Published: January 31st 2010January 31st 2010
Nothing like a burst of adrenaline to start the day, especially when you didn't sleep. Because of our delayed departure, the flight crew was telling us all how a lot of connections were missed, and for others there wouldn't be enough time. I was anxious about trying to figure out how to get some pounds, make a phone call to Paris, informing ISA that I would actually arrive on the "next available flight," wondering when it would be, how I'd get a cab, if cabs take credit cards, and I grew every more worried as our estimated arrival time grew later and later as we took a roundabout way to the airport. They said you needed 45 minutes to connect, and I JUST barely had it, and then I didn't. Unloading the plane took eons as they were using stairs and a bus instead of a jetway. When I got in the terminal, I hurried up to flight connections to find out what the next available flight would be, and a British Airways employee stood there with a handwritten sign: PARIS - FLIGHT 306. So I told her who I was, and this other guy and I ran after her in the airport.
At Heathrow, they require connecting flights to go through security AGAIN! The line for the normal security was HORRENDOUS. She got us through fast track security, and cutting the line at that (otherwise the line was also pretty bad). I was going crazy getting everything ready super fast and trying not to forget anything. (I seem to have made it with all of my belongings). Good thing I always wear easy to put on/take off shoes! I was a bit worried about my suitcases making the connection because of the tight timing, though, and what on earth I would wear until they got here. British Airways definitely wins points for this.
We made it to the gate just before boarding ended and got on a fairly empty plane. It left 20 or so minutes late, (perhaps waiting for baggage?) but also landed early, and the flight was only about 40 min! We got breakfast for that, which was awesome. The flight was uneventful. After checking that I had to go through security and get my baggage before meeting the ISA agent, I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to go through the door for the exits...I didn't want to go through and then find out I needed to be back inside. But I asked for help and found the door, and the agent found me! So now I have all sorts of more information to read, which is nothing compared to what I will be finding out tomorrow at orientation! We were waiting for the other girl to show up, but then the shuttle guy came, I got on, we picked up a couple other ISA girls from another terminal, and I was luckily the first to get dropped off. I recognized the appt from google maps! I had the info to get in, and I was shown around the apartment. It is small but pretty.
view from my window, and also what the building looks like from the outside
I unpacked and went for a walk, to find the metro stop and see what is around.
push a button, get a taxi!
M is for metro...there are about 8 places to get down there around the traffic circle for my stop
Speaking of the circle...there aren't many lights on it, and while there are crosswalks, people basically play frogger with the cars...EEP!
if you're blind, you can push the button and get a readout of what the intersection is!
There is also a pretty park down the street that has wifi, lol. And within walking distance: a couple markets, a bar, some restaurants, a mcdonald's (eww), a pharmacy, and a tabac. SPEAKING OF WHICH, the host family smokes, blech, but hey, it is Paris!