Wednesday, July 03, 2002

bonsoir. what a day... while i havent yet gotten to do any real siteseeing, i've certainly had a few adventures already. ;-) most of the day yesterday and monday were spent getting oriented and wandering around in search of stores so i could buy a towel and a better wallet. euro small denominations are in coinage - they have a 2€ and a 1€ coin, so you end up carrying a ton of change, and i had a very small change area in my travel wallet. autumn and i were so excited when we found these wallets we call "euros for dummies wallets" b/c they have individual marked slots for the different coinage (oh, forgot to mention that they have a 2 euro-cent coin too). we learned later that these wallats are for old people! oh well... i am the second oldest of all the students anyway, so i guess the geriatric wallet isnt too far off.

oh, for those who dont know who i'm talking about, Autumn is a girl i have been friends with for a while from georgetown. rounding out the GU contingent here are two other girls i dont know as well, Le Marie and Jennifer (Jen). Le Marie is.... um, i think definitely ADD, and just kooky in that strange i-dont-get-out-much way.

back to the scintillating storyline ;-)

today was our first day of class and i just barely managed. of course, getting home at 3:00 and having to get up at 7:00 probably wasnt the greatest idea... our classes in paris are done in conjunction with the INT, or the National Institue for Telecommunications - sortof a college of business and engineering around telecom. there are some french students in the program with us from the INT, and they took a group of us out last night. we walked all over the damned place (one thought the other was leading and vice versa, until we'd gone in circles a few times) only to end up at a pizza place! some of us were kinda annoyed - pizza! - but they were trying so hard to entertain us, so we just let the wine flow and tried to figure out how to order pizza without eggs. yes, you read correctly - they put eggs on pizza here. anyway, we hit a bar afterward, where we were all good enough to teach Pierre-Vladimir (thank god he answers to PV) terrible slang. you really havent laughed until youve heard a very earnest french boy say "pimps up, hos down, biotch!" anyway, after that we had some fun finding the free bus back to the Cite (what they call where we stay). oh, and it was pouring, of course.

it rains all the time. on and off all day, and its cold! argh. i hear it was in the 80s over the weekend, so hopefully it will warm up. it MAY have made it up to 70 today, but a damp, windy 70 if it was.

oh, the saga this morning. since it was our first class time and we have to commute out to the burbs to the INT, we all met in the lobby this morning to go together. Dr. LaRose (more on him later) looks around and decides everyone is there and heads everyone out, but autumn and i notice that Le Marie isnt. i tell Beth, our nice but clueless TA, to hang on a sec while we go get her, but they leave, turns out Le Marie's alarm never went off, so autumn and i waited for her to get dressed and then we had to find our way by ourselves. it wasn't too bad - the Metro is huge and complex, with commuter trains in and out as part of the system, too, but it isnt hard to navigate. but, in terms of distance and changing trains, basically it was like being at Woodley Park and having to get to BWI with only a vague sense of what you need to do. interesting, for sure...

so, i am exhausted now and staying in tonight. tomorrow is fourth of july and they are having a BBQ for us, which should be interesting. i probably wont even get to start of the siteseeing stuff here really until next week - we leave for london after class on friday. oh, except in our hiking across paris last night, i saw Notre Dame and the Paris City Hall - both absolutely spectacular, especially at night and lit up. actually, paris is beautiful and the architecture is awesome. i really dont feel like it is so different from the US - i mean, stores are similar, customs arent *that* different, plus almost everyone speaks pretty good english. what takes some getting used to are all the dogs - they treat them better than people, i think. dogs on the metro, dogs in restaurants, stores, you name it. oh, and we saw a woman with a ferret at the mall.

anyway, could i have written more? i guess i should let someone else use the computer... hope everyone has a happy fourth!

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

BONJOUR! caveat emptor: these french keyboards are really really weird, so i wont use much punctiation. and the spelling will suck. :)

paris... its beautiful here. the architecture, the gardens everywhere... the people, contrary to popular belief, are very friendly and helpful to us stupid americans. AND you can smoke everywhere - i lit up right there in the airport waiting for my luggage! our dorm is really gorgeous - from the outside! the inside, however... well, lets just say it leaves much to be desired, but its relatively clean and functional. the one thing that kinda sucks is that it is cold - in the 60s - and pretty damp. yesterday it rained on and off all day, and i am told thats typical; oh well.

anyway, autumn is waiting to use the computer next so i,ll get off.... hope everyone is cool and i,ll type more later!