Je suis arrivée à Paris! (le 29 aout 2012)

My first day in Paris was a huge blur. C’est parceque décalage horaire. Translation: It’s because of jet lag. After nervously awaiting my delayed flight to Newark, NJ I finally landed to make my connecting flight at 21h00 (9:00pm) to Paris. After catching up on some unseen episodes of Weeds, I decided to try and get some sleep. Five hours and two cooped up legs later, bright golden rays awoke my dreary eyes. A few minutes later the pilot announced that we were an hour away from notre destination. Ce va être une longue journée. This is going to be a long day, I thought. I hopped off the airplane, grabbed my one and only checked bag (so thankful it did not get lost), and went to find the shuttle bus CIEE arranged to pick us up in. After nervously trying to find the shuttle bus and I met another CIEE student and we eventually found where we were supposed to meet Julie, a coordinator for CIEE. Allons-y!

            After another enduring ride, we finally arrived in Paris at the FIAP hostel for Inernational students in the 14e arrondisement. This was said to be my home for the next neuf jours (nine days). We were each assigned a roommate and given a folder with an itinerary of orientation. To say I was not overwhelmed would be a joke, haha. It felt like freshmen year of college where everyone is getting to know each other and asking 20 questions (D’où venez-vous? Qu’est-ce que vous aimez faire? Que faites-vous étudier?) Everyone is really nice! But we’re still at that awkward, Hi, your name is what? Your name is who? (Okay, really bad Slim Shady joke).

            We went on a walk around the 14e and learned a little bit about the city. My tour guide was Jean-Phillipe, another coordinator at the centre. He only spoke French the entire time! It’s great but since I’m not used to hearing and speaking French très rapide it’s been a little difficult, especially when someone asks you questions en français. I try my best to answer but I also want to be correct and it’s très difficile (difficult).

            Here are some pictures of le parc:

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            The last thing on our agenda was a sit down dîner at a resto (resturant) called <<Le Temps des Cerises.>> Apparently the name comes from a song about the fourth French revolution. The restaurant was very cool because it was mostly a chalkboard menu and the restaurant is a collective, meaning there is no boss or hierarchy, everyone works together. Of course le vin de rouge et blanc was served at the table, providing exquisite flavors for our meals. Here is what I ordered:

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(Le fillet avec des tomates fondue)

 

            C’était très bon! (It was very good). I tried to order la mousse du chocolat (chocolate mousse) but the waiter made a face that clearly defined a bad decision. I asked, qu’est-ce que vous recommendez? (What do you recommend). He said the Tiramisu avec les fraises (with strawberries). I decided to order that instead, voilà:

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            Overall it was a great meal and a pleasant way to end my first day in Paris. I can’t wait to see what else this city has to offer.

En trois jours, j’habiterai à Paris

In three days I will be living in Paris. It’s incredibly hard to believe and I’m very anxious because I have no idea what to expect! I’ve visited France before but only through the virgin eyes of a student tourist traveling abroad for the first time with my high school French class. Much different than taking language classes (and cultural classes…in French), living with a host family, and trying to fully immerse myself in the language and cultural society all together. I’m very excited to learn about the Parisien(ne) way of life and travel around Europe. My goal is to become fluent en français and learn many things from the people I meet. Souhaitez-moi bonne chance!