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It's a powerless summer indeed. In facts, the temperature on The Revolution day (Jul. 14) was only 12°C.
I had planed optimistically to rent a room in Paris for a month . But I concerned about it after I actually arrived at Paris. "Is that possible?" But I was serious. I wanted to live and take photos in Paris. "Yes, I must do it"

I started checking with real estate office and classified ad. on the news paper, and finally got the room on the 3rd day in Paris. For good or worse, the strong wish and time limit pushed me up being so agressive.
However the most biggest factor was "Good luck and Timing" I was just lucky. I found the rental room ad. on the news paper. The exact room was not available. But the owner, Japanese madam, introduced me to the wife of her husband's colleague. Then the colleague's wife introduced me to her friend. I got an excellent syndicate. How can I describe it without saying "Good Luck"?

The room was outside of Paris in exact. The nearest station was Villejuif Paul Vaillant Couturier of the Metro No.7. I thought the name of "Couturier"came from "Dressmaker"in French. But it's the name of famous journalist, politician and founder of French Communist Party.
Although the house had old fashioned brown stone exterior, the interior was newly renovated. White wall and sunshine from wide window made the living room look airy. Madam's daughter was independent of her. So she had an extra room and I rented it. From my window on the 2nd floor, I saw the top of the tree in back yard. The leaves rustled in the wind. It's a cozy room.

I left the house in Villejuif with my camera every morning and took the Metro. For a whole month, I had walking around and photographed in Paris as I had planed. The 20 wards of Paris was so characteristic. So it was for the 23 wards in Tokyo. However each ward of Paris had much stronger taste. The people in high-class residential area was extremely rich while there were wards where normal residence lived in. There was a characteristic ward which was very ethnic too. What else? The ward which had many hospitals and cemeteries, and of course, which involved famous tourist sites and symbols of Paris ... I visited each ward one by one. As the result, I became familiar with Paris very well.

After walking all day, I came back to Villejuif. Usually around 8 o'clock. It still had light. I stopped by a bakery and bought a half baguette for dinner. But I often ate it on the way back home and regretted I should had bought a whole baguette. After the dinner I talked with the madam who came back from work. We talked about the things which had been happen on the day. It's also ideal situation for learning French. I'm pretty sure.

However , I must be dipped into Paris too much nevertheless I stayed in Villjuif. So I knew the "Vill Juif" meant Jewish Town in English after I came back to Japan. What kind of history did the quarter have, where antique brick houses was well conserved?
It's said "French is all the great countryside except Paris" In another words, each community has history and pride. Once you step out from the capital city at La Place d'Italie, the real France would be shown in front of you. If the very first town is Villjuif, the very first chapter learning the real France must be there.

Jul. 2006

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