A day in the life of Kate Lee
Comparative Literature, Princeton University
CUPA Fall 2022
The day begins when I walk out into the busy streets of the 13th arrondissement, where I pass restaurant after restaurant on my morning walk to my favorite banh mi spot in town, Thieng Heng. The tofu banh mi is spicy, filling, and only three euros! I take it to go and pick up a mochi bread from an Asian-inspired bakery in the neighborhood on my way to Parc de Choisy, where I sit and watch the fountains while I eat my lunch. It feels amazing to have a little spot in the city that feels so familiar, a little routine that grounds me during a busy semester.
Afterwards, I’ll take my first metro of the day to meet a friend at a cafe in the Marais, an area full of vintage stores, boutiques, and exhibits. We walk around the area, past the Pompidou and Les Halles, until we reach the Seine. I take another metro to my class at the Sorbonne Nouvelle, where I’m learning about writers who wrote in a second language in the Comparative Literature department. It’s daunting to be surrounded by native speakers, but I’ll get more brave as the semester goes on, and try to share my perspective on the experience of writing and living in a second language, which I’m now familiar with.
After class, I’ll head home to a meal prepared by my host mom. Warm food makes any place feel like home. We watch a French show and I ask about the upcoming World Cup. After talking about our days, I’ll help clean up and then gather any energy I have left to go out one more time! Musee d’Orsay is open late on Thursdays, so I like to go with my friend and explore different floors. That’s one of the greatest privileges of studying abroad in Paris- taking the museums slowly, one at a time! When we walk out of the rooms filled with impressionist paintings, the brightly-lit Seine greets us, and I watch the lights on the river as I take my final walk to the metro and call it a day.