Friday, August 8, 2014

Cute Seat Mates and Other Treasures of Traveling

Who is this ridiculously cute couple you might ask? Well its my friends the Holmes that I met on my plane ride to Paris! :) I was lucky enough to be seated right next to Julie and her husband on the flight and immediately knew that it would make a great start to my Parisian adventure. Nearly one of the first things she said to me was asking if I wanted a hand sanitizing wipe to clean my tray table and such, seriously such a sweet lady! Her and her husband are from Fresno, California and were going on a trip with their family to do some European adventuring. We talked about California, Colorado, the French, food, religion, farming, and how uncomfortable factor of trying to sleep on a plane. Julie also bears a striking resemblance to Katie Couric so I ended up telling her, and we enjoyed a nice laugh about her and her celebrity doppelganger. Needless to say we were meant to be seat mates!

Arriving in Paris felt a lot like coming home, and I felt ready and capable to fit into my temporary new role as a Parisian, that is until I remembered that I am not the best when it comes to directions. I waited patiently for my luggage, and once recovered decided to take a bus into town and then the metro to my new apartment. Like much of this summer it was raining and the grey sky seemed to be an omen that something was not going to go my way that day. The bus was late, and not a little late but a lot late, however it eventually arrived and I hoped on, giant orange suitcase in tow. Another realization occurred when I made it to the metro, I need to start lifting now. My arm strength is not nearly what it needs to be to carry a suitcase up and down metro stairs, but you live and you learn. :) Tired, sweaty, and still a little lost I made it to my new apartment where one of the other benevoles (volunteers) was waiting to get me all set up in my new housing. Les Petits Freres puts all the benevoles up in the same housing complex which is an apartment building made for university students in Paris. It is modern, clean, safe, and full of diversity...I'm a fan! No matter how many times I think I've got this whole Paris thing down the first day always feels like my first time in Paris, it's like my brain is wiped clean in order to fit in all the new memories that I will make during my stay. Starving, I decided to head downstairs and ask the cute boy at the front desk where to find a nearby McDonalds. Thankfully he took pity on me, and at about 11pm at night took me to find a cheeseburger and fries. First day in France and I'm already eating McDonalds (and I enjoyed it too), quel honte! (what shame!)

Having eaten some food and made a new friend I started getting settled into my new apartment; unpacking really is essential in order to feel at home. Though I had no pillow my first night I fashioned a make shift one out of my softest and comfiest clothes and called it good. I was in Paris, the lack of a pillow was definitely not going to put a damper on that.
Coming up next: the first day on the job :)


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