I know I'm not a typical Parisian, but do I stand out like a sore thumb? I'm sitting in the park by our place, in one of Paris' "Paris WiFi" (pronounced "pa-ree wee-fee") spots, as advertised on the front of the park's gate, while mothers play with their kids on the playground, old folks take a rest, guys play ping-pong and pigeons search for some grub. Normally, just sitting in the park wouldn't merit blatant stares of curiosity, but I've got this big, dinosaur-like laptop with me that I'm typing away on while sitting on this park bench. They're probably wondering what I'm doing in a park, outside, on my laptop. Those things just don't go together, I suspect, in their eyes. I wish I could ask them if I look strange, but I don't think I need to. I'm totally an outcast.
It could just be me, being paranoid like usual, but I'm not so sure this time. Even when I'm just walking to the grocery store to do some shopping or sitting on the metro alone, I feel like an outcast. It's like maybe they know I'm different, that I can't really hold a conversation with them the way I'd like to. Or, maybe it's not appropriate to give a small smile when I pass someone on the street or not turn my head when some dude yells, excusez-moi, mademoiselle in what sounds like a catcalling voice. I know I know I'm weird, but do they know, too? Back home I can get away with being weird and not letting anyone know...here, I think it'll take time for me to figure out a way to mask my weirdness. For now, I'll just carry on as the paranoid non-Parisian and go about my business looking for a place to fit in.