I'm not very good at moving. I hate re-packing our things up in the huge duffel bags we took to Africa with us, I hate leaving places that were once home that we don't get to visit anymore.
Even though our apartment here in Paris is a little austere, it's been my home for the past five months. I've sat in it alone for the first few days, cramming for the French exam and turning all the lights on at night so I wouldn't feel so small in a place that fits five people. I'm sitting in it now, looking out the French doors onto the balcony and the sycamores that line Denfert-Rochereau. I've cooked in its tiny kitchen and eaten in the dining room with friends and family; I have played the piano that Chopin apparently loved (not our piano, just this type of piano) and listened while people better than me (my brother and father and sister) played.
This little neighborhood, this slice of the fourteenth reaching into the sixth, has become my neighborhood. I know the bakery girls at Thévenin on Rue Daguerre, I have taken my darling sister unicycling in the Jardin du Luxembourg and the little parks around our house. I have walked up and down Raspail and Denfert-Rochereau a thousand times, to and from classes and lunches. I have gone running in the Jardin du Luxembourg, feet splashing in puddles on wet days and kicking up gravel and dust on dry ones. I know the 4 and 6 Métro lines and the RER.
Now we are moving all the way across town, to Jobic's house, and I have a whole new neighborhood to discover. I will meet new bakery girls at the new bakery where we get our hot bread in the mornings and new running routes in new parks or along the river. I will have a new Métro line and a new station, and a new bedroom looking out on a different view. There are some places I kind-of know in the Marais: my darling brother Caleb adores the Café des Musées which is just down the street from the new house, and I love Le Loir Dans Le Théière on Rue des Rosiers. I have not seen so many parks, but that just means longer runs to green places and better shape. I am excited, but at the same time it's sad to leave this high-ceilinged apartment and the people we know.