My second week in Paris is coming to a close and so far, so good. My cours pratique (language class) met every day this past week and on Friday I had my first phonetics class, where we practice our oral French. Both phonetics and my cours pratique will meet each day this week and my conferences (electives) will meet for the first time. Needless to say, the Sorbonne is keeping me pretty busy. Unfortunately my schedule contains some conflicts that will result in me having to leave my class early twice a week and walk 20 minutes across several arrondissements to another class, which I will probably (definitely) always be late for. I’m told this type of conflict has happened before and when it cannot be helped, as in my case, the professors do not hold it against the student when grading them…thank goodness.
On a more positive note: over the past week I got a prepaid French cell phone, managed to get a metro pass, had my first culinary success in the apartment, and finally did laundry, so some of my stress has been alleviated. A French man even asked me for my phone number at the laundromat! I also spent a lot of time with the friends I have made. On Monday night we celebrated one’s birthday at a Scottish pub in the Marais (a beautiful, historic district) and later in the week we visited the Centre Pompidou (a museum). Admission was free and I saw some pretty interesting artwork. When we were done looking at the exhibits, we took an escalator to the top floor where we saw a great view of the Parisian skyline. Afterwards we had dinner in a very cute bistro where I had my second Croque-Madame in one week (a Croque-Madame is an open-faced grilled ham and cheese sandwich with one egg over-easy on top). Otherwise, I have had espressos at plenty of Parisian cafés and tried several nutella crepes from various street vendors and restaurants. Yum!
Yesterday my friends and I took the train to visit the Palace of Versailles. Here is a picture of us in front of the chateau:
It was absolutely beautiful and rich with history. However, living in Newport and attending Salve Regina, I felt maybe a little less impressed than others by the high ceilings, intricate moldings, and overall aesthetic beauty. Not to say it wasn’t amazing, I just am very spoiled! After we got back from Versailles, I invited everyone over to my apartment for a wine and cheese party. I cooked chicken and ravioli for dinner and everyone brought different French cheeses and wines. There were of course plenty of baguettes, too! Here is a picture from our little party:
All in all, I am really enjoying Paris so far. I am still trying to go with the flow and take things one day at a time. There are days that I really miss America but I know that I have to live in the present moment because when I go back home it will be Paris I am missing!
Thanks for reading!