I've been here for almost 16 hours and it still hasn't fully sunk in yet that Paris is going to be my home for the next five months. However, I have to admit that it isn't the grandeur or beauty of the city that has me feeling such awe--a show of blatant racism on the metro and the strong smell of urine at one of the metro stops quickly disillusioned me from that--it's the fact that for the next five months, I am going to be surrounded by a culture that is completely unfamiliar to me in the first degree. Paris is a place that, apart from distant memories of a family vacation at age eight, has only shown itself to me through pop culture and French classes. By the end of January 2014, I will (hopefully) be adept in both French language and French culture, something that I cannot even imagine being at this moment.
A couple friends and I decided to get the most touristy thing out of the way at once--visiting the Eiffel Tower. While it was definitely awesome to walk by it and around it, I have to admit that the coolest view we had was during dinner, when the majority of the structure was actually obscured by an apartment building across the street. Only the top couple meters were showing and there was a light show going on. It looked as if the tower was a lit July 4th sparkler. Of course, by the time we finished dinner and headed on over for a final nighttime view of the Tower, the sparkling had stopped. Struggs.
|People sitting and gazing up at the Eiffel Tower while being pestered by tons of men trying to sell champagne, beer, and wine.|
A long, long to-do list awaits us: get a French bank account. Get a cell phone. Find an apartment. Pay for the apartment. Move into the apartment. Choose classes. Remember how to speak French... Wish us luck.