For simplicity sake, I’ve been saying telling everyone that I’m living in Paris. Perhaps I was starting to believe that myself too. But reality always managed to set in when I walk down the street and see 1 of the 2 restaurants in town, and café that also acts as the local bar in the evenings. Once again, I’m reminded that I’m in a small suburban community outside of the big city. So, this is not Paris.
This is Jouy-en-Josas.
This is Jouy with one supermarket, Simply. This is Jouy with a tourism office the size of a tollbooth. This is Jouy where everything closes on Sundays and Mondays. This is Jouy where I must take at least two trains, and spend 90 minutes, to go to Paris.
Welcome to Jouy.
Jouy may not have much, but what it does have is HEC Paris. At last, now you know how I found myself on the front steps of France. Having lived in Vancouver, Toronto, and Beijing, I’ve got “big city girl” engrained into my brain. It’s in the way I make friends, window-shop, and people watch. But surprisingly, I’m enjoying this small town living more than I thought I would. The people are generally warm and friendly, everything is within walking distance, and there is this silence in the mornings – a silence that was always consumed by traffic and the buzzing of the crowds in big cities.
Although it’s difficult to find things to do in town, (to my knowledge, there are no movie theatres or bowling alleys in Jouy), Jouy is only a 10 minute train ride away from Versailles and another 15 minutes from the nearby mall in the next town over. For now, I’m fairing fine in my tiny corner of France, but fingers crossed that I don’t jinx my run here. I still have 3 more months left in Jouy, only time will tell…
Now, how about you? Do you prefer small town living or do you have big city dreams?