So things are starting to settle down now that i have been here for almost 3 weeks. I have my apartment (and I am working on the internet). I officialy signed up for my univiersity here in Paris. It is called Paris 8: Saint-Denis. It is only about 15-20 min from my apartment. I have an official visit and tour scheduled for this coming wednesday. I am quite excited and maybe I will get to pick some of my classes. They are very disorganized here, but at least classes don’t officially start until October 5.
In the meantime, I have been spending my time in language courses that are part of my orientation program with my exchange program. We spend 3-4 hours a day in class practicing french and learning about the city to orient ourselves to be main-streamed into French Universities. There are 4 different french classes that meet and i believe that there is about 80 students in my exchange program from the US, Canada and Puerto Rico. It is really nice to meet so many new people from all over North America.
So besides classes I have been exploring the city and specifically the neighborhood i live in. I really love where I live. Within 5 min of me there are hundreds of stores, but in Paris you will never find a Wal-mart. It has been very interesting getting used to going to 5 different stores just to do daily shopping. There are Boulangeries, Patisseries, Boucheries, Fromageries, Creperies, Brassaries, Tabacs, Papateries, libraries, etc. Most stores are specialty stores, so you spend a lot of time finding out where you can get certain foods, or school supplies or even household items. It is in enriching to experience something so different. It is a lifestyle change that is for sure.
Tonight I went to “Le Lapin Agile” with some of the other people in my exchange program. It was really cool. The Lapin Agile (Agile Rabbit) is a Parisian style Cabaret. It has been around since th1800’s and was a place that many famous artists and musicians spent their time. The show was actually 5 hours long, but most of my class only stayed from hours which seemed to be the norm. It seemed like there were people waiting to get into the show after people started leaving. They sang a lot of famous french songs and there were instruments like th piano, guitar and accordian that were played. The audience was very involved in the performance and it was a lot of fun.
(Note: It took too long tonight when I tried, but I plan on getting a video of the Lapin Agile in here, So look for that eventually)
This weekend is a very special weekend in Paris. Saturday and Sunday are called “Les Journees du Patrimoine.” It means the hertiage days. And on these days, and these days only, buildings and places such as the national assembly, the town hall, the national archives, ander govermentment buildings and other important places that are normally closed to the public are open for anyone to see. It is a very special event in Paris, and I am looking forward to going to several places. I also am hoping to do some home shopping with some of my friends at Ikea which is a little outside of the city. With all of that and some homework to do, it is going to be a busy weekend. Until then A Bientot! (See you soon)