Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Day!

The first day was a whirl wind of airports, French wine, Paris, trains, and some crazy French stories.

We arrived 2 hours late to the Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris, France. Not that I'm complaining because it gave me that much longer to sleep after a crazy day of traveling, first to chicago with at 4 hour layover and then on to France. Of course I slept on my first flight against my will, so the second flight that I should have been sleeping on to help with the jet lag didn't work out as smoothly. 2 hours later I woke to a flight attendant setting my breakfast on my lab. Only an hour after that I was in the Paris airport, only to find that my luggage had not made it to France with me. I went to baggage services where they told me I would receive my bag in Tours on Saturday. So off I went into Paris with no clothes and only a backpack that held my labtop, a scarf, some travel books, and lucky for pajama pants :)

The tickets from the airport to Tours were ridiculously overpriced so Aaron (another student studying abroad with me) and I decided to take our chances and head into Paris searching for better deals. We arrived at the trainstation and bought out tickets but we had two hours till our train left. So we decided to get some lunch. We stopped at this quaint little french looking restaurant and got Jambon et Fromage sandwiches and wine that was cheaper than the water. Afterwards we wandered around town for a bit and saw some amazing buildings and then back to the train station.

When we got there and our train was still not listed we began to get nervous. So we asked information and they told us that our train left from the station across town. We ran to the metro and anxiouly waited the 14 stops between us and our soon-departing train. When we arrived we ran with out backpacks flailing to our train, and watched it pull away as we ran up.

The next train left an hour later, so we decided to pull the sad American sap story that our plane was late and we missed our first train. Unfortunately this story worked for me...but not for Aaron. He was charged 20 Euro extra for being on the wrong train. Guess he doesn't know how to work the sad puppy face.

So we were on our way. We arrived in Tours at 7:00 after a very interesting and dillusional conversation with a very drunk French man that knew less English that I know Swahili and we took some time to get our bearings but we found the house alright. The family showed us around and we all had dinner together tonight. Aaron and I were the last to arrive from Concordia. There are 7 of us in all from Concordia and then one girl from Canada and another from Peru. The dinner conversation was amusing and was dominated mainly by the Dhommee's son Mathias who is 8. He's adorable and is pampered by all of us.

It is only 9:00 pm here but I am far beyond ready for bed. Tomorrow we go to the school to get our classes arranged and settled and Saturday I get my luggage back...hopefully.

It's been an adventure so far and I've loved every minute of it. It's so much easier, now that I'm here, to know this is really what I am supposed to be doing. Thanks for your support everyone! I miss you all so much!


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