Wine Museums, the metro, 1€ Baguettes, escargots, Le Tour Eiffel; and let’s not forget EVERY fashion store in the city is having a sale. And that’s just my first week in Paris. This past week was definitely an adjustment and being a foreigner is not a role I have had much experience with. This is my first time in Europe and I get to spend the next 4 and half months in the beautiful city of Paris. I flew alone, but my family met me right as I was exiting the airport. I had only met one of my aunts on my dad’s side and that was when I was much younger. So, when I finally got out of baggage claim and saw two of my aunts and one of my uncles, it was quite a nostalgic feeling and a lovely welcoming party. It was long overdue. After they helped me settle in, we parted ways and the first thing I did was sleep considering I had not slept in about 20 hours. I could not fall asleep on the plane ride as there was too much anticipation and some pretty good movies on. I finally got to see “Sausage Party” and “Lincoln” (polar opposites I know).
This first week has been a lot of walking and a lot of getting lost. My first day heading to my school’s office, I asked about 9 people how to find the building. I knew my basics for asking for directions, but I didn’t always understand what people were saying back, if they even bothered to help. My destination was about 30-40 minutes from my dorm, but since it was the first day and I knew there was a good chance of me getting lost, I left home an hour and a half early. I was still 10 minutes late, but I got there so I consider it a win. Outside of getting lost on my first day, I have seemed to get the hang of things here even without having google maps. The public transportation system here is impeccable, and I’m starting to feel spoiled. There are multiple forms from getting from point A to point B and they are all so efficient and inexpensive. My personal favorite is the Metro train. It will say it’s coming in two minutes and it will actually be there in two minutes. Also, the trains run very frequently and everyone uses them, which I don’t find to be a bad thing since I get to people watch the Parisians on all my rides. The Boston MBTA needs to take some pointers from the French.
Throughout the week, it’s been a lot of being a tourist, sight-seeing, learning the streets, and the methods behind the streets. I still get confused because street signs here are plastered to the side of building. As a result, you don’t always know what street your on until you turn on to it. I could definitely live without that but its apart of the culture, so I’m embracing it. In addition, there are a plethora of things to do here but definitely not enough time. However, if I am able to just do a third of things I’d like to, perhaps I’d be content. Fortunately, I have met some very interesting people from various parts of the world and I really think that is going to add to my experience. I’m very thankful to be able to attend Sciences Po; it’s a wonderful school that will give me access to a lot of new connections and opportunities. I have never been so excited to start class as every single class I registered for sounds interesting. I will have to embrace a new style of learning, but I feel like that will be very beneficial for my career field.
This city has turned out to be more than I could have ever expected and I’ve already told my mom that I’m trying to figure out how I can come back again and stay for another period of time.