Visiting Munich this past weekend makes more than 12 cities, 5 countries, and 2 continents visited in the past three weeks and I must say that I am fatiguée and very glad to be back in Paris where it is sunny and beautiful (no, I’m not joking). It’s actually warmer here than on the Côte d’Azure. Weird.
I went to Munich for a few days to visit my childhood best friend (and twin), Sarah, who lives there and works as an Au Pair for two little kids. We had fun hanging out, catching up, soaking up the culture, and engaging in both profound and superficial conversations. She’s going to come to Paris at the end of April to visit so that I can share this city with her as she shared Munich with me.
On Sunday we visited Dachau, the first concentration camp in Germany and a model for all other camps during the Thrid Riech. Ever since taking a class entitled “The Holocaust” during my Freshman year at GVSU I have wanted to visit a concentration camp (a weird desire, I know), because I feel that it is a place that everyone should see before they die. While there, it’s difficult to wrap your mind around the significance of the events that transpired only sixty years ago, and it’s amazing how close the camp is to the center of the town of Dachau.
All that remains of the barracks are their foundations. While we walked through the camp I was constantly stunned by how systematic the whole thing appeared to be, from the changing rooms to the gas chambers labeled as “Showers” to the fact that the Nazis had all prisoners write postcards to their family members telling them that all rumors of their disappearance were false and that they were doing “just fine”. To say the least, a place like that really makes one think about the future of the human race, and the uneasy energy in the air doesn’t exactly encourage positive thoughts…
But I’m back in Paris now and ready to finish up my last five weeks as an English Teaching Assistant. This week especially I have taken note of just how much my French has improved since I arrived here in September, and I must say that I am quite proud of myself. I will continue to work hard on that vocabulary, though! I have to profit as much as possible from being here as I can.
Today I trekked to the Musée d’Orsay (for free !) and spent some time walking down the Seine taking in the (somewhat) fresh air and absorbing the sunshine. Spring has finally arrived… I think.