I have a confession to make: I still say thank you to drivers of public transportation.

The famous Merci car

This is so not a Parisian thing to do- in fact, I often get looked at like I’m crazy as I’m exiting the bus and call a quick “merci!” up to the driver or shoot a quick smile at the metro driver as I walk by. However, from the reciprocating smiles I receive, it seems like they appreciate it. I guess you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.

Umbrellas and entrance Merci concept store Paris

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much I’ve learned and changed in the ten months since I last set foot on American soil. Some may consider the decision to move to a city where I knew approximately one person to work for a family I’d only talked to over Skype ballsy, or even crazy. But sometimes it’s good to force yourself out of your comfort zone into a situation that you know is going to test your limits. I know that I’m a more patient person than I was at this time last year, but I also know I’m more likely now to speak up when something is bothering me. Casual dating turned out to not be for me, but then I was lucky enough to find one of the best things that ever happened to me, and now I live with him (more on that in my next post). I definitely know that je parle beaucoup mieux français maintenant but that I also have a long way to go. Before this year,if you had told me I would fall in love and it would be a major factor of me staying in Paris, I would have told you you were crazy. But I have so many reasons to be thankful.

So, merci. Merci to my parents, who love and support me even if they disagree with my decisions. Merci to the friends who have kept in touch and visited despite distance and time differences. Merci to my chéri, my rock who takes such good care of me. Merci to my brother, who always keeps it real even from three thousand miles away. Merci to the friends I’ve made here who make this city feel like home. Merci to my host family for taking a chance on me and trusting me with their kids. Merci to la France for approving my visa (and here’s hoping they’ll renew it). But most of all, merci to the person I was a year ago, because without her courage to jump headfirst into the glittering unknown, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Clothing display Merci concept store Paris

In keeping with the title of this post, all photos are ones I took at popular concept store Merci awhile back. They have vintage and independent-designer clothing, accessories, furniture, decor, stationary – most of it is way out of my price range, though I have been eyeing a lightweight printed carrying case. If I lined it in foam it would be perfect for my camera! That is, once I get some new lenses. The wishlist never ends…

Home goods Merci concept store Paris

Restaurant Merci Paris Merci Concept and Used Book Store Paris

Come shop here and then settle in at their restaurant for lunch or in the used book cafe with a café crème and a novel in a language you always intended to learn better!

Merci – 111 boulevard Beaumarchais; open Monday-Saturday 10-7

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