So, I made it! The flight from Memphis to Amsterdam wasn't awful, but I only managed a short nap for the entire 8-hour flight. Usually, I try to get some sleep on the plane ride over so I can adjust more easily to the time change, but this time my insomnia was in full-force.
I spent only a few hours in Amsterdam, but it was so early and the weather seemed so bad that I didn't mind that I spent those hours trying to catch some sleep. Finally, I got to Paris, and I was so stoked that I didn't have to go through customs! I guess since I'd entered a Schengen country already, it wasn't necessary for them to check us again. Guillaume arrived at the terminal a bit late - he got a little turned around at the airport - imagine that! But, nearly 3 hours later, I finally arrived in Chatillon - the traffic in Paris around 5pm was absurd!
We've pretty much been non-stop since I arrived last week. I feel like I've been here a month already, but there's still so much I want to do! Mostly, we've been meeting up with Guillaume's friends and family in Paris. On Sunday, I got to meet all of Guillaume's cousins from his father's side of the family, and also his grandmother, which was a little intimidating. Luckily, she was incredibly nice and patient with me. For the most part, everyone's been able to communicate with me on some level, but lately Guillaume's finding himself with a new profession as a translator. We met up with his family at his dad's apartment in Boulogne-Billancourt for delicious desserts including apple tart, pear cake, belgian chocolates, coffee, clementines and other sugary delights. It was very comfortable and everyone was so sweet - trying to speak English or teach me a bit a French, and I was able to understand quite a bit of their conversations in French. One of Guillaume's cousins and her husband have a gorgeous little girl named Margot, and we offered to babysit for them at any time. She's so sweet and I'll probably benefit more from babysitting her than anything else since most of her books are on the same level of comprehension that I'm on!!
On Sunday night, we met up with a friend to see the movie "We Own the Night" which was showing in English with French subtitles. It was actually a really cool movie, and I think watching it with subtitles was really good for me.
So, I guess that's kind of the update on what we've been doing. If there's one thing that I wish I could change about Paris, it's the smoking. I know things will change on February 1, but not one day passes when I don't inhale someone's secondhand smoke. And, unfortunately, all of the places we go to meet friends and have a drink are pretty much smoke-factories, so there's just no escaping it. I guess it's the price I'll pay (for now) for the perks that come with being here - like the food! I've eaten so well since I've arrived - maybe not as much as I'd like to, but definitely enough. :) I've had cheese galore, steak, ratatouille, saucisson, creamy soup, fresh fruit and veggies, good coffee and the most amazing panini baguette I've ever tasted! Oh, and one more thing I'd like to change about Paris is the selection of beer - man, I never realized how spoiled we are in the states with the beer selection! My goodness, it costs nearly $7 to get a decent-tasting beer anywhere around here!! I guess I'll have to wait until we make that trip to Belgium in February!!
A la prochaine...