Paris was a magnificent journey. When I first arrived in Paris, I was a little flabbergasted because of the language barrier, but I soon overcame it. The minute I tried to talk in French to a French person, they immediately heard my accent and started speaking English. I continued to try to answer them in French the best that I could. Also, trying to find the train without wifi and getting to the St. Christopher’s Hostel was an absolute struggle, but I made it and met up with the other students in my group. That same day the advisors of the group took us Le Jardin des Plantes, which had a beautiful rose garden. It was a huge garden and a lot of the cool things cost money like seeing the animals or other exotic things.
Then we visited a Masque where we got tea (thé) and cookies. The weird thing about the tea was that it was in a glass shot cup. It was small and really hot (très chaud), one of the advisors taught us how to properly drink it. Your index finger holds the top while the thumb holds the bottom.
After that, we had some free time, so we decided to take the metro to our next destination and also visit the Eiffel Tower. This was another challenge for me because I left my 3 day train pass at home of course, so I had to keep buying them until the advisor gave me hers. The train station in Paris reminds me of the New York metro. It is nothing like our trains in Philly, other than the smell of pee occasionally. It is very convenient and always interesting to go on. One time, this guy was in the train cart rapping in French with a huge speaker next to him.
Fast forward to when we got to the Eiffel Tower during the day. I was scared of getting pick pocketed because that type of thing is big in Europe, but it didn’t happen. Instead, there were a bunch of other guys selling cheap wine and champagne. We bargained for this girl to get a bottle of pink miscato for only 5€. He was supposed to charge her 15€.
After the Eiffel tower, we went to a restaurant called Framboise (Rasberry) where I tasted the most delicious crêpes in my life. It had this wheat type of flat bread with raspberry sauce and raspberries on the top with whipped cream. After we ate there, we went back to the Eiffel Tower to see it at night. It didn’t even look real, but when I went up those cramped elevators to the top, it seemed a little more believable that I was there. It was so great to see that because I have only seen it in pictures and movies. Seeing it jn real life almost made me cry. I will definitely take a trip back to Paris on one of the weekends while I am close by.
Now I am in Besançon, a small city outside of Paris, where I have met my host family and started having conversations in French. It has been an interesting and challenging experience, but hopefully with the class to help me, it will get a little easier. Tomorrow we will be taking a tour of the city, so I plan to take 100 more photos in my phone. For this trip, I have to continue to think about what I want to achieve here and what my growth will look like in order to keep myself motivated.