Well, after years of wondering "what if," and talking incessantly about it, I took the plunge and am finally in Paris and will be here for the next year or so....
I am attending the European Business School here in Paris and am in a one-year masters program in Marketing and International Affairs. There are only ten people in my specific program, and I am most definitely the only American. I may even be the only American at the whole school which I guess you could say is good and bad. I don't know what I was thinking to arrive here on Sunday and start classes at 10am the next day, but needless to say, last week was BRUTAL. I finally feel like I am not jet lagged and am finding time to explore the city and am on a seemingly incessant apartment hunt.
The bureaucracy here is unbelievable. I had heard stories and warnings but it truly is more difficult than I had imagined. For example, I can't get a cell phone contract without a bank account, can't get a bank account without an apartment and can't get an apartment without both of the other two. UGH. I am surprising myself with how patient I am being and how easily some of these frustrations are rolling off my shoulders. I think that maybe the fact that I am finally here has something to do it- there is something new, exciting, and so "Paris-like" around every corner so it's hard to be mad or frustrating. Quite a change from the U.S.! :)
While the weather has been cloudy and rainy this weekend and the beginning of this week, I haven't let it stop me from exploring the city. I have been doing a lot of metro riding and my favorite thing to do is ride to a stop I've never been to before, get out, walk around a bit, and then get back on the metro and repeat the process at another stop. This is not only a fun game for me to play but also helpful in my apartment search- I am getting a better idea of the area very quickly and learning where to go and where not to go.
My French has come back to me very quickly, but I still feel like I am speaking like a five year old half the time. While so far half of my classes have been in English, it's really going to be a mixed bag this semester so I am going to have to get on track quickly. It's really great to be back in a learning environment and I am meeting a lot of people through school, which is awesome.
I am of course obsessed with the cuisine- the French make even the simplest things like a mozzarella tomato sandwich (my FAVORITE) into delicacies. I have sampled crepes, fondue and even SUSHI since I have been here. The sushi was surprisingly good, but was nothing compared to what we Angelenos are used to. I miss Kabuki already!!!
Anyway, I have set up the skeleton of a blog that I am hoping to force myself to use in order to keep everyone better updated.... Please visit kefinparis.blogspot.com if you want updated on me and my adventures. Depending upon my very BASIC blogging skills, I will try to include photos and more info about Paris and my surroundings. I will do my best to update it regularly but it will probably take me a little while to get it off the ground.
Well, that's all for now. I know that I haven't spoken with some of you in quite a while and would really love updates on what everyone else is up to. Please do let me know how you are doing, and also if there is a better address for you, and I will update my address book.
Of course the Dodgers are in the playoffs and the third season of Grey's Anatomy is amazing apparently- these are things that I KNEW would happen once I left L.A. and are definitely things I would love to be updated on during the year. I miss little things like that already but couldn't be happier to be here.
I hope this note finds everyone doing extremely well and that you are all having a wonderful fall. I miss you all!
Please do keep in close touch and I will look forward to hearing from you in the near future.