My First Day in Paris

by Sam

Its 1:38 am in Paris. Not even 24 hours ago, I was waiting at the Miami International Airport for my flight. Now, I’m ready to crash in my little Parisian cot in Meghan’s dorm room, after having spent 12 hours traveling in two countries and walking around Paris. Busy day!

There are so many things that I want to mention, but I know that I’ll forget stuff. So many things are the same here- but so many things are different too!

When I first got off the plane in Paris, Meghan was waiting for me in the doorway (thank God, as I don’t know what I would have done otherwise). From there, everything happened so fast. Meghan got us tickets for the train, and next thing I knew, we were traveling to her university in the city.

My first impression: Wow, Paris is dirty! The train was filthy and covered with graffiti- quite like any American public train, but I guess that I was expecting more. The train stations smell vile, and its customary for men to urinate anywhere in the station (so unsanitary! This still is shocking to me). And the sidewalks were filled with graffiti, as well- though this was almost exclusively in the suburbs. But I guess that goes to show that Paris is a city like any other.

When we got back to the dorm, I really only wanted to sleep. Meghan granted me two hours to do so, which I took advantage of. Then, I was forced to get up. Meg went to the store to buy bread and cheese; I showered and ate some cheerios and made tea- my first meal since 1:30pm the day before. When she returned, she had two different loaves- a wheat and a classic- and three different types of cheese, but I forget their names. For the record, I looooovvvve cheese for some reason, so this was especially exciting for me. I feasted.

Once we were fed, we put on our warm clothes (its only in the 40s here- very different from Miami) and headed back to the metro, which we took into the city. Instead of taking it all the way to our destination, the Louvre, we got out at Notre Dame and decided to walk. It was beautiful! With my peacoat and scarf, I was comfortable in the weather. The sky was clear, and we walked along the Seine, Meghan pointing out historical buildings along the way. I also stopped at the ATM and got my very first Euros!

Soon, we arrived at the Louvre- something that I’ve learned about constantly throughout my years of studying French, but have never actually been too. It was unreal standing in the courtyard, staring at the glass pyramid with my best friend. We joked about how 10 years ago, we met taking swimming lessons together in Holbrook- now we were standing together half a world away, about to enter one of the world’s most famous museums! Wow.

On Friday nights, the Louvre is free for anyone under the age of 26. Score. So we got to go in for free, AND it was not crowded at all! We stood, literally, right next to the Mona Lisa. And the Venus de Milo. And a Sphinx. And the foundation of the original palace. And tons of other amazing pieces of art. This is stuff that I had previously only seen in books, but let me tell you, seeing it in person is something else! Its mind-boggling to me that a man was able to create the pieces on display in that museum; I have so much respect for humanity. Why don’t we do this stuff anymore? It really is sad how much our society has forgotten about art! If only everyone could go to the Louvre…

We didn’t stay that long, because Meghan needed to go back to watch Oprah’s Favorite Things, which was airing in America. But its ok, because we are going back again once Kim and Sean get here tomorrow. I was tired anyways. Still, it was nice getting  a taste of what was to come!

So we returned to the dorms, watched Oprah on Meg’s computer, ate more bread and cheese, and had a bottle of rose wine. Now it’s almost 2 am and time for me to (finally) get a good nights sleep. Kim and Sean get here tomorrow- I can’t wait! And I still can’t believe that this is real!

On that note, Bon nuit de Paris!

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