Je suis arriveé à Paris! And I must say, I am absolutely loving it. I’m living in the Fondation des Etats-Unis, which is a dormitory for American students living in Paris. I have my own room, which is a truly wonderful thing. It will be (and already has been) nice to come back here at the end of the day to decompress. Here’s the view from my window:
Today was the first real day of orientation, organized and taught by our program director, Céline. We discussed a bunch of logistical stuff, and then jumped into a little bit of French language review. There will be plenty more of that tomorrow.
After the classroom stuff came a walk through the Latin Quarter and up the Left Bank of the Seine. I was absolutely mesmerized the entire time. So much so, in fact, that I completely forgot that our destination was a boat ride along the Seine. Here, I had my first Eiffel Tower sighting (among many others) since coming here, and I am itching to climb to the top.
Tonight a bunch of us headed over to Place d’Italie to do some shopping. My biggest purchases: towels and bananas. Also, a bottle of Italian wine. Why Italian wine, you may ask? I don’t even know how that happened.
In the carrefour (a labyrinth of a grocery/liquor/million other things store with lines a mile long), the cashier informed me that her line was closed after me and would I please tell that to anyone who tried to queue up behind me? I proceeded to tell this to the next 8 people who tried lining up behind me, and 7 out of 8 responded in French! Like I was a real French person! I was beyond ecstatic. Until I reached my turn in line, and there seemed to be a problem with the fruit I was buying. She was explaining, and I was not understanding. As it turned out, I was supposed to have weighed the fruit and printed a price label for it before getting in line. It all worked out, with some English-speaking help and a mad dash to the scale with my produce. At least I wasn’t holding up the line.