04
Jun
09

Settling in and expanding comfort zones

During class this morning, the bells of a nearby church – possibly the church of Saint Julien le Pauvre – rang for the lives lost on Air France flight 447. Our professor noted that although the bells we heard were reserved specifically for times of mourning, to hear them was very rare.

An old chruch, just outside the classroom next to mine.

An old church, just outside the classroom next to mine.

—-

I find that sometimes it is best to not have a specific schedule when learning a new place. Yesterday, Hannah and I wandered aimlessly away from rue du Fouarre – apparently named after the bales of hay students would sit on before classrooms were built – and found ourselves shopping on the eternally-hectic rue de Rivoli. Remembering a bountiful harvest following a visit to the chain in Boston, I couldn’t pass up the H & M. Inside, the vêtements were very simple and  mostly focused on shape and form rather than decoration or pattern. After that, a turn down a random street took us to the gothic church of Saint Merry. Finally, we stopped for a picnic in front of the Centre Pompidou and enjoyed free entertainment by a violinist before browsing the museum gift shop inside (which was a free exhibit in itself).  And then, I managed to navigate the Metro. As in all by myself. I was absolutely enthralled!

Lobby of the Centre Pomidou.

Lobby of the Centre Pomidou.

Today involved the sampling of not one but three dishes at a restaurant near la Sorbonne after class: escargoes, beef carpaccio, and duck. All three were absolutely a-maz-ing and, with Tim’s €9 soda, came to €60.

—-

Thursday nightlife abounds here, especially for international students. In a group of about 15 others from my school, I traveled to the Seine to enjoy boat party, free with intl ID. They played mostly American music onboard, but the songs everyone went crazy for were Viva España and La Bamba. Don’t ask me why – I couldn’t find an answer, either. The boat was set to leave shore at 2:30 a.m. for a short cruise, but I left just in time to get back to the dorms.

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