Yesterday, or at least I believe it was yesterday even though it doesn’t feel like it, we boarded our flight to France. I sat next to a French woman who brought her chihuahua in a carry-on bag. During the flight, I couldn’t help but observe the French mannerisms of her, the stewards, and a couple with a young baby (who had the cutest French baby talk!). They were polite and could seamlessly go back-and-forth between speaking French and English, but, of course, they preferred French. During our meals, I felt like I was eating much faster than those around me . The French woman next to me kept to herself until towards the end of the flight when we bonded over her hiding her dog in her lap and another woman who could speak neither English or French. Then, she asked me all about where I was from and what I was doing in Paris. The woman said that her daughter became stronger, more independent, and developed a better sense of responsibility when she traveled abroad, which is exactly what I hope to gain from this experience, aside from the beautiful sites and delicious food.
Once we landed, we took the RER to Citie Universitaire, which is where we are staying.
My roommate, Anna, and I then explored the campus and nearby streets. I have already seen so many beautiful structures, which I was constantly taking pictures of while we walked, and cannot wait to learn more about Paris.
my faux pas for the day (I’m hoping this list gets shorter or becomes non-existent during the month):
I didn’t catch the price of my lunch so I asked the man “repetez s’il vous plait”… he didn’t respond for a few minutes (which maybe I’m exaggerating, but that’s what it felt like) and seemed very exasperated that I would even ask
I made eye-contact with a woman and smiled at her out of instinct (we were told in a booklet that, in France, you do not smile at strangers, especially not at men who think it’s flirting and permission for them to make advances)
I attempted to leave a metro stop where people are supposed to enter
a man sitting on the street greeted us in French and I had to try so hard not to laugh
and I’m sure there were many other things that I did which made it obvious that I was an American