First day in Paris…Le premier jour à Paris

Posted on August 30, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

So much has happened in the last 48 hours, I don’t think I can even capture it all, but I’m going to try to while its still fresh in my mind and my journal. Champagne and I ended up being on the same flight as 8 or 9 of the other students in our group. After a very annoying flight (we sat on the runway for 2 hours!), we finally made it to Paris at around 9:30, or as Parisians would write, 9h30, which is the way I’m writing time from now on because it’s easier and I need to get into the hang of it.

After a very long bus ride and a not quite so long bit of wandering around Montparnasse, we got to our hotel at around 12h30, only to discover that the rooms that were supposed to be ready at noon wouldn’t be ready until around 3h. So, a large group of us dropped off our luggage and Champagne and I decided jetlaggedly to go in search of some lunch, specifically a crêperie she had seen on the bus ride into Montparnasse.

Well there was a bit of difficulty finding the crêperie or any reasonably priced French food because Montparnasse is quite an ethnically diverse neighborhood, though we did manage to find some really cool Indian, Chinese, Pakastani, Tibetan, and Japanese places we wanted to try. We ended up running into a couple of girls from our program who had found this cute Italian place called Pizza Roma. After much wandering (jetlagged, I’m telling ya), we ended up deciding to get pizzas there, which we quite delicious. We also managed to order everything in French and our waiter mostly understood us. I also had my first legal glass of white wine, which was quite exciting.

After lunch we wandered around Montparnasse a bit more, we decide to go back to the hotel. Our rooms were finally ready, and Champagne and I took much needed showers and I took a much needed nap, after making plans with the others in our group to meet up around 8h to go to dinner.

After meeting everyone in the lobby, we decided to go explore more of Montparnasse, specifically the Place Denfert-Rouchereau. The group of 18 soon realized that it was going to be impossible to find a place with a table for all of us, so six of us went off to a place we had seen before called Chez Papa, which we chose mainly based on the sweet picture of the old possibly Jewish man. However, at six people, we weren’t able to get a table, but we will be back.

So we wandered around side streets a bit more and ended up at this adorable little crêperie called La Belle Ronde, where we made a pact to try and get no one to speak in English to us the entire night. This actually worked and the waiter even joked with us in French. We then ordered 3 25cl bottles of wine for the table, and you can imagine where the evening went from there…just kidding. Champagne and I each had these delicious crêpes with melon, proscuitto and crème fraîche. The table split a chocolate and hazelnut crêpe for desert and then headed out to meet up with the people we had split off from earlier.

The entire group decided to go out to a bar to take advantage of our new legal drinking age status. We ended up in this tiny little place called Smoke that had a hilarious Asian bartender with the habit of dancing around the bar to ABBA as he served drinks. I had a kir, which is white wine and cassis, aka the signature drink of Paris, and it was delicious. Around midnight, we decided to head back to the hotel, which somehow was quite nearby as we had been walking in circles and called it a night.

Next up, maybe even tonight, the first day of the program and meeting my host family.

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