Monday, June 10, 2013
Alright, my jet-lagged and disoriented brain has at long last come to the realization that I arrived in Paris yesterday and will be here for the next 6 weeks. There are few things I can say I've ever been this excited about... And I'm pretty excited.
So far, my hotel is lovely. I unexpectedly ended up roommate-less, but it's actually nice to have a quiet place to come back to after a busy day in the city. The room has two beds (which I've been experimenting with squishing into one), a small kitchenette (which I discovered I could make ice in! I don't know why that's exciting but it really is), a TV (which I think I'll watch to try to learn more french), a really modern bathroom, and a closet that I think I've already broken.
Yesterday we all napped whenever possible to try to adjust to the red-eye/time difference problems. But around the naps, we met as a group to go shopping and see the major shopping areas. Our professor even asked at one point if there were any vegetarians among us so she could point out a place to buy TOFU. Thankfully there are a few other vegetarians and I have a feeling we'll be looking into this place... We also got to sit and have a sort of in-country orientation at which we were told to stay away from certain parts of Paris which could be dangerous and how not to talk to strangers trying to take all your money. Pretty informative.
Last night we, all 15 of us, stormed a small restaurant a few minutes away from the hotel. I'm pretty sure the staff was either overwhelmed or just upset by the fact that we were all there and that we were all relatively incapable of successfully ordering our own meals... They were very polite about it though. The food was FANTASTIC. It was a bit of a struggle to get something vegetarian and I ended up having to go against the rules to get two entrees instead of one entree and a main plate, but again the waitstaff was incredibly nice about it. I ended up ordering a goat cheese salad and a vegetable soup, both of which were filling, savory, and wonderful. The waiter had this tendency to replace the bread bowl anytime the chunks of baguette dwindled below 3. While this was entertaining to watch and really quite courteous, it meant we all ate a whole lot of bread. But I mean what else am I here to do besides eat bread?
Ok I am here to do more than eat bread (but I'm mostly here to eat bread), I'm here to look at ART! Today we're meeting at the Roman Arena and later visiting the Museum of Archeology and the baths at the Musee National du Moyen Age. As you can see, we're starting with medieval works, which isn't really my specialty, but getting to see any art, architecture, etc. is all I want to do here (besides eat bread. Have I mentioned how much I love French bread?).
From what I've seen so far, this trip will be jam packed with walking tours of the city, various museum visits, and day trips outside of Paris. It's going to be exhausting, thrilling, and fascinating and I'm so excited to begin!