I’m here! After two weeks of transition time, I am finally here. Home, more or less, if you buy everything I’ve said for the last four years, or more. And it’s amazing, as it always is!
I told myself not to get too excited, as we were driving in, because as soon as we got into Paris, I couldn’t stop grinning. I recognized places – anyone know the area near the Bastille, I think it is, where we went to the catacombs with Oxbridge? Yeah we drove through that Place and I got so excited – and then where they dropped us off is literally a couple blocks from Académie de Paris (I don’t remember the name of the school, sorry Kaks) and I just felt so comfortable and happy and home. The first time since we left the US that I’ve been so excited. But I warned myself not to get ahead of myself. I might be lonely tonight, it might be awkward with my host family, I might be depressed being in an area I don’t know, etc. And yeah, I’m sad to not be on the Rive Gauche, but really, I’m right next to Montmartre, I’m in a really cool and funky area, and Paris isn’t that big. So I get to discover more of the city. Tough life. ;-)
Okay, my family. They’re amazing. Seriously. They’re so friendly and so welcoming, and my host mom, Patricia, told me at the beginning to call her and her husband by their first names, and to tutoyer them. Which means to speak to them in the familiar first person, as opposed to the formal, which is how you normally talk to adults, especially ones you don’t know very well. And I have four host siblings – 3 girls, one boy, all around my age. Solenne, the youngest, is 18; the boy, whose name I don’t know because he’s not here, I think he’s at school already, is 20; Virginie, who came with Patricia to pick me up (Solenne wanted to come too but was shopping and was caught too late), is 22 and works with little kids; and Caroline, who I haven’t met yet, but she gets back from vacation in Tunisia on Sunday, is 24, and she’s just living here until she gets her own apartment.
So I hung out with Solenne and Virginie tonight, after getting here and taking a shower. And after having the most wonderful dinner yet, simply because it was so simple and yummy and wonderful and familial. I loved Monique’s dinners in Tours, and I adored her, but somehow there’s less pressure here, even less formality, if that’s possible. We talked about all sorts of stuff, and they think my French is great, and they’re really impressed I can keep up with them, and they’re so helpful when I don’t know words, and the girls know a bit of English just in case. After dinner, the three of us hung out and watched Amélie! By the end of the movie, I was really happy I’d seen it before with subtitles, because I stopped being able to try to understand it. Yay visuals. :-D
So happy I have wifi here, even if it is a weak signal. Whatever I can get.
And now, off to bed with me, because I really must be alive for tomorrow. Who knows what I’ll be up to on my first day in Paris! Bon soir, mes amis!