Not just any green-- BRIGHT GREEN!
Okay- seriously- I will not bore you with the finer details of dorm life. The university is good-- but my taxi driver got lost twice finding it. To say that the university is out a ways from Paris would be a giant understatement-- you have to take a train transfer twice then take a bus to get to campus-- yeah for the Taxi! Too bad that I can't take a taxi everytime I go to Paris. The taxi ride alone is 70 euro. Dang.
The campus looks a lot like SJU in parts-- lots of concrete and 60's era decor- which leads me back to the GREEN Curtains!!!
Other key highlights from the trip so far:
First songs heard in the taxi on the way to the hotel:
Celine Dion in French
Sexbomb- Not in French
Mambo # 5- Not in French
Roxanne- Not in French
Celine again. . . in French
After an exciting taxi ride and a more exciting hotel check in-- I made my way to a French convenience store to make my first purchase: A pocket sized English/ French dictionary. hmm.
I successfully ordered a cappuccino in a cafe as well as an omelette and salad. I may have been willing to be more adventurous but every other menu item contained an ingredient that I simply wasn't sure about. . . . but the cappuccino was great- as was the omelette. I ordered completely in French and almost survived all parts of the meal without needing a translater until she offered dessert and I thought she said cheque. Damn. I did accomplish one of my life goals-- I ate alone and didn't read anything. I just sat and watched people, which was great because if fulfilled one of my life goals and I was SUPER tired and I don't speak french well . ..
Got to campus with more luggage than any human needs and had to wind around to various buildings until I found the bureau de residence. They were at lunch. So. . . I waited for a while then found out that I needed 400 euro in cash in order to get my room. . . which no problem b/c there is a ATM on the other side of campus. Me and my luggage made the journey again.
Found out that the bathroom is communal-- and co-ed. zut! I thought it was a mens bathroom because of the urinals. . . but no. So I waited all day until George-- see below-- filled me on the rest of the story.
I met George from Quebec who is my next door neighbor and shares my shower. He is great- he is an undergrad student who is studying abroad here.
Excerpt from my conversation with Jenny from Sweden:
Jenny: Where are you from.
Jenny: Right. But WHERE in the US.
Pip: Right. Minnesota.
The campus is mostly closed today because the French students are on break-- so there wasn't any food places open all day-- so I just got back from dinner hour. No worries. . . they have diet coke. It is in a smaller bottle- so I will have to get two. Food at the cafeteria isn't great- but it is super cheap and breakfasts are free for all students. Can't complain about that!
Needless to say- things are looking up since I found the bathroom and ate. Maslow really was right. . . some needs simply must be met before self-actualization :)
We will see how tomorrow goes. . .. I am seriously considering taking extra french classes. . . there is a huge difference between asking where things are etc. and actually communicating. . . those boogers talk very fast! ;)
Pictures available flickr include: 2 shots of my dorm. . . Paris via my hotel room and an artistic shot I will call. . . "paris when you are supEEERRR tired and hungry and you leave the camera on landscape"