26 January 2008

Lundi a la Paris

Lundi. That's Monday in French. I'm pretty good at remembering lundi and mardi and mercredi just because it's fun to say and know that you're saying a day of the week. It's the days afterward that my brain decides to forget. And of course, I hope you realize, when I say "decides" I mean it's a complete and utter accident.

Anyway. Lundi the 21st was the day that I got in to the airport so early. I slept on the chairs in front of the very doors I had just walked through. It wasn't that bad, once i figured out that it's a lot more comfortable to use the suitcases as an ottoman, rather than a pillow support. Oh, man, I am so glad I took my little travel pillow with me. It has been one of my best friends this entire time. I think I might see if I can marry it...

Around 630 (yes, AM) Christie's plane got in, and the two of us walked to Terminal C, where the rest of the group was supposed to be waiting. We were a few hours early. So we sat. And kinda talked. Mostly sat and were quiet. I read a little, and wrote. Then a few minutes after 930 we went to the middle of the terminal and met the group of really obvious American students trying to not fall asleep on their feet. They were also all struggling (ok, no, not all were struggling) to understand everything Staci and Andrew, the two leader peeps, were saying. That's because, quelle surprise, it was all in French. The group stood there for little over an hour, tentatively introducing themselves around the mob, and then we piled into a bus and drove from Charles de Gaulle into the heart of Paris.

I still laugh now when I think about the ride. No one knew one another, except for a couple kids (adults?) who are from the same school. At least, no one was already best friends with anyone else in the group. Plus, I was completely conscious. Sure, I was tired, but I was just travel and thinking tired, not jetlagged tired. PS THANK YOU GOD FOR THAT. That ride was so quiet, oh man oh man. It was like we were all gagged and in straight jackets. I sat more in the front, just behind Staci and Andrew, and near three girls who are all pretty much amazing, Sophia, Jessica, and Anna. We had the normal first-year-college-student-help-i-need-to-be-funny conversations; and of course I tried to be cooler than I actually am, because that's what everyone does the first day.

When we got to the auberge de jeuness (youth hostel) they did all the saying hi stuff (minus ice breakers, grace a Dieu) and gave us pocket money and metro tickets and mini maps. Then they said, "Ok, you're free, we'll be eating lunch at 12h30. Bye." I don't really remember who I walked around with then...I think it was Sarah and Amanda....whatevs. We walked around and discovered that hey, that's the Seine! And there's...wait, is that Notre Dame? That's Notre Dame! It was literally just across the river and over like a block.

After lunch we got our rooms. I was almost excited. Part of me was just so tired of hostels at that point, as it was my fourth hostel of the month, and I was just really really really looking forward to not having to lock up my things all the time. But then again, the shower was super big. And the water was hot. And Jess and Julie were tres cool. More walking happened that night, and then dinner at a pretty nice restaurant that made us beef bourguignon and creme brulee and wine. Well, they didn't make us the wine. But they served it to us. Yum. I was so tired after dinner that when we got home around 21h30, I went to sleep. Very few others actually did, since for everyone else it was daytime and not sleepy time.

A bed was a fantastic change from the airport chairs......

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