I like to think that I am fairly organised person and almost go nowhere without my post-it notes and checklists.
However, if there is one thing I will confess to needing to learn over this year it is to have a plan B. As sometimes I get slightly stumped when plan A goes out the window. Luckily dad was on hand as the RER (train service) was out of service before we even landed in Paris (something although I hope not, may be a regular occurrence). So after chickening out of my French and asking in English at information where we took the scenic route with the bus. In recent years the bus has not been my best friend normally involving me running after it or waiting for up to an hour for it. However even with the amount of luggage we were carrying this was a much more pleasant experience, with ample space a for once patient and friendly bus driver and all for 2 euros for a 40-minute journey. All I’m saying is that my local bus provider needs to step up its game. Immediately.
The heat in Paris over the last few days has been incredible; highs of 36!! I would be lying if I said myself and my wardrobe were in any way prepared for it. However, I’ve managed to compile the few almost acceptable items of clothing for this weather, amongst a sea of jumpers and scarves that occupy the majority of my wardrobe.
So I had a very clear picture of how I wanted my arrival at the welcome centre to go. Id selected my outfit the night before, I had my forms all ready and organised, I had my checklist of questions and all my French vocabulary on the tip of my tongue…
But I can assure you that is NOT what happened by any stretch of the imagination. It was like a scene out of a teen coming-of-age film where the protagonist is a clumsy “deer in the headlights” type. I turned up at the welcome centre, sweat dripping down my face, couldn’t even get the word “bonjour” out and as if things couldn’t be more cliché proceeded to drop all my neatly organised forms onto the floor in front of a crowd of people.
I guess the moral of this story is that things surely could only get better from here and that perhaps you shouldn’t be worried so much about the first impression you make. Well I’m certainly hoping that my “glowing personality” will make up for the mess that occurred in that welcome room.
That night I went for dinner and a stroll around Cergy with my dad at the port which was a lovely setting that my dad literally sniffed out, following his nose towards the food. It was maybe comparable to some of the outdoor eateries in Covent Garden in London but made more picturesque with a port full of docked boats. I had my first croque-monsieur… but see **word of the day for details on that.
The very next day after a few (slightly boring) introductory lectures I was able to visit the Port residence with a few new friends in the evening for a small gathering of students from all over. Which was most definitely a reassurance for me who time and time again is proved wrong in that I can actually make friends easily!
I’m currently sat in my new university’s café feeling like a true committed blogger already and really settling into my new environment. There is also a tree next to me indoors, so I’m feeling very à la mode.
*NOTE TO SELF: I should probably think about buying a baguette and some decent cheese at some point as its getting on for a week now and I need to start ticking off the French clichés.
**WORD OF THE DAY
Croque-monsieur// essentially an inside out cheese and ham toasty, and as someone who can appreciate (well maybe slightly more than appreciate) cheese I must say that it was far too much for me and several days later the thought of it still makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. But each to their own.
Thanks for reading! Even if you did skip through parts to the end! I’m really a chance to ramble on without anyone telling me to stop, so essentially talking to myself… which I am OK with.
In any case, à bientôt et bon dimanche x