I can hardly believe that today marks one week that I have been in France. Every day that I have been in this country has felt like a entirely different beast of its own. From navigating Charles De Gaulle Airport on Sunday morning, to buying a phone plan on Saturday, this week has been filled with dozens of firsts and a surprisingly large amount of lessons learned. One lesson in particular that I learned was taught to me on Tuesday night. After class at l’Institut de Tourraine, the other Holy Cross students and I decided that we would meet up for a school sponsored event at around 9pm in the center of Tours. Me being the naïve/know-it-all New Yorker that I am, thought that I already knew the in’s and out’s of Tours’s “simple” public transportation system, even though I had only been in the city for about 48 hours. Long story short, the bus stop name “Champ Joli” sounds a LOT like “Jean Jarès” when you’re blasting Édith Piaf from your headphones while thinking you know exactly what you’re doing and where you are going in a completely foreign city. This foolish mistake cost me an extra 30 minutes of walking to the café at Jean Jarès, then an extra HOUR of sitting at a dark bus stop alone waiting for the last bus back home after I had missed the café meet up. Although it might seem insignificant, this was definitely the lowest point in my week and totally made me reassess my situation in France. It finally hit me that I was out of my element and that I needed time to adjust to my surroundings. It only took two days for my head to be pulled right out of the clouds and brought right back down to earth. Luckily, the week only went up from this low point. The other Holy Cross students and I have been doing all sorts of fun activities together while in France such as wine tasting and a trip to the beach in La Rochelle, paid for by Holy Cross. Overall, I have been having a great time in France so far, and I am so excited to see what the future weeks have in store for me! Hopefully no more lessons about public transportation.
La leçon du jour : “It’s a bad day, not a bad study abroad experience.”-Alyssa Martinez, my friend who was consoling me during my seemingly endless wait at the bus stop