7:30am is early in the US. 7:30am in France is, surprise, surprise, also very very early. For some unknown reason, our orientation this week is at 8:30 from mon to thur. Why is this such a disaster? Because I only have to get up that early once a week from next week on out. This is the first time I have seen the sun rise in Paris... ok I have to be honest. Its one of the first times I've left my apartment before the sun was setting. Jet lag and alcohol keep us all down for the count come next morning, or any semblance thereof.
We met at ACCENT where Lorna, the tallest Brit who you ever did see, led us to ESCP where we would be taking our classes. Being dumb Americans, we had not yet charged our Metro passes (but to be honest, you cannot charge them until monday for the week or else your wasting your money, and it was monday at 8. The weekly pass doesnt roll over at all). She had to supply us all with here own.
I don't think she likes us.
The Paris Metro is the easiest metro system I've seen (although I've only seen 4), so arriving at the ESCP took us just 15 minutes. I should mention that there is no coordination among the metro stops in Paris. Some of them have art sculptures and paintings, some have interest facts about French history, many of advertisements for the sales going on, and a few look like they were firebombed during WWII and were never rebuilt. This is also a good time to mention that the only word you would really need to know to get around Paris is "pardon." Nasal that "n" as much as possible. When I first arrived I tried to say "pardonnez-moi" and "escusez-moi" but was met with blank stares. So, the 15 minute trip still means we were 10 minutes late, and the Swedes, Mexicans, Brazilians, Portugese, Koreans, and any other nationality represented in our orientation class was already there. Yes, good first impression. "Bon travail" for the Americans.
One group fascinated me. The Swedes... and not only because of their ridiculous flowing blonde hair or oversized glasses or holier-than-thou attitude (ok that's a lie.. just one of them, the rest of them were very, very nice. We sat 3 for lunch, and I talked to two with Summer for a good 20 minutes.) They spoke perfect English, and it may be safe to say, better than many Americans... although half of them had British accents, most of the rest had American accents, and one may have learned her English part of the time in Sydney, part of the time in Stockholme and part of the time in Mombai. Anyway, we had our orientation, learned of the location of the cheapest bar in Paris (in the basement of our school) had some lunch, and of course I proceeded to get lost more times than I can count.
When we left, some of our friends headed to the Marait to do some shopping, while I on the other hand went back to ACCENT with Summer's company to hope and pray to Jesus Christ, Allah, and all of my ancestors dating back for as long as I can remember for my baggage to be there. Nope, but Kabir's other bag is there. We bring it back, and just as I get to my door, I hear the room phone ring. Rushing like I never have before in mhy entire life, I whipped out the keys, turned the 708 full turns it takes to unlock our possessed doors which close and lock automatical but take a key to unlock from the inside, answered the phone and heard "Bonjour?" My bags? YES... no. One of my bags.. awesome. We head BACK to ACCENT and grab my bag (albeit the larger one) and, partially ecstatic, partially defeated, head out the door. Back to the apartment, then to Monoprix for some groceries. I attempt to speak with the man at the checkout line but he fails to speak audibly, or in English. One of the two was all I needed, but in his defense, it was late, he looked bored and tired, and if I was him I would have hated my job and not cared much anyway to answer my question.
Three more days of this bullshit and home free....