Will I be forced to live on the rues de Paris?

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August 25th 2005
Published: July 24th 2006
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I am nothing short of overwhelmed: I live in PARIS!

My flights were fine they were both on time. Charles de Gaul is madness-a silly, silly airport. I missed the group taxi service to the airport so I took a taxi by myself and arrived to meet my peers! The director is great. He has lived in Paris for 8 years starting when he studied abroad, fell in love and then moved here!!! We’ll see what the year brings, wink wink. My group seems great, very eclectic in that we are all at very different language levels and from different places.

The first night we were let loose after a brief meeting to discuss what was to come-buying cell phones and searching for apartments. So of course I went with a few people to get ice cream on the Île de Saint Louis and then all 15 or so of the 19 of us went to this crazy Spanish bar-I know on the first night it is a bit strange and not French but it was fun. I was very happy when I finally crawled into bed.

“Home” is in a hostel in the 5th, the Latin Quarter. The area is beautiful, very close to the Sorbonne, Notre Dame, gardens and much more. As the year has been so dry the leaves are starting to change! So pretty! The hostel itself is, um, basic. There is no shower curtain and you have to hold the lever for water to come out, does this make sense? You have to keep one hand on a button while you bathe?! So there is water everywhere and it was really funny trying to wash with one arm occupied. Also, I am very glad I have my sleeping bag as the sheets are, well, stained. Eww.

So day two we went as a group to our school, Very interesting. We are only speaking in French now, I am getting better every hour. Of course we do a lot of clarifying or hunting for the correct words in dictionaries, but it is getting better. Needless to say I am not doing as much talking as I do in English. We took a tour of our school (three small rooms, high ceilings, gold leaf mirrors, floor to ceiling doors, narrow desks and chairs, a library, a computer lab, a video/dvd library, decorations on the walls that make it lookl ike a wedding cake) It is on Boulevard Houssman and is rather fantastic. We then spent the afternoon talking about apartments. I called a few people and made arrangements to meet them.

I went to two places yesterday the first in the Marrais I can see Notre Dame and can sneeze on Centre Pompodu. The landlady was, well a little crazy and it was too much money to put up with her so off I went. I went to one way far out of the center of things, a great apartment but I didn’t feel safe walking there and don’t want to always be nervous like that. So I have three more arrangements, one tonight and then one Friday and one Sat. Hope I find something!

We went to a French rap group last night, which was very funny, I didn't catch it all but I was pretty sure the first two songs where about bestiality, a vocabulary I don't have.

Let’s see any other little things? I spoke this morning with the woman who cleans our room as she walked in on me changing (strange) and we had a lovely conversation after which she told me I speak French very well! I felt so great! It is the little things.

My school is very intense and will be more work than I anticipated. That is ok, I’ll just take more weekend trips within France and see Europe in the summer with all the other American students. I certainly jumped into the deep end of the pool but I am optimistic that I’ll manage.


12th September 2005

Oh, Katie, I am so envious! You will have the time of your life. It will change you forever and your outlook on life. Keep in touch!

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