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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oooh la la the Crème Brulee

by Lauren Quibodeaux

Paris has surpassed all my expectations and I have only been here a week! The plane ride went very well, I had nice company next to me and the meals were not bad. Once off the plane I headed to customs and this is where my first encounter with a Parisian occurred. The man took my passport, looked at me, stamped it and gave it back without saying one word. Fortunately, that was the last cold Parisian I have encountered. 

 Next on the agenda was getting to my apartment. Luckily for me these nice people who were also taking the Metro showed me the way. Once I was told which lines to take I looked like a pro getting around the Metro system. The most confusing part was finding the tiny street my apartment was on, but thank goodness my on site director was close by and showed me how to get there.

 Aliya, the on site director was so kind from the moment I met her. She helped me carry my luggage and showed me around my apartment. Her kind and welcoming personality instantly made me feel comfortable in this foreign city! Once Aliya left I looked around at all of the quaint details in the apartment. The fact that I would be living in a Parisian apartment for the next month filled me with excitement.
Best Creme Brulee I have ever had and probably ever will have!

 The rest of the day I rested and became acquainted with my neighborhood. Once my roommate arrived we set out to get dinner. We chose a restaurant nearby our apartment and ordered the most French food we could find. The owners were so friendly and only spoke a little English so we were able to practice our French. We headed back to our apartment to get a good nights rest before our busy morning.

 Tuesday, we woke up and headed to the Sorbonne to take our placement test and meet the other GSE students. After the test we went on a River cruise and a walking tour of the city. For me, the river cruise was the perfect way to see Paris for the first time. Everything from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower was more amazing than I could have imagined. The architecture of all the buildings was breathtaking and the history of the city was so incredible.


river cruise and first encounter with the Eiffel Tower
 Following the river cruise we had a welcome lunch and that was my first experience with a Croque Madame (grilled ham and cheese with an egg on top), it was simply delicious! For dessert I had crème brullee and let me just say no one makes crème brulee like the Parisians; the crème brulee literally melts in your mouth and places you on cloud 9. Once we were all stuffed from eating we headed out on another tour.

Sacre-Coeur literally took my breathe away!
I could not believe how magnificent this church is.
I was on the verge of tears!

 This was a tour of the hidden shopping passages that were created hundreds of years ago. I had never heard of them, but after the tour I knew everything about them. It was during this tour that I realized how much history this city had and how much this city has overcome! I could not believe I had only been in Paris for two days and was already absolutely in love. 

 O and I should also mention class, I promise I am studying French too not just sighseeing. I love my grammar and phonetics class and am learning so much already. Phonetics is very helpful because it allows me to hear what I sound like. What I think I am saying and what is actually being said are two different things. This phonetics class is really aiding in my ability to speak the language.

While I have only been here a week it feels like so much longer because I have done so much! I love the ability to go wherever I want when I want. In a week I have already see Champs-Elysse, Arc de Triomphe, Tour-Eiffel, Sacre-Coeur, and the Notre Dame. Paris is such a welcoming city with so much to offer I can’t wait to see what the next three weeks bring!


À la proachaine fois,
Lauren

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GSE Summer 2012 - Paris, France, University of Paris Sorbonne    

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