Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I am in PARIS


I wrote this a few days ago and haven't been able to connect to the internet until now. I don't have the ability to upload photos because my connection is so weak. In fact, I'm sitting in a dark hallway (the lights in my foyer turn off every 3 minutes automatically) while girls walk by and say things like "elle est un peu bizarre." Well, they're right. Hopefully I'll gain more internet in the weeks to come, I'm working on it. I also didn't proofread, so, there's that. If you want to talk to me (who am I kidding, of course you do!) then email me and I will reply when I can. I am planning on getting some sort of wireless stability with in the next few days. Even the internet at starbucks has ceased to work for me. Incroyable. In case you were wondering, every other person in the program has internet with some degree of reliability, it's just mine that's a failure. It's okay, you can laugh. 

Also, I did find a pair of boots, I think I mentioned that somewhere below.

I am more than happy to admit to you that my life has suddenly become extremely and stereotypically French. I kid you not when I say that when I stepped off of the plane things sort of changed for me. I guess that’s when I realized that it was my job to make the experience, not the other way around. I got a taxi, found the foyer and after about 13 hours on planes, dropped off my bags and headed out at 10 am Paris time. Not to brag but that’s like 1 am California time and I had barely slept. Okay, that was totally bragging, but I don’t care. 
On the way over I was feeling very sad and tentative. I was more nervous than excited and I was really frustrated at myself for it. The plane rides were spent reading a book about kids that fall in love and then die of cancer, which caused me to cry for 10 minutes on the plane (really, not a joke). Also, I really missed my mom. I still do. My point is, I was definitely not on my game a few days ago as far as being someone that’s independent and capable and adventurous. Below is a funny example of my incapacities.
When I boarded the plane from Chicago to Paris I was focused on what I normally am focused on when I board planes: is a cute boy going to sit next to me? No, seriously, this is what runs through my mind immediately when I board an airplane. So as I watched everyone slowly come down the aisle I focused in on the only boy worth focusing in on and we immediately made eye contact. I am not exaggerating when I tell you he was beautiful. Completely European and too sexy for anyone’s good (sorry, Nanny). And he was also looking at me. I assumed he was sitting next to me or that he thought I was kind of cute, too. Either way it was a win. So when he stopped next to my seat and leaned down I was sure he was going to hit on me or something and it would be the beginning of my epic French romance (there will be one, just you wait). He leaned down and said, “Do you speak French,” with an accent. I replied, “un peu.” He sort of laughed in a I’m not laughing at you type of way and I was charmed. “Are you travelling alone?” he said. This is when I got super excited. “Yes.” And the line to end the conversation: “Oh, I’m travelling with friends and I was wondering if you would trade seats with me?” Looking back, I think he was laughing at me. 
But alas, upon my arrival and a very rapid explanation of my living situation provided in French, I felt kind of exhilarated. Paris is as amazing as they all said it would be, but maybe even more so.
The program director Marie Claire seems like some sort of fictional character from a Children’s book: incredibly sweet and welcoming, exceptionally charming and understanding, and very willing to take care of us all. Also, she’s pretty hilarious. So on the morning of my arrival Marie Claire held a meeting with all 9 of us Gonzaga kids and we chatted and explored and ate and hung out and it was just incredible.
I don’t have internet connection at the moment but we’re working on it. Also, I don’t understand French. Whenever I say d’accord (meaning okay, yeah, I agree, etc.) I really mean wtf. But I revel in those few moments when I say something in French and the subject doesn’t look at me like I’m wearing mismatched shoes (not my most creative simile, admitted).
From my observations, French people are just as fabulous as Americans claim they are. Even if someone isn’t dressed up, s/he’ll still look chic and pulled together.
I’ve taken the metro, walked a ton, visited my school, eaten a crepe, bought posters to decorate my room, seen some church or other, spoken beaucoup de French and drunk more wine and coffee than I did all summer. For the record, I didn’t drink wine or coffee this summer.
My room is fabulous, I adore it. It’s really quite tiny and somewhat old, but it’s perfect for me. It has slanted walls, old wooden furniture, colorful bedding, a tall window with sheer drapes and the perfect amount of space for my things. The walls are a tad bare but I’m working on that. This place does feel like a sort of home to me already, though.
The people in the program are pretty great. I don’t love every one of them, but I love a few of them and like the rest. That’s more than I can say about my London crowd.
My goals for the next week are simple. Since I don’t start classes until next Monday (the 23rd, in case I don’t post this soon- wifi, remember?), I am focusing on the necessities: finding a pair of boots and decorating my room. Everyone has their priorities and it should surprise not one of you that these are mine.
I tried to fit in as much information as possible here, I’m sorry that it’s such a scattered post. I’ll fill you in on more when I get the chance.