First thoughts

I’m afraid that this first post is not going to be completely positive. I admit fully that these are the rantings of someone who is severely jet lagged, but I also know that Dr. Bolander wanted me to keep records of my thoughts as I was having them. So, here they are. I’ll put the positives in as well.

The flight to Minneapolis was wonderful. 1 hour, and that was it. The clouds sat around the plane like titanic sentinels of nature, keeping guard over the earth below. That’s my poetic thought for the day.

I met the group in Minneapolis in the process drinking at the bar nearest the gate. The flight to France seemed to take approximately 5000 hours. Once it was over, however, our prof made the decision to not let us rest at all and instead take us out into the city. Indeed, all of our rooms were not even ready for us, so we shoved all of our bags in one of them.

We went outside and started walking, and owing to them having been in my eyes for roughly 15 hours, I lost a damn contact lens that I had just taken from the package mere hours before getting on the first plane. Now I have only one set to last me for all of 6 weeks.

I’m going to have a roommate in La Rochelle, which I thought would be cool at first, but now that I’m interacting with him more, I’m not sure he likes me very much, and the feeling may be mutual. I really don’t want to be judgmental, and maybe this is just me being tired, so I’ll give it more time. I just feel like I’m making a big ass of myself. I’m completely exhausted, and everyone seems to be noticing how out of it I am, and this is their first impression of me. I’m probably just being insecure. My bonus is that I seem to speak French better, or at least more confidently, than many of them do. To be fair, everyone feels like crap and is a bit irritated because of it.

The real problem with me right now is that I’m lonely. When the plane was landing, I realized that this is the real deal. I have no way out. I feel completely trapped here with these unfamiliar people who might not like me with a language that I only marginally understand. The reality that I can’t see my family for six entire weeks is completely crushing my desire to see this through. Were I a more cowardly person, I’d want to come home right now.

Alright, enough of that crap. The reality is that this will get better. Tomorrow I’ll be rested (and, thank heaven, wearing fresh clothes), and the real trip begins. Besides, this thing isn’t that long, and there are plenty of people so far that I get along well with. More updates as I have them.

4 thoughts on “First thoughts

  1. First off, way to not tell me you had a blog :-P. Second…pretend you’re Bill Bryson :-D. It’s really not any different than going to college in Milwaukee for 6 weeks…other than the language thing. Anyways, have fun.

  2. Hola,Like we just talked about, you’ll feel better once you’re rested. Everyone-like you mentioned-actually probably did feel like crap. Typically, everyone knows this and will let things glide so don’t worry about people being judgmental on the first day. They’re all just tired and know others will be too. Plus, a lot of people are on a short fuse in terms of everything. The second day, rested, is better.Just go with the flow really.Here’s some cool places:Have a crêpe at Rabelais, at the base of Sacre Coeur. It’s on the corner in the center of the buildings at the bottom of the steps. BEST EVER!You’ll thoroughly love Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore near Saint-Michel. From the metro, walk like you’re going to Nôtre Dame, but stay on the metro side and hug the buildings. You’ll pass Place du Petit Pont, near a restaurant on the corner. It’s just after that, back a little. It’s a real famous English bookstore. There’s a park nearby, fyi.Montparnasse is my favorite neighborhood. Even in the summer I didn’t run across many tourists there, more Parisiens. The main hub is Denfert-Rochereau, the main avenue is Avenue du Général Leclerc, which runs down to Alésia. The catacombs of Paris are found near Denfert-Rochereau. There’s a FANTASTIC boulangerie called Le Pain du Naturel close to the Denfert-Rochereau metro on Leclerc, just as you get onto that avenue. Just before Rue Daguerre.For bars/restaurants/young people, check out the Bastille at night. More specifically, Rue de la Roquette for restaurants. There’s an Irish pub (aka, where all Americans go) over there easy to see when you’re going to that Rue. Take the metro to Bastille. Roquette is opposite of Rue Saint-Antoine, just past a tree lined boulevard Richard Lenoir.

  3. Google Maps!< HREF="http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=la+pain+au+naturel,&near=Paris,+France&fb=1&cd=2&hl=en&ei=VqVeSJb7O5mgigHK7cnVDg&sig2=7knjqZ0ntcc0Gyfw31_gBA&cid=48833350,2331588,5937909532786391759&li=lmd&z=14&t=m" REL="nofollow">Le Pain au Naturel<>< HREF="http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=la+pain+au+naturel,&near=Paris,+France&fb=1&cd=2&hl=en&ei=VqVeSJb7O5mgigHK7cnVDg&sig2=7knjqZ0ntcc0Gyfw31_gBA&cid=48833350,2331588,5937909532786391759&li=lmd&z=14&t=m" REL="nofollow">Shakespeare & Co.<>< HREF="http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&q=la+pain+au+naturel,&near=Paris,+France&fb=1&cd=2&hl=en&ei=VqVeSJb7O5mgigHK7cnVDg&sig2=7knjqZ0ntcc0Gyfw31_gBA&cid=48833350,2331588,5937909532786391759&li=lmd&z=14&t=m" REL="nofollow">Rabelais<> (Click J, that’s where it should be)< HREF="http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=rue+de+la+roquette,+paris&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&um=1&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=title" REL="nofollow">Bastille<> (Rue de la Roquette is at 2 o’clock.)

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