Culture Shock: Paris to Arkansas, Reflections on Three Months Abroad, Part II

Arkansas Stories by Terry Engel

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Looking Across the Seine from the Quai de Bourbon Looking Across the Seine from the Quai de Bourbon

The five nights in Paris had not been magical, necessarily, but they had been pretty nice. We IMG_1870rented a small third floor flat on the Ile St. Louis, an island in the middle of the Seine just upriver from the Ile de la Cite, where Notre Dame and Saint Chappelle draw crowds and lovers proclaim their love by locking cheap brass padlocks to the railings of the Pont des Arts. Our flat overlooked a small courtyard entered through a massive wooden doorway that opened onto the Quai de Bourbon. Just across the quai steps led down to a tree-lined walk along the Seine. To reach the flat we climbed an exterior, semi-enclosed stairway with wooden steps worn by the feet of generations of Parisians. It was a cozy little space, with red clay tile floors and massive wooden beams, a small…

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