3) Post Cards (giveaways)

I remember when I was studying abroad in Paris, I found unique artistic postcards used as flyers all over the city. You can often find these on the windowsills or on bulletin boards in restaurants and bars. Personally, I like to use these to send to my friends and family back home (can you believe I wrote over 60 postcards during my 3.5 months in Paris back in 2008? That is a lot of stamps).

Versailles Gardens outside of Paris, France

Versailles Gardens outside of Paris, France

I also found a dozen or so old and faded postcards for about a euro total at the Marché Aux Puces in St. Dennis. Even after sending off 60 postcards, I still had enough leftover to make collages with when I got home, and every time I look at them I remember snippets of my trip: sipping fluorescent pink drinks in Indiana’s, the French “American” chain restaurant whose walls are lined with pictures of Native Americans — did you know the French think we put Guacamole on everything? And as we sat there, a condom advertisement came on TV that showed (dramatized) gay sex (can only imagine how quickly an advert like this would get banned in the US, and in 2008 no less…).

The River Seine in Paris, France

The River Seine in Paris, France

Or another time, lying on my belly writing postcards in the afternoon sun in the Jardin des Tuileries next to a couple completely entwined and unconcerned by public eyes. As I lay there, a young man with a curly rat-tail approached me, taking a seat in the grass next to my stack of written postcards. He introduced himself with a big casual grin, one arm thrown around his bent knee. He told me proudly that he was Tunisian and studying in Paris for some time. We chatted for a little while and then he left and I never saw him again. The rest of the afternoon is blurred, but seeing those postcards stirs small memories like this one that defined my time abroad.

Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France

Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France

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