Paris: The Beginning – I’m just a walking faux pas

Salut! So I’ve finally decided to start my blog in honor of beginning classes today. Hey, how else am I supposed to maintain productive procrastination in lieu (<- That’s French. See what I did there?) of doing my homework?

Upon arriving and tasting some delicious stereotypical French food I decided I would like to play a game with you all (un petit jeu, if I may). It’s called How Much Weight Will Rebecca Gain in Paris?. **Please send me your guesses to the closest half of a pound** (or kilogram. Whatever, Frenchies) and whoever comes the closest will get a prize from Paris, like wine or a ménage à trios. Take into consideration that I walk everywhere but I also eat everything, and that my genes are really good but my jeans may still get pretty tight. But I’m totally serious, I want your guesses.

pastry

This is called a tresse aux pépites de chocolat, and it will be the death of me. It’s basically a chocolate chip cookie dough filled croissant and I’ve had one almost every morning.

And now, je commençerai!

General update: I landed in Paris about 12 days ago to stay with a host family in the “Bobo” part of Paris (It’s a combination of the words “bohemian” and “bourgeois”). The plane ride was nice but Pépé (best pseudo- name ever. Thank you Tufts Aepi) and I almost missed our connecting flight from Heathrow. If he wasn’t there to carry my bags for me (heh) I would have definitely been done for.  Great planning, I know.

Before I left I told everyone I wasn’t very excited to come here because I’m an awful, excessively rational person who claims she cannot be excited for something she has never seen or done before. Thankfully, as soon as I saw Paris, an overwhelming feeling of happiness came over me – the buildings are gorgeous, the language is beautiful (“It’s like wiping your ass with silk”), and the people are dressed incredibly well. Honestly, the pure aesthetics of the place put a smile on my face to a degree that’s hard to articulate. Aaand then the taxi driver gave me a lesson on how to say the name of the very street I’m living on properly and played Adel songs the entire ride. Yeah.

Where I went (and how I ruined it):

1. The Loire Valley

The program that I’m on took us to La Loire during our first weekend here. Of course I forgot to bring the power adapter for my non-European plug that goes to my camera, so I have no pictures. However, I’m sure you can trust me when I say that the two chateaux I saw were spectacular. I had the pleasure of visiting one in Chambord and another in Ambroise with the other 80 people on the trip. It was very educational – I learned that 400 years ago people built castles “just because” and that when they slept with their mistresses a guard had to be in the same room for safety reasons.  So basically all French kings could never attend Tufts because they would violate the whole “no sex while your roommate is in the room” thing.

castle

So this is the Chateaux in Chambord. I know what you’re thinking: it’s no South Hall, but it’ll do.

2. The Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower

Self Explanatory. Very fun.

3. Luxembourg Gardens

It was very cold but everyone’s proverbial wine coats made it better.

4. Champs-Elysée

I didn’t buy anything, but I did get a lovely song stuck in my head the entire time. “The Champs-Elysée is a busy street…”

Also, there was a very notable double story Haagen-Dazs. I was quite impressed. As in I want to live there.

5. L’Arc de Triomphe

A couple of friends and I went to the top, and it was completely worth it despite the hike. You can see an amazing amount of famous Parisian sites, and so it’s simultaneously a peaceful and exciting place to view the city. I would have tried to rent out the top for my birthday, but ya know, I need a fancier venue.

Oh, and this little planking incident happened:

My donk doesn’t even look ridiculous. As I attempted to balance myself I hear, “Ugh, elle fait du planking.” Heh heh.

Observation of the post – Scarves:

I’m not sure if you realize how much the French love scarves. It’s a necessity to wear one here: they wear them when it’s hot; they wear them when it’s cold. They wear them if they’re women; they wear them if they’re men. They wear them if they’re young and chic; they wear them if they’re old and don’t give a shit. I’m honestly surprised French women do not wear scarves with their wedding gowns (Note: I’ve never been to a French wedding and I may be speaking too soon.)

The key is to know how to do all those fancy-shmancy twisty things with it to look like you know what you’re doing. It’s pretty much like that Victoria’s Secret 100 Way Bra but around your neck.  So when I got up for orientation on day one, I looked something like this:

Je suis perplexe.

And this:

Credit: Lefthanded Toons

But after about a week here I took some notes, made some key observations, and put my four scarves to work. And I must say, when a girl on my program asked how I tied my scarf because it looked really cool, it was the singular best moment of my day. Unfortunately, I then sadly realized I did not remember how in fact I had tied my scarf. I was thus forced to keep the scarf on for several days because I feared I would never look that scarf-savvy again.

So…yeah. That’s all I have for now. I started class today and my professor said (all in French, of course): “Do your passion! If you like to play the violin, for example, don’t stop just because you’re in France because then you’ll be miserable here. If you play rugby, do that! Although you are all girls so I don’t know why I’m saying that to you. [My friends give me a look] Oh does someone here play rugby? You? But you’re so…small.”

Not for long buddy, not for long 🙂

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