Currently Listening: the soundtrack of Ghost Town
Paris! Paris! How long it has been since I saw you last! I am not used to kissing all these strangers. The lady who greeted me to give me the tour of the apartment laid two nice big ones on me, much to my discomfort. By tour I mean walked from room to room explaining in great, complex detail how to work all the really old appliances. I'm only somewhat frightened by the fact that I need to light the stove and oven with a match. After many breaks for food and exploring, I am finally settled in my lovely apartment in Le Marais("marshland") district in the heart of Paris. It's apparently home to a large Jewish Community (I miss Kevin and his latkas and RachelB).
I am in Paris from now until mid-May to study at École supérieure de commerce de Paris–École européenne des affaires aka The European School of Management. Fun fact: It is the oldest institution dedicated to business education in the world. I will be taking a total of four courses in marketing and European economics. More details on those once I make it through a rather painful, week-long orientation, or so my friend from ESCP tells me. I was lucky enough to have an exchange student from ESCP, who shared quite a bit of insight, in my marketing research class last semester.
My first day here I essentially spent with my parents walking around aimlessly in the 3rd arrondisiment. Dad amused himself asking strangers questions simply to listen to the French he needless to say doesn't understand. I am working on my French....which basically means I hope to get to a point where I can enter a restaurant, order a meal, and pay without making a fool of myself. What I've seen of Paris so far looks much like NYC...lots of graffiti, busy strangers, and hobos- and the drive from the airport - so industrial. It's not as charming as I remembered, and definitely not as charming as Vienna. I can't wait to go exploring and find the less-tampered nitches full of character. Bit hard though. My body has not adjusted to the freezing weather. I'll be fine in a day or two and possibly will rack up the courage to use my 50 Walks in Paris flash card set Karina gave me for Christmas. We (my roommates Laura & Blair and I) did go out to a little supermarché, Franprix...small and cute as grocery stores should be. I felt like a kid set loose in a candy store wanting to buy everything to try at least once. I kept picking up the wrong things 'cause I didn't know what the labels said. Buttermilk or regular?Shampoo or conditioner? Tomato sauce or tomato soup!? It can get confusing pretty quickly. I feel like I was less confused in Austria...but maybe that's because Lauren was a fantastic guide, having visited there several times. Regardless, pictures for the silly Americans, si'l vous plait! I bought some random things like tortellini with aubergine (eggplant) and what Laura and I thought may or may not be butter. I thought I was buying frozen yellow tomatoes, but they ended up being yellow bell peppers. Oh and I saw COCONUT yogurt?? Très sketchy. I need to find an actual market. There must be a little farmer's market somewhere in this city. .