Panther at Large: A metro adventure

I made a new friend this week with someone who comes from Paris and speaks very little English. It’s wonderful for me because I am able to practice my French whenever we are together. She’s a very outgoing, energetic person; she laughs very often and very loudly, and she never hesitates to talk to new people for whatever reason.

After having dinner with a group of friends and spending time in the coolest bar I’ve been to in Paris, we walked to the metro to go to the main train station. As the metro pulled up to the platform, she suggested we walk towards the front. I had no idea why, but I followed her. As it came to a stop, she confidently walked up to the conductor’s door, knocked and asked if we could chat with him in his compartment.

After he nodded and invited us in, we talked about his job with the metro, his children, and his experiences with his job, and he asked us about our studies, our origins, and our final destination (so that he could make sure we got off at the right stop, of course). When we got off at our stop, I turned to her and smiled.

“Quelle bonne suprise!”

She laughed and said she thought it would be. And she enjoyed keeping the conductors company because they typically have no one to talk to as they operate the metro from stop to stop—and back again.

Though I have experienced the “inside life” of Parisians within my home in Montigny, this was an entirely different experience— one that showed me the life of a normal guy running the metro in Paris.

And doing interesting things just like this—spending time with Parisians, speaking French every day and getting a small glimpse of the way Paris runs makes me fall in love with the city even more.

Laura Apperson is an English major studying abroad in Paris, Laura, a lover of all things literature, art and culture, will keep Georgia State up to date on her advetures abroad.

Follow Laura Apperson @LCatAp