One of the reasons I decided to start writing a blog for my Jerusalem study abroad was because I regretted not doing one for my Paris study abroad. It doesn't take long until you start to forget a lot of what you did and what you were thinking.
Today I was going through some super old emails (might have been during a class because I was bored...), and I happened to strike gold. I found a bunch of emails home and journal entries (that we had to do for class) from my time in Paris. I decided to post this because it makes me laugh to read my first impressions of living in France after spending so much time there since then. I might post more of these some other time... who knows!
So let's rewind to the end of April, 2010...
"I got to France, really really tired but happy to have made it. I didn't sleep at all on the plane, and I'm still catching up on sleep, like most of my group. Me and Katherine took our shuttle to the hotel and the driver was funny. He went off on a tirade on how Las Vegas was the worst city on earth and he was surprised no one had destroyed it yet? Haha. He also told us about how Parisians are snobs (he's from the south of France- Toulouse). He said he only lives in Paris so he can work with tourists, because they're not stuck up.
We made it to the hotel, met up with our professor, and dropped off our luggage. Then in the lobby we saw a brochure for the Musée Grévin- the wax museum. We decided to try to make it there on our own. Surprisingly, we successfully made it across Paris on the metro (with Katherine's navigation skills, not mine). I had my first French conversation with a French person buying my ticket at the museum. Milestone!
The museum was really fun, as you can see from the pictures.
I think the French people there thought we were weird. We were the only adults posing for pictures with most of the statues... except for one in particular.. the one of Obama! There was this long line for him, and they were all jumping up and down with excitement because they're in love with him. They seemed a little confused when I took a picture punching him in the face.
Anyways, we made it back to the hotel and took a nap before meeting everyone in the group to have dinner together at a restaurant. I got chicken, but it was really weird tasting. But then our table got a crème brûlée and chocolate cake to share, which were DELICIOUS. Of course. Bien sûr.
We (I shared a room with Katherine) woke up early-ish to put our luggage in a storage room and have breakfast. Then we all took the metro together and went to Prof. Erickson's apartment. He gave us some information and stuff, which was generally boring.
We got lunch at a little grocery store across the street. But I misheard and gave the cashier the wrong amount of money. She was really rude and talked me like I was stupid. It was scary! All of the cashiers here are really mean if you mess up (that's what the shuttle driver was talking about :)
After we ate we visited the building where we'll have class everyday.
It's in this cool building that was built in 1624. It's 3 floors- the top floor actually has people living in it that aren't associated with the church. The 2nd floor has a mission office and some rooms for church activities. First floor has classrooms and the "chapel", which doesn't actually look like a chapel.
Right next to the building is the Centre Pompidou, and just a block away is the Hotel de Ville and Notre Dame. Afterwards me and a couple girls looked around for a little while (and took pictures by l'Hotel de Ville), then headed back to the hotel.
Then we had to pick up our luggage and get on a bus to meet our host families. They met us at the town hall (la mairie!) in Croissy sur Seine. It's a really cute village, just what you would picture Europe to look like! Madame DuFour picked us (me and Brittney) up, her husband is in Florida visiting their son. She's really nice, so that's good! It's not as scary speaking French with her as I thought it would be. She told us we'd speak French all the time because she wants us to learn!
I've got a nice little room, and me and Brittney have our own bathroom to share. Our host mom made us dinner (and it was something I could eat, yay!). I'm hoping I can force myself to eat most of the things she cooks. We eat breakfast there everyday, and she'll cook dinner for us Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. We're allowed to use the kitchen, and there's a grocery store within walking distance so we can buy our own food.
General observations about France:
- people are smoking EVERYWHERE. Um, different from Provo, haha.
-everything is TINY! Every room, every food, dishes...at the hotel we ate breakfast with these baby spoons
-there don't really appear to be traffic laws, lanes and signaling is optional
-everything is old and pretty!
-people walk around carrying baguettes a lot!
So yeah, that's my trip so far! It's hard to believe class starts tomorrow! I actually have to do homework in Paris :/ weird!"
You know what's weirder? Reading this more than 4 years later :) This was such an amazing time in my life... my first time living abroad!