Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Le journé aux États Unis

Here is the blog post I wrote while traveling to the US before break.  I wanted to post this after writing about how it feels to be back so I could see how my ideas on France changed.

As I write this I am sitting at a little table at my gate in Charles de Gualle airport.  I have a smoothie in one hand and a Ciabatta baguette in the other.  It is 9:24 AM.  I only note that because I don’t want to pay for Wifi so I am writing this in word to be uploaded when I get to Colorado later today. 
But as it stands, I have officially finished SciencesPo.  I don’t have to do any thing else for that stupid institution until 2011.  And even then, it isn’t that much.  The best part is that I have almost an entire month off.  I finish with finals on Jan 8 and I don’t start my courses until around Feb 4. 
But I’m sure I’ll talk more about that when I get there.  I still can’t believe that I survived.  I made it.  We all made it.  Everyone at SciencesPo has survived this semester.  Some made it through with fewer bumps and bruises (both literal and figurative) than others, but the point is that it is December 16, 2010 and I am on my way back to the United States.

I have been looking forward to getting back to the US for a long, long time.  There was a point when I was still at my first host family that I counted down the number of days until I was going to be back.  I think I was around seventy.  And I checked off every day on my calendar.  I felt like one of those kids who was waiting for his advent calendar. You remember how much you wanted to just rip open that little box and eat the chocolate inside?

For me the wait has made this trip home all the more sweet.  I know now what I appreciate about the US. I also know that I never ever want to live in a place where they can have multiple days of temperatures below 32˚F.    Finally I know that I can do anything.

I have found an apartment, semi-opened a bank account, gone grocery shopping, made friends, gone to classes, all in a foreign language.  The weirdest thing for me is that there are people who I have not heard speak English.  I have never spoken to them in my native tongue.  How cool is that? 
This experience (while hellish at times) has opened up an entire new world for me.  I can now communicate with millions more people that I could before.  Plus I can say that I’ve lived in Paris.  Not many other people I know can say that…

I’ll be seeing you all state side!

First post from the US

So the flight over wasn’t bad.  We were sitting in a plane that was two seats, three in the middle aisle and two more on the other side.  I was aisle in the set of three.  I’ve come to realize that that isn’t a bad place to be, mainly because the person in the middle is just as likely to go down the other aisle if he or she needs to get out.  So I didn’t have anyone going over me.
And there was an adorable little blonde baby (probably no more than fourteen months) who was walking up and down the aisle.  He had this huge smile on his face and paused and just stared at me for a few seconds.

Right now I am sitting in Newark Airport in New Jersey.  Getting through customs was kind of a hassle.  The worst part is that they confiscated my mom’s Christmas present from my brother.  I guess those terrible invasive tulips from the Netherlands really can pose a threat to national security…  I have to say that it was a really disappointing way to be greeted by a country I had been missing for so long.  But in the overall scheme of things, I guess it really wasn’t that bad.

In Newark, after clearing customs I had to go through security again.  (Again a major annoyance, but it wasn’t going to make me miss my flight) After I got in, I found a Ruby’s.  Holy mother of god.  I hit the mother load.  My first food ingested on American soil was nothing other than a simple Chocolate milkshake.  My stomach must be used to French portions because I couldn’t finish it.  It was too big!  I didn’t touch the extra flow over they give you in the metal canister. 

Oh well… I guess that’s probably a good thing.  I thought it was really funny too because when I went through security I had to take my belt off.  But my pants are still too large for me.  They legitimately almost fell off of me…

Guess I will just have to go shopping with Nana when I’m home (which should be in a few hours!). 

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