Friday, March 7, 2008

Early Bird

I've always been a morning person. The kind that wakes up before the alarm sounds and isn't at all upset about starting the day at dawn. In fact, I prefer to get up early, get stuff done, and have the afternoon/evening to relax, go to the gym, or meet friends for happy hour. This routine worked really well in DC, which is very much an early-to-rise, early-to-bed kind of town. Except, I suppose, for the occasional behind the scenes dealings that take place at various Capitol Hill haunts, running the government isn't exactly a late-night affair.

Fast forward to Paris. For nearly three weeks I have no work, no school, and subsequently fall into a routine more befitting a Night Owl: sleeping in, running errands in the afternoon, going out for late dinners rather than early happy hours. It's a nice change of pace that caught up with me in a bad way this morning. After not going to bed until 2:30am, I had to get to class by 8:00am. When the alarm went off at 6:30, I was not a happy camper.

Paris is definitely a late-night town. For one, the city is even more beautiful and romantic by moonlight, and the old buildings look amazing when all aglow. Also, French people eat late, much later than Americans, which means that countless bars and restaurants are open until the wee hours of the morning. What's more, they go to work late (by DC standards at least) and stay late. Needless to say, as I made my way across the bridge on the way to the metro at 7:00am, the place felt deserted. Nothing but newspaper deliverers, garbage trucks, and one very sleepy student.

Despite being overly tired, I did take time to enjoy morning in Paris. Part of the reason why I love starting the day early is for the simple fact of enjoying a city before it becomes nothing but crowds, noise, and stress. In the morning, everything is quiet, you feel like you have the place to yourself, and there is a great sense of potential for the day to come. It's just easier to appreciate that potential when you've had a good night's sleep.

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