July 4, 2008

serendipity

Posted in paris tagged , , at 10:30 am by Malia Yoshioka

sometimes i have to laugh at the way things work out in life. there’s murphy’s law, where any bad thing you could think of can and will happen to you. i’ve definitely been in this situation before, often times while traveling. yet on the other hand, i often end up in impossibly wonderful and enriching experiences on the road. last night while singing along to “ordinary world,” arm in arm with adriana as duran duran played onstage, i couldn’t help but think that serendipity, luck, or maybe just the universe’s cunning had brought me to this moment.

duran duran rocks!
duran duran rocks!

the day started out somewhat normally, with my roommate Jennifer and i taking advantage of the breakfast buffet provided by our hotel (and sneaking a few baguettes with swiss cheese for later!) since we’re just a 15 minute walk from school, we decided to walk in order to check out our neighborhood along the way, enjoying the cooler temperature en route. we had our orientation in an amazing choir room in the paris American academy, oozing with history (benjamin franklin studied catholic theology in this very room!) and grandeur.

everyone broke off into separate groups as there are students here studying interior design, fashion and merchandising, and fine arts – i’d mistakenly thought that the writing program was the only summer workshop! (it’s so far proven to be quite an interesting diversity, as we watched the exceedingly fashionable fashion design students file out of the room in order to prepare to dress a Parisian runway show which ended up on the cover of the new york times!)

our three instructors introduced the writing program and we discussed individual and group goals for the four weeks, and i couldn’t help thinking over and over how lucky i am to have found this opportunity. not only do i get to work closely with rolf potts, who literally wrote the book that inspired me to travel for the past six months, but with two other published authors as well! i’ll be taking three classes – literary fictions with (working with screenplays, short stories, and poetry), creative nonfiction (especially travel writing and memoirs), and a paris journal class that will have us taking walks along the streets of paris to enrich our experience while sharpening our writing styles.

when i left class i was so ecstatic that i made it a point to smile at every single person i passed and to say “bonjour!” to anyone who looked like they needed to catch some happiness too. not only had it been an amazing day in terms of defining my goals for the next month and for my writing in general, but i hadn’t spent a penny (a euro?) all day as we’d had the hotel breakfast and a welcome buffet lunch at school. watching my bank account dwindle steadily in the past few weeks, this was quite a comfort. who says americans can’t travel in europe with the dollar being so weak?

as if the day needed to get any better, my phone rang a short while after i returned to the hotel and it was adriana inviting me to a duran duran concert! being a bona fide child of the 80s, i love duran duran and didn’t hesitate to accept. i made my way out to the pigalle area and met up with adriana and her friends in front of the club where our names had been placed on “the list,” allowing us access to the VIP area which included free drinks and a better view, although we pretty much stayed on our feet the entire time anyway. the concert was amazing, and even better was the fact that i still hadn’t spent a penny all day. if only all days could be like this! =) i slipped into bed just before the clock stuck twelve, feeling every bit the part of Cinderella in this magical little Parisian fairy tale.

hemingway believed that hunger in a writer helps to sharpen the senses and describe things more vividly. it all sounds so romantic until you’re starving and living off of bread and water (occasionally with cheese and wine – we are in france, after all.) i personally think that hemingway was just unfortunate to not have friends like adriana to provide free entertainment and large breakfast buffets provided by the hotel. if serendipity continues to have a hand in helping me stay within my meager budget for the time i’m in paris, i don’t think you’ll need to use the term “starving artist” to apply to me!

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4 Comments »

  1. Mom said,

    Voilla—bon chance…and merci Adriana—you lucky girls!!! Have fun! I enjoyed all the photos too:)

  2. Kim said,

    I love, love, LOVE Duran Duran! “Ordinary World” is probably one of my favorite songs of all time. Jealous!

  3. jasmine said,

    oh how fun!

  4. sheryl said,

    ahhhhhhhhhh… how cool is that…..


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