I can’t believe that I’ve been in Paris for two weeks already! It feels like so much longer, which I guess is a good thing because it means that I’ve been settling in pretty well. Surprisingly, I’ve had no awkward experiences as of yet, but does getting serenaded on the metro count? I can’t understand where Americans get the idea that Parisians are rude, for I’ve only encountered friendly and helpful people. You get what you give and the more respectful and courteous you are, chances are, your interactions with Parisians will run smoothly. I’ve learned to always say bonjour and while I may not get a smile in return every time, I don’t get treated rudely.
Having lived in the suburbs all my life, it was an adjustment getting used to city life and the idea of commuting to classes. At home, I live on campus and have a car, to boot, so I’m not used to using the metro/bus system at all. I’ve been getting better, though. I quickly learned to put on a poker face and at least pretend to know where I’m going whenever I’m exploring a new arrondissement (which is hard, considering my default expression is a smile!). Another thing that took some getting used to was how late dinner is served here.
Back home, when 5pm (sorry, 17:00) rolls around, I’m starving. I’m still trained to get hungry around that time, but I’m getting better because I eat lunch so late nowadays. It’s definitely taken some adjustment getting used to my new diet. I’m eating so much bread, even more than I used to at home. I’m not tired of it yet, but at this rate, I’ll have to run twice a day to keep from coming back home as round as a beignet (donut).
I had the chance to go to the Fête des Vendanges in Montmartre with a friend visiting from London and it was an awesome way to celebrate the beginning of fall. There was so much food! Everywhere! My friend Sarah and I gorged ourselves silly on beignets, bread, cheese, saucisses, and some delicious wines. To top it all off, we saw Tim Burton wandering around with his family. We had a chance to get a photo with him and chat a little bit, which was awesome!
I’m set to go to the Loire Valley for a quick weekend trip with ISA this coming weekend and I’m looking forward to the beautiful views and the chance to meet up with my ISA friends. We’ve all gotten steadily busier now that classes have started and it’ll be nice to have a break away from schoolwork.