Silas Helm


Un weekend à Paris

Paris is unlike anything else. Maybe it's just because I studied French for 13 years, but something about Paris resonates with me unlike any other city I've been to. The architecture emphasizes the importance of detail. The language is a reminder of the aesthetic appeal words can have. The subway system just goes to show that even the most beautiful places are flawed. And the crêpes bolster Belinda Carlisle's argument that "Heaven Is A Place on Earth". 

After class on Thursday, 11 of us set out for our weekend excursion. To get to Paris we took a bus, and a train through the Chunnel; we drove on both sides of the street and nearly died of a heat stroke (the driver left the heat blasting for nearly 30 minutes. It took a few trips to his seat and a lot of conversation before things cooled off). While in Paris we stayed at a strange hostel, which will not be elaborated on. Let’s just say, I won’t be missing that bed. What I will be missing is the patisserie that we passed each morning on the way to the train– 6 chocolate croissants for 2 euros. Doesn’t get better than that!

Our time was spent looking for cheap places to eat, museums to see, and streets to wander. It sounds amazing, and it was. There is nothing like travelling to a different city on the weekend. It’s exhilarating. I enjoyed being a language liaison most of the trip. I don’t dare call myself a translator; my French was rustier than expected. But, I was able to converse with a few Parisians. It was fun to be immersed in a language and culture that once composed a big part of my life.

All in all, the trip was great. I got to know the people in my program better. I also realized how much I love London. On the way back I was saying, “I can’t wait to go home.” I wasn’t referring to Chicago, but King’s Cross Station. It was encouraging reminder that I’m making a place for myself here.

Paris will always have a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to go back. 


Silas Helm