Dispatch: Paris

From East Chop to the City of Lights.


From time to time, The Times will feature dispatches from Islanders around the globe. This week, Nicolas Ruderman writes from Paris. Ruderman has spent his summers on East Chop since he was born (19 years now). He is Franco-American, and during the school year lives in Paris. He is a second-year student at l’Ecole W, a media school. He is also a second-year student in acting at the Cours Florent.

I’m in Paris, and about to go back to my studies. Leaving the Vineyard was (and always is) hard, but having to leave it in today’s context was even harder.

I was supposed to leave August 24, but due to new policies applied by the French border patrol, I had to leave mid-August. Due to COVID-19, all passengers had to hand in their test results within 72 hours before boarding their plane.

The trip was smooth, but the plane was pretty full as many French residents needed to get back home. In Paris, we had to self-quarantine for two weeks, after which we gradually went back to our routine.

Cafés are booming, as they are the only places Parisians can gather now without a mask.

Everyone wants to get back to normality, leave home and socialize.

For those who think that the French tradition of greeting each other by a kiss on the cheek had disappeared, rest assured that it (unfortunately) continues among teenagers.

What I am most apprehensive about is kicking off my school year remotely through online classes. I am nevertheless confident that we will overcome this unprecedented crisis.

To be continued …