My first full day in Paris! After an early breakfast of a croissant with jam and coffee (tres Francais!), we were taken on our first metro ride…the metro here doesn’t always go underground, and we saw the Eiffel Tower out the train windows! After several stops we arrived in Passy, the area of Paris in the 16th arr. where NYU’s Center is located…what a cute little building, with beautiful multi-colored windows and a pebble courtyard and garden. It’s just one building, so our group will be seeing each other considerably during class time, which should be nice.
We had an orientation session on general life in Paris, with suggestions about traveling, eating, drinking, activities, and staying safe and healthy…lots of important information! After the first orientation a group of us, led by Marie-Claire and Greg, took us out to get cell phones and lunch…so now I have a phone so that I can call other people here in France, though I think I will be using Skype to make most of my calls out of the country.
After the cell phone store stop, we went to a creperie for lunch…it was a rather expensive place because Passy is a pretty wealthy area, so I got just a gallette with emmantel, which is a cheese that tasted a bit like Swiss…delicious! And to go with our crepes and gallettes we all got “cidre,” which is an alcoholic, sparkling, apple cider…apparently, in Bretagne it’s the thing to drink when you get a crepe…also delicious, though it will take me a while to get used to drinking alcohol in the afternoon…I get too tired! In the creperie group is a guy who seems really sweet (and ridiculously good at French), whose name is Constantino…but also in the group were a couple of girls who ordered salads at the creperie…how absurd is that? You’re in Paris, at a creperie, and you order a salad?? I’ll never understand people like that.
After lunch we went back to the NYU Center for another orientation session, but Emily and I didn’t have to stay because it was only about housing, so we left and wandered around Passy for a while…I’ve had to use my French a huge amount already, and especially this afternoon when Emily and I were on our own, and I’m really proud at how well I’m doing! It was a little tougher trying to ask questions about cell phones, but between the 2 of us we managed ok. We went to a café that was so smoky my eyes were killing me…hopefully most cafes won’t be like that! After the café we window-shopped for an hour or so, and then headed back to the FIAP on the metro by ourselves (and we did everything right, yay!), where we met up with Lauren for dinner…it’s really too bad she goes to school in Michigan, because I really like her!
Everyone is out meeting up with their host families and landlords now, so Em and I are just hanging out in the room…I called our future landlord to set up an arrival time, so we will be officially moving in at 2:30pm Saturday afternoon! At the moment we’re both trying to get in touch with our families…I’m too poor to pay 10 Euros for 2 hours of internet, but Em is using Skype to call her Dad, and I may steal a minute or to send my Dad an email with my phone number so that he can call me…our phones work locally now, but the international calling function won’t be active until tomorrow, rats.
I’m so tired, since we only slept 8 hours last night, and that was supposed to be counting as 2 nights’ sleep, so I think we will have to go to bed earlier tonight…Emily said earlier that she might want to go out, but I’m hoping that when she sees how late it’s gotten she’ll change her mind!