We made it!

6/24/2014 3:30pm

I left CLT at 4:45pm and arrived at CDG around 6:40am Paris time. Here are some scribblings from my notebook:

2:26am

I think I’ve slept a total of 10 minutes so far… the flight from Raleigh -> Charlotte was great. The man who sat next to me lives in Paris and told me all of the places that I should go for a less touristy experience. He was very nice and I found out was also on my flight from Charlotte -> Paris! Dinner was delicious, despite my expectations. I had chicken, rice, broccoli, bread, salad, and a brownie. I took two benadryl like I was supposed to, but for many reasons I haven’t been able to fall asleep. I’m not sure if I’m using the neck pillow correctly because it is killing my neck…

6:45am

“In America everything is big and tall.” An American woman sitting behind me said this to a French woman as she was getting out of her seat on the airplane. I think this bothered me because, although this may be true in some ways, is that the way we want to portray our country to foreigners? It really matters how we talk about our country, because the things we say can turn into stereotypes. Anyways, not a big deal, but just a thought I had.

We took the train and arrived at our housing around 8 or 9am. We sat outside in the courtyard for a little bit, then went to get our metro passes. My pass will give me unlimited rides on the metro line, which will be useful for going to and from class.

My room is so nice! The shower head probably has better water pressure than my shower head at home, to be honest. There doesn’t seem to be much air conditioning, but it is nice outside so my roommate and I have had the windows open a bit. I posted some pictures above my desk to make the room look a little more homey. I’m really excited about living here. It seems like it’ll be a great space.

I’m now headed to buy a couple items from the super market, and tonight we are going on a tour of our neighborhood!

6/25/2014 9:54am 

So we toured our neighborhood, the 14th arrondissement, and I love it! Our tour guide was really funny. He said that the catacombs are something that only American tourists are ever interested in, and that Europeans don’t understand why. Also, he said that which arrondissement you live in says a lot about you because each arrondissement has a personality, made up of social status, way of life, etc. The 14th has both young and old, and not many tourists, which is nice because we are getting a more real French experience.

After the tour, we went to our first dinner in Paris! We found a restaurant called Chez Fernand. It was a bit awkward with the waiter speaking french to us, especially since he knew we were Americans, but we managed. I had a beef stew with potatoes and carrots and some red wine, it was delicious! Dinner took a long time (as we were told it would) but we sat in a l’exterieur and it was a beautiful night so we really enjoyed sitting together, talking and joking around and finishing our meals.

We then decided to venture into Paris to see the Tour Eiffel and l’Arc de Triomphe. L’Arc de Triomphe was beautiful at night, and is even more gigantic than I had imagined. We got pretty good at navigating the metro to get there (thanks to Wael’s phone…) and saw the Tour Eiffel on our metro ride back to the 14th. Overall it was such a fun first night in Paris!

The internet is proving to be a challenge, although I’m hoping it’ll be fixed since I feel like I haven’t been able to talk to my parents much yet (also due to the time difference).

Today happens to be my birthday 🙂 Our plans for the day are to get our textbook for class, buy a French telephone portable (cellphone), maybe some shopping, then a bike tour of Paris at 7! It should be a great birthday!

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