Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Expat Experiences: Paris, France - Sion Dayson

Who are you?

Sion Dayson, an American in Paris. I’m a writer originally from New York and North Carolina

Where, when and why did you move abroad?

Sion Dayson

Unlike a lot of expats here, I had never dreamed of living in Paris. I spoke Spanish, longed for warm weather, and didn’t display any Francophile tendencies.

So wouldn’t you know it? I fell in love with the City of Light one cold, rainy November. I was in Europe for a work conference and had a layover in Paris. Three days of exploring and the city worked its magic. I couldn’t shake the place.

I planned a month-long holiday for the following April. Yes, like that famous song “April in Paris” – wasn’t I just setting myself up for love? And it happened: a gorgeous Frenchman, the coup de foudre (‘lightning bolt,’ as the French say). I never believed that sort of thing possible before.

Only one thing: neither of us spoke the other’s language. No more than the basics. It didn’t stop us, though. We spent the rest of my holiday together.

As I was leaving I wanted to tell him I loved him, but it seemed crazy. How could I when we’d only just met? Could barely speak to each other? I cried when we said goodbye at the airport. Five minutes later my cell phone beeped; I was still standing in the security line. Je t’aime, read his message. I love you.

Well that was it. Upon my return to New York I realized it was one of those moments in life when I just had to leap. After giving notice to my job, a few months of intensive French classes, and trying to come to terms with leaving the city I adored, I got back on a plane (in September 2006) and have been here ever since...

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Miss Footloose said...

Paris has magic, but I never believed it until I got "stuck" there a couple of years ago.

I grew up in Holland, then lived most of my adult life in various countries around the world, but never saw more of Paris than CDG airport in transfer.

Then fate intervened. In transit to Yerevan, Armenia one time, we missed our plane and since Armenia is not an international metropolis, we had to wait for two days to get on the next plane out. So we were stranded.

Well, what better place than Paris, even if it's January! We had a wonderful time. And in April that year we came back for another visit.

Paris was a wonderful surprise for us, and it's no wonder people fall in love with the city.

7jades said...

Your story is beautiful! Loved reading it. Bless you.