, I bbm’ed Jamie something very Lilli-esque: L’air me semble vide sans français. I even shocked myself. But it was in that moment that I realized how changed this experience has made me. And while it’s not going to last forever, it’s going to continue for right now. Off to continue profiting in Prague…à bientôt, readers!

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