Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bienvenue


Salut tout le monde!

Like promised, I'm finally starting a blog to document/broadcast my semester in Paris, France. From shopping, to cooking, to studying, to exploring, to loving-- my goal is to keep it lighthearted and entertaining at the very least. Just bear with me, this is my first blog.

I arrived in Paris on Sunday, August 29. Today will be only my 5th day here, but trust me, I've got stories.

As expected with any world traveler, the voyage came complete with it's fair share of challenges. The primary challenge being that I needed to actually come to terms with the fact that I was moving to France for the next three months-- which has lit-er-ally been my dream since high school. And now, 2 days before departure, I still couldn't believe it was really happening.

What did this mean? It meant that only at 10:00 Friday night (with a flight in t-minus 17 hours) did I begin to pack.

Challenge #1: Packing. Anyone who knows me well, knows that packing even for a weekend trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina brings on great stress and anxiety. To think that I was moving to THE most stylish country in the world?? I needed a Xanax. (And apparently a very costly shopping spree...oops).

So after some serious procrastination (which included cooking a four course meal/ichatting for too long with my biff Cway) and some gentle coaxing from twin sis, Amanda and my equally stressed out mother, I opened my closet and began... one shirt at a time.

Five (+) hours, over 100 lbs of luggage, and 4 different yet completely necessary pairs of boots later, I was pretty much done.

Challenge #2: The goodbye. Oh, the dreaded goodbye. Aside from a minor breakdown due to a terrible pre-departure haircut, I'd say I pretty much kept it together. Not many tears shed, which surprised even me! (But that's not to say I wasn't on the verge of tears 90% of the time during the last 24 hours.) Hugs, kisses, and a few wet eyes all around, then I was on my way.

Challenge #3: Airport security. Every time I make my way down the roped aisles of the airport security line, a familiar panic sets in. I start sweating. I'm fumbling with my ticket and passport, holding half the documents in my mouth while I try to wiggle off my sandals and somehow get everything to land in one bin.

I survey the crowd, praying that I get in behind an elderly man or a mom toting three small children.

You're probably wondering... What the hell would make anyone want to be behind one of these slowpokes. The answer? I myself, am an airport security slowpoke. Nothing relieves me more than when I scoot in behind someone who has to take the little shoes off of all 3 children, all while simultaneously trying to disengage the stroller and send it through the X-ray. Gives me plenty of time to put my laptop, shoes, jacket, purse, and bag neatly in their bins and actually take a breath.

Once I'm at the gate, the rest was easy. Well, relatively.

Somehow. I don't know how, but somehow, I left the country with $0.06 cash. I had only my credit cards. Stupid, I know. Not the best way to start off my European adventure.

Needless to say, I arrived safely at our hostel, le Foyer International des Etudiantes. Exhausted, drunk with sleep but overwhelmed with excitement, we began our trip. I had my first French dinner of quiche and salad and red wine. At 7h00 when I had officially been awake for 30 hours, I passed out at the hostel. Only to awake to more challenges.

1 comment:

Isabelle said...

omg G! I'm going to read your blog every day. Or at least every time you post. I love reading blogs when the author is actually a really great writer :) Love you, take advantage of every second in Paris and Europe in general, and ask me if you want any suggestions for places or restaurants to go!!!