I’m not particularly proud to admit that all of Paris could tell today that the other students and myself are American. I

Waking up in Paris this morning still didn’t seem too different from waking up in the States, except for the faint odor of fish wafting in my window from one of the many market places outside. After showering and getting dressed, Jaclyn and I ate a small breakfast before heading to the Metro to go to class. For breakfast we had, what else?, leftover dessert from the night before! It’s a common practice here to have the pastry from dinner the night before as an option for breakfast the next morning. Mme. Chalufour took us to the Metro station and made sure we made it on the train okay before heading back to her office.

Our Metro entrance, Charles de Gaulle Etoile.

Our Metro entrance, Charles de Gaulle Etoile.

The ride on the Metro was a typical subway ride, except that it wasn’t completely underground. Our line goes above ground for a couple of stops, mainly to give riders an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower! I promise I’ll have pictures up soon but those are taking a while to edit…When we got off the train we managed to get a bit turned around and took some time finding our way to the IES Center. It’s a good thing we’d given ourselves a 20 minute buffer before we had to be at check-in.

Orientation was everything that can be expected of an orientation–it was boring! I know it was important stuff and I did listen but in comparison to everything else from the past two days it was boring! About the only thing that really made my head snap up was the fact that Katie and I have to change a class because the two we signed up for are at the same time. I’m not sure what I’ll take instead but I will no longer be taking the History of Paris, o well I guess.

The best part of the day was definitely lunch. A big group of us IES students went walking around the 14th arrondissment (the neighborhood around IES) looking for a nice, cheap place to eat and finally found one. Eight of us ate around a couple of tables pushed together and had a great time! We all got sandwiches, but some of us got more sandwich than others. Two of the other girls got club sandwiches that were daunting to say the least. The darn things came with a knife and fork if that says anything! One girl conquered her sandwich but the other was conquered by hers! At this cafe was where the fact that we were all American became painfully obvious. The check came all on one (and oddly enough everything was listed as a drink) and it took waaaay too much effort to figure out how to split the check. We definitely had to resort to English as we counted out Euros and broke larger bills for each other. Overall though it was a fabulous lunch and we had a ton of fun getting to know each other.

The other very obvious American moment was at the Metro station when we were trying to set up our long-term passes. It’s supposed to be a very easy system to use, you just put in the pass and swipe your credit card, except the machines really don’t like American cards. We ended up having to wait in line again to have the ticket woman charge it there.

After the Metro incident we came on home. Jaclyn and I are both a bit jet-lagged still so I think we’re going to have a quiet night at the apartment. Tomorrow morning we have the placement test at IES to make sure we’re going to do okay in the classes we’ve signed up for. As usual, I’ll let you know how that goes and again I promise to have pictures up soon!