Gotta love the French...

Trip Start Aug 31, 2010
Trip End Dec 23, 2010

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Monday, September 13, 2010

So this week has had its ups and downs for sure.  On the one hand I'm in Paris, the most visited city in the world, where I can eat crepes by the dozens, take a nap in le Jardin des Tuileries with the Louvre in the backdrop, or consume massive quantities of amazing (but cheap!) French wine by the Seine...however on the other hand, Parisians can be as rude as New Yorkers, half the time I have NO CLUE what people are saying because they talk WAY too fast, and my host family probably thinks I'm absolutely nuts!

I feel the best way to sum up this week of culture shock is by bullet points...

1. It is completely acceptable to tan in the nude in public.  And of course, it's pretty much only older men who take part in this, and honestly, no one needs to see that!

2. I was finally taught how to do laundry at my house.  My mere explained it so quickly though!  I didn't want to appear even more stupid than she probably already assumes I am, so I didn't ask any questions.  I'm an engineer right?  How hard can it be to operate a washer and dryer?  Um, VAST MISCONCEPTION - there were like a bajillion settings in french and I thought I almost broke the damn thing! First of all, the washer/dryer are located in the kitchen (logic for that?)  Second of all, I can only do my laundry after 11 pm because it's cheaper.  (Why, you ask? I have no idea, the French don't do anything easily).  So there I was, sneaking around in the dark until 1 am attempting to do my damn laundry!

3. My program gave me a list of classes I could MAYBE take, however they didn't tell me where or when these classes meet (or even begin).  So I had to schlep all around the university quartier searching for a list of these courses.  Why don't they just allow you to sign up online?  Much too logical perhaps...

4. The movie "Step Up 3" recently came out here, conveniently titled "Sexy Dance 3" - love it.

5. Parisians allow their dogs to just run around without leashes here so they are pooping ALL over the place and you're not obligated to pick it up.  Actually, they opted to pay more in their taxes to have a truck come around, whose sole purpose is to pick up dog shit...if it hasn't already been stepped in...lovely right?

6. I have to assume everyone in Paris is a musician of some sort.  They even have random concerts in the metro with like 10 people making up an orchestra...

Never really know what to expect next.  I'm just trying to keep up with everything for now, my classes don't start until next week (evidently)!  Currently missing normal showers and registering for my classes online...My host parents probably think I'm absolutely crazy by now! haha oh welllll
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Gemetta on

Hey Heather,

This is awesome. You must be having such a wonderful experience. I hope all iw well with you.

Sarah Paternostro on

heather it sounds like soooo much fun!!! and if you are lost in what they are saying, just imagine what i would be like... i have trouble following english.

Christine on

You absolutely made my night!! Sorry it had to be at your expense, but I've literally been dying reading this. Better you than me sister! I can just picture you with the laundry, trying to be all quiet and polite, yet having no idea what the hell you're doing! And I can only imagine the sheer look of disgust on your face seeing the naked men tanning... although, I'm sincerely dissappointed you didn't take a picture of that for me!

All in all though, I bet you're having the most amazing experience- truly one of a lifetime, and I'm so happy for you! At least you have Scott there, a piece of home, so that should be comforting during your endeavors trying to figure things out!

I miss you like crazy!! We need to skype soon!!!

I love you!!


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