PARIS, je t’aime!!!

I LOVE PARIS!!!

My dorm room is wonderful! Hardwood floors, giant windows overlooking a Parisian street, 3rd floor, bigger than my Auburn dorm from last year, 1 minute from my school, and comfy beds! There are nuns who run the dorm and fix us breakfast (baguettes, cereal, nutella, jelly, coffee, tea, etc.) and dinner (ALWAYS amazing!) and they have a beautiful garden and small chapel. They’re so sweet and nice to all of us. There are about 23 girls from Auburn staying here and a group from San Francisco too. I feel like I’m in Beauty and the Beast every morning, because the nuns are all walking around and say, “Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour, bonjour, BONJOUR!” It’s so great! In the morning we all eat breakfast together and walk to school for our classes that start at 9, Monday – Friday. It’s actually been pretty chilly here, and has sprinkled or been gray and blustery for the past few days, but before that it was pretty toasty.

My classes are great, I’m taking French Language (grammar, listening, conversation all in one) from 9-12 everyday, then I have Oral with a sweet, energetic French lady from 2-5 on Tuesdays and Phonetics from 2-5 on Thursdays. My classes are full of people from all over the world: 2 guys from Brazil, one guy from Russia, 2 people from Hong Kong, 1 girl from Vietnam, 1 from Thailand, 1 Franciscan brother from Italy (wears the brown cloak, rope belt, and everything), 1 British girl, and 3 girls from U.S. and 1 other girl from Auburn with me. The teachers all speak completely in French, because it wouldn’t be fair to the other people if they could translate for the American and British people, but not the Vietnamese girl, for example. It’s really good for me to only hear French for 3-6 straight hours, and then more with the random French people around Paris. It’s so funny. I feel like I’m in a textbook listening comprehension video every time I order “un sandwich avec poulet, s’il vous plait” “C’est tout?” “Oui, c’est tout.” “D’accord. Trois euro, quinze centimes.” “Merci!” “Bonne Journee!”

My friends from Auburn and I went to see the Eiffel Tower our second night here, and it was SOOO beautiful!!! It sparkled and the hundreds of people standing around all said, “Oooohh!” and then everyone was quiet while it sparkled. After that, we went to a cafe that was recommended by Rick Steves (the travel guide author who I’ve been depending on this whole trip) and it was amazing and not very pricey. The waiter was very nice and not snobby, and we all had delicious coffee and split creme brulée, mousse au chocolat, and strawberries. The next night, 3 of my friends and I went to the Champs Élysées at night after our classes and saw the Arc de Triomphe lit up. We also walked by the Seine a few nights in a row around sunset, and at twilight to see the boats going by and to see the city all lit up and reflecting off of the water, it’s gorgeous.

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