Hello everyone! I am surprised to see how many people subscribe to this blog and actually sign on to read it. I do get to see stats on all that stuff and I am glad I actually write something you want to read!
Today, overall, was a pretty good day. It rained for the better part of the day but it really wasn't a hard rain. It would start lightly raining for about 30 minutes then stop for an hour or so and then resume. From what I understand that is fairly average weather for this time of the year. This morning started our 2nd day of orientation.
Wade and I began the morning having breakfast with our host Mom. The past two days we have woken up at 7:30am and taken showers. When we walk down stairs and into the main house to take our shower, our host mother is already sitting at the table, with breakfast waiting. After the showers, we sit and eat. During the weekdays, Parisians tend to have a continental breakfast and have their heavier breakfasts on the weekends. Cereal, bread, jam, and coffee are commonly seen on the table. We have two choices for cereal, variants of captain crunch or corn flakes. Although not a big fan back in the US, the last two mornings I have opted for the Captain Crunch. This morning I also ripped (yes Parisians use there hands when eating all the time) a piece of yesterdays baguette and had it with Jam. Orange juice and water are the drink of choice for me. It is actually Orange juice imported from Florida! The first day of Breakfast was slightly strange because I did not know whether or not to drink the left over milk out of the bowl. I didn't want to be wasteful and leave it but I also didn't want to be rude and put the bowl up to my mouth if that is something they normally wouldn't do. I debated in my head and ultimately just asked Madame. She said whatever we want. (Wade was having the same dilemma). So we drank it.
I have only had one dinner with my host. The first night she made us grilled cheese with ham and an over easy egg on top. It was actually pretty good. I don't know what kind of cheese she used, but it was very nice. We have three dinners a week with our host and we have decided on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The meals are supposed to be three course and I am looking forward to actually having home cooked food while I am here.
Last night and tonight I went to Monoprix (the supermarket) and bought food for dinner. Both nights I had a PastaBox, which is prepared pasta you microwave. It is actually quite tasty.
I also purchased a case of water and apple juice to keep in my room. Of course a trip to the Monoprix would not be complete without some candy so I also have a stash of that in my room. There is a fruit stand on my way home from the metro station, where I stopped and picked up some grapes and bananas today.
Ok. Enough talking about food!
This morning Wade and I took the same Metro route as we did yesterday, only today we did not get lost. But one of our Metro trains ended up breaking while we were at a station. If only I could have understood the announcements they were making over the intercom! We ended up just following everyone else onto a different train which ended up being the same line. We have to switch trains two times and take three different lines, but I think we got it down by now. I enjoy riding the metro because it is easy, but the people really do smell bad. I just want to bring a giant bottle of febreeze with me and spray them all down. It really does get bad sometimes. One of the Metro lines we take does take us over the river Seine and right past the Eiffel tower every day, it really is a sight to behold! After my intensive session is over in two weeks, I wont be taking the metro to school. Since I will be enrolled at a French University I wont need to go to the IES center for classes and the University is only a 12 minute walk from my house, although I hope to buy a used bike from a used bike shop that I saw not too far from the house.
Today's orientation covered topics such as meeting french people and doing things that the locals do. I know I said enough about food but I forgot that we had lunch on our own today. A few friends and I walked to a local cafe and sat outside. We each had a salad and the three of us shared a bottle of white wine. It was really nice to sit at the Cafe and watch the people go by. Paris is great for people watching.
After lunch we had one more orientation session then we took the metro to the Eiffel tower where we boarded a tour boat on the River Seine. It was a nice ride to see all the monuments but I really can't wait to actually go in them and see them up close!
Some nice homes along the river.
One of the many bridges
I know there are a few things in this building but all I remember is that there is an Aquarium
The Eiffel Tower
After the boat tour many of us went back to our apartments and home stays to sleep. The jetlag has been catching up to majority of the group. Around 4pm we all just drop dead! Before I could go back though, I needed to go and buy a cell phone. I first stopped into the cell phone store by my house but they were all out of the phone I wanted. It took me a while before I found another phone store. This one had the phone, but my fears came true when the sales person only spoke french! I managed to get by very well though and got the phone and plan that I wanted. Most people in the group just got the cheap flip phone, but although it took two days to navigate through the french websites, I did my research and learned that if I bought a more expensive phone, I could use the student discount (only on purchases over 100 euros) which ended up making my much nicer phone cheaper than the ones they got. I got a touch screen phone but I like it because I can put songs on it and it has an FM radio built in. Small novelty's but I think I got a pretty good deal! I was pretty proud of the way I have managed to get through the cell phone purchase, two trips to the super makret, and a trip to the fruit stand, all with workers that speak no English. I think I am really starting to adapt well to being here. I can't wait to start my french classes on Monday so that I can actually speak a little bit more to the locals and understand what they are saying to me.
We get to sleep in Tomorrow! and IES is taking us on a trip to Versailles. A group of us also made plans to go out clubbing tomorrow so I will be sure to share that experience with you all!