Day 1: Culture Shock


My first day in Paris was, well, I guess what you would expect it to be for someone who spent from 3:00PM Eastern US time to 3:00PM Paris time traveling to get there. I had a flight from Newark to Oslo on which I slept maybe two hours. I then spent a lot of time wandering around the Oslo airport (which looks like it was designed by IKEA) being really confused because they don’t post the gate to your flight until the plane arrives. Once I finally boarded the flight to Paris, my brain was melting from all the Norwegian/German/French/Swedish?/Everything I’d been hearing since I left Newark, and I began to realize what it must feel like for someone who doesn’t speak English to come to America (it’s not fun). Once I finally got to the CDG airport in Paris, I spent almost another hour trying to find my shuttle bus and avoiding the creepy fake taxi drivers that hang around the exit area. The combination of my exhaustion, thirst, lack of food other than airplane food, and culture shock got a little bit intense by the time I actually entered the city of Paris. On the way to my new Parisian home, I passed the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and then it really hit me. I still can’t really fathom how I got here in the first place.

I spent the rest of my first day getting acquainted with my new home and the woman to whom it belongs; Madame Anne Zeller. She speaks about as much English as I do French, but we’ve managed to communicate pretty well so far. She showed me how everything works and I tried to explain to her what I do and don’t eat. So far, I’ve learned that she lived in Madagascar for 17 years and because of that she eats a lot of rice. I’m looking forward to learning more about her as my French gets better.

Now I’m going to sleep since I have definitely been awake for over 24 hours. My future posts will be more photos and less words!