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The light here in the summer is amazing. It is light by about 5:15 am and stays light until 10 pm. And with the city being extremely well-lit, it never really feels dark here. Around 5-6 pm, it’s actually blinding. Without my sunglasses on, it’s like staring at an eclipse. Never seen stronger light anywhere. Great for painting; not so great for sleeping. But who wants to sleep here? Yet, eventually, if you’re here for a long time, like me, then you have to. Need to.

If you want to sleep with the windows open – and you’ll want to, since few places have air conditioning – then bring a good set of earplugs with you. On a noisy street, they’re essential. And even on a quiet one, the noise of a random motorcycle or ambulance will wake you. The motorcycles here are really loud! Be sure to close the curtains or the sun will wake you by 5:30 am.

Also, if you happen to have allergies, just know they’re going to bother you in Paris. I’m allergic to dust and mold. It’s super humid here, so every morning I feel like I got run over by a truck. And maybe it’s a bit of air pollution, too, hard to say. I thought at first it was because of jet lag and that I was staying up so crazy late. Ummm, no. Without my friend Amy here, I try to get back to the apartment at a decent hour now. And I still feel awful in the morning, despite my nice comfy bed. Thank god for good, strong French coffee.

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