Wednesday morning I arrived in Paris, obviously still pretty anxious about getting through customs. However, as I walked through, NOTHING happened. Seriously, the guy took my passport, stamped it, and welcomed me to France. After all that hype about everything, they did not even ask me about a return ticket. All he asked is the purpose of my trip (which is totally normal), and I told him turisme, that I was only a tourist visiting France!
So then with THAT out of my way, I could finally relax a bit, especially since I knew that my friend was meeting me at the airport to help me transport my luggage. However, when I walked out with my luggage, he was unfortunately nowhere to be found. Luckily, I was able to use someone’s phone to call him. When I asked how he was, he replied, “Tired.” Really? Sometimes people amaze me, as I had slept only a few hours in the last two days and he was not there to help me with my stuff because he was at HOME. Unfortunately, when I had messaged him the day before and told him it was a POSSIBILITY of my flight being bumped, I really do not think he understood what was going on with the situation. In all reality, I think that this guy really does mean well, but he is from Central America and speaks Spanish, but pretty much insists that we message in English, which is a shame because I think we can definitely communicate more efficiently in Spanish. Yet obviously something got lost in translation because I had even had my mom send him a message when I learned I would be on the same flight and my Internet had died. However, he never checked to see what was up with the flight even though I had told him I may or may not arrive at the same time. So as my friend Julie would say, “God bless him!” However, I was less than pleased to realize that I had to deal with all of the luggage by myself! Fortunately, it all worked out and although it was pretty challenging, I managed to get some extremely kind people to help me with getting up and down the stairs. So I was able to take the train and then take a taxi to meet Rachel, the friend of my friend who is giving me the internship and the studette. Immediately when I met her, I knew that I would love working for her! Seriously, she was very sweet and welcoming, making sure that I had everything that I needed to get settled into my new place. Then she took me to eat and showed me around the area. Even though I was extremely exhausted, I very much enjoyed our conversation!
After having some food, I went back to my new home and put away all of my belongings. Since all three of my suitcases were damaged on the trip (which is really not surprising since I have had so many issues with these suitcases falling apart) I had to empty all of them so that I can take them to be repaired. Then I took a much needed shower and my friend François who is in town from Málaga came and took me to eat some dinner. Since I had not seen him in about a year since I came to hang out with him in Paris when I was living in Brussels, it was fun to catch up, even though at that point I was pretty much zombified tired and not so with it! So after dinner, I came back to my studette to get ready for bed.
When I went to use the toilet, which is in the hallway (more about all of this and the studette to come later), I met one of my neighbors. Of course I asked her what her name was and she said, “Colleen,” which was really funny since that is my mom’s name! Seriously, it was really weird because she told me she is from China and I even repeated it back to her and told her that is my mom’s name, too! After a long crazy journey to Paris, I definitely took that as a good omen that all will indeed be wonderful for me here as I begin my Paris adventures!