Je suis à Paris!

I’m sure I could blabber on about some sort of realization I had, but it’s way too soon for that, my internal clock is not attuned to that, and I don’t think I have any sort of deep musings to share. So instead, here’s a few things I noticed and a little bit about how my day went.

It was a long day and who wouldn’t’ve expected that?

My flight to Iceland was fine other than some crazy turbulence that woke me up. Once we got to the terminal (we had to take a shuttle from the airline) I had 30 minutes until I was supposed to be boarding my next flight, but I had to go through passport control. Luckily there was basically no one in line so I flew right threw (pun intended) and got to the gate. A Smith student recognized me there and we traveled the rest of the way to Paris together. I was worried about customs in Paris (mostly because of my medication) but all of the douane workers were just hanging around talking to one another and we just walked right past them. I guess if you get through passport control (like I did in Iceland because it’s in the Schengen zone) maybe they don’t care that much about customs (unlike in the US). Either way, no one stopped me or my travel companion and we continued on our way. I ended up asking the information desk just to make sure we weren’t illegally entering the country or something and 1) they understood my french and 2) they answered me and I understood them, so that was a win.

The bus ride was uneventful except that I realized that >½ of the buildings I’ve seen so far actually have those beautiful wrought iron gates outside of their windows. I thought that was an exaggeration from the movies but apparently not. That and the number of smart cars. They’re EVERYWHERE. So many tiny cars. And mopeds/motorcycle. Even some that have little roofs. There are also a ton of roller bladers. I didn’t realize this was a thing. Maybe it isn’t. But Paris is trying to make it a thing.

We got to the hotel and were able to check in right away, which was a super nice surprise. G and I made our way to Reid Hall, Smith’s center in Paris, to check it out so we know where we’re headed tomorrow. After a quick trip to the center, we headed to a boulangerie and got a bite to eat. I got a croissant au chocolat et amande. It was delicious but next time I’d keep it simple and get one or the other, not together.

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While we were sitting there a smart car labeled “MEDECINS” drove by, which I thought was hilarious. It is simultaneously a step up (a doctor) and a step down (a smart car) from an ambulance. On our way back, we saw a guy smoking and drinking a pint of beer before 10 am. Welcome to Europe.

I ended up breaking the cardinal rule of jet lag and took a nap, but I was able to then go to dinner. On our way to find a bite to eat, G, M, and I happened to find a pretty view…

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It was a lovely end to a (hot) first day.

Song of the Day: Paris by Friendly Fires

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