Well bonsoir States, here I come France! So my travels begin and arrive at my gate. Up until I arrive at the gate, I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve got everything I could need, a bag full of food, and I’m on time. So I sit down and begin to survey the scene. And at the point I realize that I have no choice but to come to terms with the obviousness that is my Americanness. Is it my canteen that makes me look American? Is it my backpack that I carry with me? Or is that I’ve packed snacks? No, it is none of the above. It’s my shorts. I look around and NO ONE is wearing shorts. Sandals, yes; skirts, yes; capri leggings, yes. But shorts? Definitely only the 8 year olds and unders and me. And once I realize this, I understand that I am not about to give up shorts, as I said in French II before, “J’aime mettre un short.”
Next, I board the plane and arrive at my seat. Air Tahiti Nui gets a shout out from me here, the flight attendants were so kind and the food was BOMB. Coq au vin for dinner on a plane? I think yes. And as I eat my dinner (with knife and fork and very slowly, Julie you should be proud), I look over at my seatmate. After she slowly eats her coq au vin, salad, dinner roll and small slab of brie, I notice that she is now eating the butter by itself and with a spoon. And I feel a sigh of relief because as fish out of water as I may be, these are clearly my people.
After we have breakfast, for my seatmate that means another side of butter, we begin to descend. And before I know it, I’m in Paris! Now like I mentioned before, I was in the clear minority of the shorts wearing crowd. And now it looks like I’m the only one. Oh well, you live and learn. As a side note, I will mention that I have seen lots and lots of Birkenstocks that look like mine (see Mom, I twas right!). I get to the hostel I will be staying at before I move into my dorm and the owner tells me I have to wait until 1 to check in, which means 3 hours. Which means I have to continue to lug my backpack and purse around with me. Well I decide that I will use the bikes they have located around the city and rent one (you can just get a pass, similar to a metro card) and bike around the arrondissement, along the Seine, by the Bastille, and amongst much traffic. What a great way to see the city!