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Published: February 6th 2009
So I began my departure about a week in advance of actually leaving. This is because of course I had to say the dreaded 'see you in about 6 months.' So, a few of my good friends and I went out to an art showing that was for D. Yaghjian and some others. We had an amazing time.
About a week later I was driving off to Atlanta. Right as I was parking the car I began to shiver, but I wasn't cold. I was just very nervous. I always get that way before I fly. I'm surprised that I'm not tagged by security as a suspicious person. :D Of course, as usual, I was at the airport early, therefore I had to wait about two hours for my boarding time. Once on board United Airlines flight number 355, I decided that waking up at 3:00 AM wasn't exactly the best of plans so... I took a nap. Once arriving in Chicago I knew that I would be in for a long layover... about six hours. Although I have taken many flights, that was my second layover ever. Upon arrival to Chicago I didn't know which gate to go to because it wasn't written on my boarding pass. The worst part about my layover was having to wait for my 'departure' flight to be displayed on this large set of screens, so that I could know my departure gate. Ok so 8ish hours later I'm in Paris.
I call my parents as soon as the plane comes to a complete stop and the fasten seat belt light is no longer illuminated. Woot for waking them up at 3:30 AM. I commenced to get off of the plane, go through customs and get my luggage. Which is where I could have ran into a slight problem, but it was all solved. You see, I brought two 50 lbs. suitcases with me because I am staying for four months after all. On the conveyor belt both of my bags came off at the same time. I knew that I wouldn't be able to lift them both off of the belt that quickly, so I ask a man standing next to me if he would help. Of which he did.
Ok... run off to the train station to see if Haley-Marie has arrived yet. No, not yet. After about a 30 minute wait and a little bit of worrying she arrived, and I was so happy to see her. We bought tickets for the 13h16 train to Angers and then arrived around 15h40. While in the train station, we had to wait about two hours for our train to arrive, I called the family that I would be staying with to let them know when to pick me up, and I called my parents again to check in.
In the train station Haley-Marie and I weren't too tired, but as soon as we got on the train and experienced the rocking motion of the TGV we instantly began to feel sleepy. Luckily in our delirium, as usual, we made each other laugh and therefore stayed awake so as to not miss our station.
Upon arrival to the train station in Angers, my host family was waiting patiently for me. They speak very fast French, and it is sometimes difficult to understand. However if you give them the 'confused' face they usually try to slow down and rephrase. :D They were very nice and took Haley-Marie to her foyer, which is not very far from the train station, and then they took me to their house. On the way to the house on Rue du Roi Rene there is a lot of construction/road work taking place, (it wasn't like that this summer). M. Camus was driving and he apparently decided to turn right to get out of the traffic, and he definitely popped up on the curve and drove in the bicycle lane about four car lengths to the road to turn right. I thought to myself after 30+ hours of traveling I'm going to get killed in a French car accident.
Chez Camus... in very fast French, lots of hand motions, and running around like mad-men, I was shown my room, the garage, and my velo. Woot. My room is rather large here, but my favorite aspect of my room is my wardrobe. It looks so old and it is absolutely huge. I also have two 'hidden doors,' which are very popular here, which give me a sink and much extra storage. This house is full of storage.
After a good rest, on Wednesday Haley-Marie and I met outside of the Petit Casino so that I could walk her to the Catho and show her where we would be taking our placement tests. We took our placement tests and felt rather confident about them. After that, we went out around the town to do a few errands. I needed a hair-dryer, and Haley-Marie needed to change her money. We found my hair-dryer, but not a place to change her money. We first went to the tourism office because I have changed money there. They couldn't change larger bills so we had to go to a bank. At the bank they told us to go to the post office, which we couldn't find. So we went to the post office next to the train station and they said that we had to go to the post office in the centre ville. So we decided to just go home and take a nap.
Then on Thursday we took a tour of the Catho and just chatted. We didn't really walk around or anything because we were so tired from traveling and trying to change money the day before.
We also decided to go out that night because we didn't have anything to do on Friday. It was fun, but we didn't stay out long.
In passing, in my house, I had seen a few other students. However, after coming home there were about five people in the garage. I decided to say hello and introduce myself. Luigi, an Italian, I think is the only one of them which is actually living in my house, but they were all working on this project about wine which had to be in English. So naturally being a stereotypical southern I helped them. It was fun though because I knew that Portuguese and Italian culture was being displayed in my garage for all to see. So... please believe that I soaked up as much as possible. They were playing great older alternative songs from the states, and eating and having coffee. It was amazing, and of course for my English correcting services they gave me food and drink. :D
Well, it is about mid-day here so I'm going to get ready and head out to see Haley-Marie, and try to find some mischief to get into. Just kidding!
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