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The Adventure Continues, Week 2

January 16, 2013



The sky was blue today.

The sky was blue today.

It was also blue for a bit of yesterday afternoon — the first blue sky I had seen in 8 days. I didn’t realize it, but, having been adjusting to the cloud coverage, I had kind of forgotten what a clear sky looks like.

And, yes, I have officially been in Paris for a full week as of yesterday.

It’s felt a good deal longer than a week. My flight from Philadelphia to Paris feels ages ago. My first night feels ages ago. My last weekend at home feels ages ago.

Though those ages, that one week (plus today) have been…surreal. And incredible. And, simply put, good.

There have definitely been low points. Getting lost is not an activity I particularly enjoy. Homesickness is kind of like a dull walking pneumonia; symptoms aren’t constant, but when they arrive, you’d really rather feel less encumbered. I still feel a bit handicapped when people speak quickly or with accents new to me.

But, that’s part of the adventure, I suppose.

So far, the adventure has included:

  • Taking 3+ hour walks four days in a row.
  • Eating enough bread to offset the calories burned on the aforementioned walks.
  • Interviewing for a gorgeous and affordable apartment and being told that, while I was very nice, I’m unable to rent it since I’m here only for a semester.
  • Eventually finding a less affordable but more gorgeous apartment and being told that, yes, I can have it even though I’m here for a semester.
  • Officially signing for an apartment (celebration!).
  • Being stopped in the road and asked for directions to the metro stop I usually use and being unable to tell the person how to get there because I was, at the time, lost.

(Just a subnote: If you’re in Paris sometime within the next four months and want to ask me how to get somewhere, do not do it. I and my torn map that’s almost in pieces will be very little use to you unless you have a minute or hour. Anyway…)

  • Being stopped in the road the next day and asked for directions for a place I actually do know how to get to because I was, for once in the past week, not lost.

(This is a rarity, though, and should not act as reason to ask me how to navigate yourself around Paris.)

  • Being asked if I’m British or American (a point of which I’m kind of proud).
  • Being asked if I speak a language other than French.
  • Learning all about the French education system and thanking my 50 lucky stars that I’m American.
  • Witnessing a political protest and all of the traffic that comes with it.
  • Finding Kinder Eggs.
  • Eating a McBaguette.
  • Carrying a real baguette down the street on my way to temp-home.
  • Discovering that the French wish one another a happy new year and dispose of their Christmas trees in the middle of January.
  • Getting my Sciences Po student ID card and managing to have a picture more intimidating than the one on my visa.
  • Registering for the semester’s classes, pas de probleme.
  • Typing (slowly) on a French keyboard.
  • Seeing the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Ecole Militaire, Invalides, Lovers’ Bridge, Seine, Pantheon, and Opera House.
  • Seeing the Latin, Chinese, and Jewish districts, as well as some very poor and some very posh districts.
  • Not developing hypothermia. Yet.

It’s bizarre that all of this has happened in a week, and it’s surreal that I’ll have more than 15 weeks here. I feel like I’ve done so much, but there’s still so, so much to do, both in and out of Paris.

I do hope 4 months is enough.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2013 9:44 pm

    I’m super-duper glad to hear that you’re enjoying yourself! ❤ Also, it's not stalking if we're friends, right? 🙂

    – Fran

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