Just a Taste


Et bienvenue a Paris! That might not even be french but I’ve only been here for four days so you can all give me a hard time at the end of the trip if my french is still bad. But hello, and welcome to Paris!

I arrived in France in nearly one piece. The flight was horrendous to say the least… happy that it is over, though looks like I may never return to New York if I have to go through that again. I landed in Charles de-Gaulle airport at 7:35 Saturday morning and found the three Holy Cross students that were also on my flight. We wandered around the airport for the next four hours meeting up with other friends in the program and testing out our  very limited french while buying lunch. The train to the Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris (our dorms) was quick and easy. Shea, Molly, Luka, and I wandered around our neighborhood to a cafe and sat for a few hours waiting for Jess, Gabby, and Thuy to meet us for dinner. As dinner ended we got stuck in a torrential downpour and walked the 15 minutes home sopping wet. I personally found this amazing, the others not so much.

The Cite Internationale Universitaire de Paris

My first steps into central Paris were breathtaking. We came out of the metro station to the light of Notre-Dame, shining amidst its tragic fire only a short month ago. I could not withhold my excitement upon finally seeing the Cathedral I have been eagerly waiting to admire. Sunday consisted of a scavenger hunt around the Ile de la Cite, a boat tour of the Seine River, a long stop at a nearby cafe, and a group dinner. The day was absolutely amazing. I felt like I had to keep pinching myself to believe that it was all real, that I was actually in Paris, France.

A first look at Notre Dame

Monday began the start of both language and culture class. I am really enjoying the beginners french class. We learned the alphabet and how to spell our names out loud on Monday. When the professor asked me to spell mine aloud, while he wrote down what he heard on the board, I was dubbed, “LEEUCY”. I can not pronounce the letter “U” to save my life. For the next five minutes I proceeded to pronounce the letter “U” with such force I could not help myself from laughing. After class professor Schilt began training me on how to properly pronounce the letter. Unfortunately, I literally can’t do it, so I will now be known as Lecy.

Shockingly, I’ve become rather comfortable using the public transportation here in Paris. As a directionally challenged person, the metro system here is very easy to use and understand. Our Navigopasses allow us access to the metro and RER tram rails as many times as we like. What is very interesting about Parisian culture is that there are no conductors or staff checking passes on trains, on a regular basis. Despite this, everyone continues to scan their passes when they get on the RERs. I found this very interesting because as a metro north user, if the conductor doesn’t come to my train car I don’t activate my ticket or seek a conductor out to punch the ticket. Professor Schilt explained to us that while there are no conductors on trains, police officers routinely check passes when riders exit the trains to ensure that they are valid. If they are not, a 50 euro fine is issued and must be paid on the spot. I’ve noticed many other differences between life in Paris and life in America that I will explain in another post, but this is just one difference I have become very intrigued by.

I promise to post more on what I have been seeing, this is only a first taste!



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