I cannot believe it but I’m finally in Paris!! I felt like Peeta in the Hunger Games, pulling up to the Capitol, staring out the window and just being in awe. The last time I was here was in 2007, fresh at the height of puberty, looking and feeling as awkward as ever. But this time, I’m twenty, more competent in French, and ready to completely immerse myself in the City of Love until December (not to say I’ll find love, but a girl can dream).
As we were waiting in the auditorium of some French institute for our host families to come pick us up, I was literally begging in my head, and let’s be real, out loud since I have no volume control or filter, that I wouldn’t have a bitch of a snobby host mother. And oh mon dieu (OMD), merci à dieu (THANK GOD) I don’t!!
My host mother is the most charming woman ever (O blood type). She makes conversation easy and made me feel comfortable speaking to her in French immediately. Paris is split into 20 arrondissements, or quarters. My host family lives in the 10th, an arrondissement known for its cultural diversity, the Canal St. Martin, and the Gare du Nord (Google them or stay tuned for pictures). We arrived at the doors of what I thought would be a traditional apartment, but instead, the doors opened up to a courtyard with a garden. My host mother took me upstairs to the first floor where they live, and I literally turned into a stereotypical gobsmacked Asian, spewing high-pitched franglasian sounds and adoring the very French interior of the apartment.
I met Anaïs, the older sister who doesn’t actually live in but is seven-months pregnant and visiting with her husband and has her own jewelry line. I met her husband. I met Constance (A blood type), the very friendly twenty-year old who is currently swamped with school work and talks maybe twenty thousand words a second. And I met Pierre-Louis, the absolutely adorable sixteen-year old who is way too cool for me. I’m not being sarcastic at all – I wish I was as cool as him. By dinner time, I met my host father (guessing A blood type) who is the quintessential French man with the dark hair and deep voice, who pulls out the dictionary any time I have a question.
After dinner, we exchanged numbers, and my host mother showed me pictures of their house in the French countryside and the wedding pictures of her eldest son Augustin. He recently married a girl from Chicago who is completely competent in French. Everybody in this family is VERY attractive, from immediate family to the in-laws. I’m not trying to be your typical insecure girl. I quite honestly feel inadequate, in terms of looks, here. But aside from that, I already feel like I’ve been accepted into the first layer of the family.
I love the arrondissement, the apartment, the family. If first impressions mean anything, I think I’ll be just fine here. Frankly, I’m a city girl, and I have a huge floor to ceiling window that I’ve opened so I can hear the echo of Parisian accents and the vespas speed by.
Tomorrow, I’m going exploring and eating, and in the evening, going out to a club because lezberull, I haven’t had the chance to get completely wasted and what’s going out without getting blackout, regardless of how “American” that is. Home, sweet home.
First Meal Entrée (Entrée is the word for “appetizer” in French) + Wine