19 February, 2011

Day 1 as a Parisienne

Well, I've done it; I've moved to Paris! Just writing those words seems surreal. The struggles of being a foreigner in a strange land have just begun and in less than 24 hours I have learned so much.
Allow me to break it down for you...
Arriving at the airport all I could do was take one single step at a time:
Get off the airplane, Follow the herds of people to baggage claim,
Get nervous as I wait for my bags to be the last on the turnstile (which of course they were), take circles around Charles de Gaulle trying to look like I wasn't as confused as I was,
Finally discover where to get a cab,
Become a mute in the cab and realize I should have studied more french,
Sit in the silence all the way to my apartment enjoying the chaotic movement of the streets,
Make it to my new home, Have trouble opening the front door to the building,
Make it inside and stare up at 7 flights of stairs, Stare back at my 3 huge bags that weigh over 100 pounds combined
Start one by one lugging them all the way up only to realize I had no idea what floor the 4th (where my landlord lives) really is
Ring random doorbells only to have tenants look at me as a crazy American girl
Found le gardienne who got ahold of my landlord, Waited
Met landlord, got keys, got tour of tiny little studio I would call home for the next 7 months, Felt lonely,
Felt young,
Used landlords weird European computer (why is the M in a weird place and where on earth do they keep the punctuation?)
Emailed family from Monsieur Goutagny's (landlord) apartment, Got sad,
Couldn't get to my place fast enough, Door closed, Finally alone,
Wept. And wept.
Finally slept.
Saw that it was raining, Had trouble opening the door from the inside of the building this time
Went for a walk
Walked in phone store to realize I really am a mute
Walked out
Sat down at a cafe, Ordered un verre du vin, Forgot 'carte' meant menu
Found a supermarket and met a nice worker who offered to help me with anything as I acclimate to the city
Tried to find calling card, Failed
Bought quiche, Bought wine, Bought palmiers (yum)
Called Mom and Dad collect
Almost cried again
Made it home and up the ridiculous amount of stairs. Home.
Went to landlords to sign papers, shared frustration that we couldn't properly communicate
Realized how broke I am
Went home
Unpacked making the place feel like mine
Listened to music, Wrote to my Thad,
Started to not feel as scared replacing it instead with overwhelmed
Sat on my patio after dark and realized how beautiful my view is from 7 stories up,
Looked up at the top of buildings around me and thought of that chimney sweep scene in Mary Poppins
Missing family, Wanting to kiss Thad
Thankful for the moon we all share.

Welcome to Paris Erin and the insanity of the reality of a dream coming true!

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