The Start of an Adventure

Hadleigh Maier
January 26, 2015

I'm here. I have finally arrived in the city of love. The city of lights. I have been here for about a week now, which is shorter than many people's vacations. But in just seven days I have experienced so much. I have seen some of the most famous places, including the beautiful Tour Eiffel itself. But I know I have mearly skimmed the surface of a most magnificent city. Now I am just more excited to explore and experience all of its wonders.

I come from a small town, so using the metro is a relatively new system. I have been to New York numerous times, and Boston and DC on occaison, where I used the subways. But being someone who is pretty directionally-challenged, I have always allowed other to lead the way. Now I'm on my own. I was very nervous about this fact, but I have come to realize (after a few mixups and turn-arounds) that I think I can master the metro. It's actually a pretty simple system and I have already traveled several times on my own. 

 

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Being in the 17th arrondissement means I have a long commute to school and to many other places. It also means I live in a very nice, residential area with the little metro stop, Malesherbes.

The first couple days were very long and very tiring, as we discussed safety, travel, classes, culture, and many other topics throughout orientation. After the first two days, my roommate and I came back to the appartment for dinner with our host parents. Oh mon dieux! Everything we have eaten has been très délicieux! Watercress soup, quiche lorraine, cooked zuccini, carrot and vegetable soup, salmon... all with some baguette, of course. My big appetite and love for bread is being so well taken care of. There are some small cultural differences that I have picked up on at the dinner table. For example, when eating you put the bread on the table next to the plate, but not on it. Also, dinner focuses more on courses, with the main dish, then the cheese plate, and ending with a dessert of fresh fruit. On occaison we have some kind of delectible dish, like the fruity preserve I just ate (yum). Every time I leave the dinner table I feel full of food and full of french. It can be hard to keep up with all of the conversations (given that they're all in french), but I already feel myself understanding more and more!

Speaking of food... everything is so incredibly, impeccably delicious. So far I have enjoyed a fancy eggplant parmesan, a croque-monsiuer (classic french sandwich with ham and cheese), and of course, a crêpe!

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There are so many things to say about Paris. After only a week. I'm learning how truly difficult it is to express this city's beauty and its wonders. I think my best shot is to describe the morning I had yesterday: I didn't have class until 1pm (13:00 Paris time - I'm learning!), so I thought to myself, what should I do this morning? It took me all of about three seconds to decide to take a stroll under the Eiffel Tower. So I packed up my things and took the metro to a nearby stop, which turned out to be quite simple. In the light misty rain of Paris, I walked to the great beauty and stood in awe. It was a rainy Wednesday morning, so there were not too many people there at the time. It was perfect. As I admired la Tour Eiffel, I took a deep breath of Parisian air and couldn't have been more grateful or more pleased.

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On that beautiful, 324-meter note, I will say à bientôt!

Until the next adventure,

Haddie

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Hadleigh Maier

<p>Hello and Bonjour! My name is Haddie and I&#39;m currently a student at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. I&#39;m majoring in International Affairs and French. Which is why I decided to study in Paris for a semester! I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity. Being able to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures is what I&#39;m truly passionate about. La vie est belle!</p>

Destination:
Term:
2015 Spring
Home university:
Lafayette College
Major:
French Language
International Relations
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