Mary Katherine

Mary Katherine

I am a 24 year old girl from Texas currently going to school (to study French), working, and living in Paris. I travel most weekends because there is just too much to see. I have a strange fascination with the Scandinavian countries and plan on moving to Norway (or Iceland...) when my French visa expires. I studied philosophy at my University in Texas, so in case you were wondering, I am literate. I enjoy photography, singing, dancing, painting, drawing, Game of Thrones, couchsurfing, and of course, traveling. I prefer to travel solo and many times I will schedule my trips around a concert. Since August, I have visited 9 countries and you can find pictures of them all on my blog. Currently, there are not many written posts because I found that I acquired more followers by only posting photographs. I am hoping that through this site, I can find an audience interested in reading about the story behind the photographs. So, here goes: 

More About

  • # Visited
    17 countries
  • Next Trip
    Who knows? I'll go anywhere on the map.
  • Dream Trip
    I have several- travel through South America, South East Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe...
  • Travel Quote
    "To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world." -Freya Stark and "Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." -Miriam Beard and "Adventure is a path. Real adventure- self-determined, self-motivated, often risky- forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind -- and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white." Mark Jenkins
  • Home Country

::DISCLAIMER:: I love the French people and their attitude, I live there after all. Take all that I have to say in the second half of this post with a grain of salt and remember that I filed it under "Unique Experiences". 

Good news: I went to Zürich, it was amazing, the following things happened:

-I made some new friends (+)

-I was introduced to German people for the first time (odd, given the amount of time I devoted to studying the language….) (++)

-I learned about another strange European parade to put on my list of Things to Attend (++++)

-I met the angelic voice of Purity Ring without peeing myself (pat-on-back). She was kind enough to take a photo with me AND she complimented me on my choice of winterwear.

-That night (friday) I went to see Doldrums and Purity Ring play at a club calledMascotte. Then I somehow found myself in some incredibly posh night club where men smoked cigars and trust-fund babies spent all of their parents’ money. (++++++++++…?)

-The next day, I went to band practice with my couchsurfing host. His name is Oliver. This was fun, despite how shy I became in front of the microphone.

You will always know that I am feeling timid if my appearance is that of a child in time-out. (+/-)

-Later on, I went with my host’s roommate, Yannick, to some swiss rap concert, or something. Either way, at some point I heard rap in Swiss German. I also danced a lot to tunes that my old roommate and I would dance to about two years… or so… ago. Specifically, I remember pointing from the window to the wall. (yes, they played new tunes as well) (++)

-The next day, I was supposed to leave but instead I stayed (like always) so that I could have lunch at the castle before taking a mini-hike to the top of this soft little hill with a view of the Swiss alps to my left and Germany to my right. While I was up top, I also tried to play the Alphorn. To give you an idea of what this may have sounded like, I ask that you put your lips together in a tight sort of smile and act as if you are going to play the trumpet.  Ready, go. 

Whatever noise just came out of your mouth is probably very close to what came out of mine, except I made this noise into a long wooden horn and well, lets just say that I left very few farmers in the area undisturbed. (++/-)

The next morning around 3 am, I was driven by another CS friend of mine, Hitsch, to the train station. I realized that my lovely little stay in Zürich ended immediately upon boarding the french-staffed train back to Paris. This was the first train I have taken on which speaking English was absolutely not tolerated. I was starving, but the lady behind the kitchen counter on board scared me so much that I silently scurried back to my rather uncomfortable designated seat, immediately placed the hood of my coat over my head, and fell asleep. (+/- rating system comes to a halt here)

I woke up drooling with a crick in my neck, grabbed my luggage, and stumbled my way outside of the building to the taxi station.

I am not sure how many times I have to leave and come back to Paris before the primary rules of getting by here are etched into my memory:

  1. Everyone hates you, and no, they do not want to be friends.
  2. Smiling is strictly prohibited unless you are in the mood to annoy a few french people, which, often, I am. 
  3. If you are going to attempt to speak french, putain! You better do it properly. Penalties include, but are not limited to, shuddering shoulders that could take down Tower Montparnasse (its really an eye sore so they should shudder a bit harder), dramatic rolling of the eyes, being insulted in poor english in such a way that you still feel like you are the idiot, and overpriced taxi rides. 
The only way to respond to said behavior is by putting on your largest bitch-face until you make it back to your flat to practice your french. If you are feeling as if at least some of the population of Paris deserves a reprimand for the poor treatment you just received, practice your french vocabulary loudly- so that your neighbors can hear. I was feeling particularly perturbed last night and as a result, my neighbors now know exactly which kitchen utensils and body parts they can speak with me about en français, the lucky fellows, them. 

All of this being said, acting like a Great White grows on you eventually. The city is large enough for everyone to be just one of many terrifying, but nameless sharks, so the likelihood of your running into someone and feeling obliged to say “oh hello! How are you today??? gushgushgush” is slim.  And if you are in a bad mood, by all means, let the entire world know that you think it sucks. They may even like you more for it. These things I enjoy. 

Tomorrow, I will go to a certain little restaurant nearby for a job interview. Wish me luck with the fishies, sweet friends. 

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