Paris in the Spring

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The city spoke softly to me in cool, cosmopolitan tones. It invited me to explore each avenue full of boutiques. It dared me to bite into each warm, fresh croissant from the boulangeries that I passed. It pulled me through the bustling streets where native Parisians walked by hurriedly with a slightly exasperated air and where tourists stopped to unfold their enormous paper maps, only to be unable to reassemble them. It took me underground on the Metro, following each colored line of stations with magical names like Alesia, Miromesnil, and Mabillon, and whisked me out on the other side of the Seine. And as I gazed up at the Eiffel Tower, it seemed to draw a deep breath and whisper, "There you are."

I was in Paris, on my school's French Exchange for the third time. Only now, I found myself standing with the teachers instead of the other students. They were about to embark on a treasure hunt, taking them all over the city, but I had already done this treasure hunt and knew all the answers. Instead, I would be going to lunch and a movie with the two French teachers.

Only a few months earlier, the Head of the French department approached me and asked if I would participate in the Exchange again, acting as a guide for...

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