Learning the ropes

I’ve had a great couple of weeks in France. My French class started on Monday but my  international studies courses haven’t begun, thus I’ve had plenty of time. Primarily, I’ve been getting to know the other six people in my program. I’m glad to report that they are equally as curious about other cultures. Better still, they are equally as passionate about travelling as I am. As a group, we’ve been to many of the famous spots in the city.  We’re eager to venture off the beaten path as well.

Navigating Paris is like navigating most big cities; there are metro lines criss-crossing everywhere and endless winding streets and grand boulevards. In essence, one could easily become overwhelmed or lost without a little planning. Our orientation leader armed us with a thousand maps, but I’ve come to rely on my sense of direction and it has served me well. I now can swipe my Navigo pass (unlimited metropolitan transit for a month) and be on my way. I have found some of the best places to shop and eat.

I have eaten lots of delicious foods, including some that I’m unfamiliar with. The first night of orientation for example, I had avocado spinach soup, red wine, and roast duck at a marvelous Art Nouveau restaurant. Then a few days later, we went to a Basque restaurant. I didn’t recognize anything on the menu so I picked tripe. It turns out that was intestines. Most of the time, I stick to a more simple palette consisting of produce, bread and cheese from the supermarket.  Prices are quite high coming from America, so a simple menu keeps me within budget. I will admit that I have made some splurges, such as the delicious crossiants aux amandes that I had one morning.

One Response to Learning the ropes

  1. csmccarry says:

    Hey Olivia! I found your blog looking through the study abroad blog aggregator because I’m volunteering in the office this year 🙂 When I was in Paris with my friends for spring break last semester, we got SO LOST on the metro and in Paris. It’s so confusing! For some reason we decided we didn’t need a map in Paris, which was a HUGE MISTAKE because it seems like there are a million streets named the same thing! It’s gorgeous, though, once you get where you’re going. 🙂 Hope all is well in France!