Brenda with SMU-in-Paris

Brenda is a junior majoring in journalism and French who is studying with SMU-in-Paris this fall.

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A French Connection

It has been almost two weeks since I left behind my family and friends in Texas and embarked on the adventure that is a semester abroad. There have been good and bad, but so far, Paris is one of the most amazing places I have ever lived.

Everyday is a new adventure. Getting on the metro in the morning, afternoon, and night, are three completely different experiences. One afternoon there were five of us girls riding the metro, with our friend, Federico. All of a sudden this young boy (age estimate: 12/13) gets on the metro with his boombox and starts aggressively and quite frankly, in a very vulgar manner, dancing and thrusting in front of us. He starts swinging from the poles on the metro. I could not have been more shocked. I never expected it. Then he goes around the metro with his little cup and asks for money. I felt embarassed, not only for him, but for the five of us sitting there with jaws dropped. Not something that happens on a day to day basis…for us.

But the other people on the metro just completely ignored him, looked the other way, and some even got up and moved…and honestly, I dont blame them. The same thing happened to me the other day with two other boys and I had to get up to move. It is a huge invasion of privacy.

Welcome to culture shock…

But besides the uncomfortable and sometimes sketchy occurences on the metro …life in Paris is moving along as if I’ve been here for more than a week and a half.

The sites are magnificent, and there is never a lack of something to do. Just this morning we got up at 8 (quite unenthusiastically) to go to the government buildings in the Jardin du Luxembourg that are only open once a year to the public. We saw where the senate meets, and where the president works and lives.

But for now… dinner and wine with friends is a must.
More on French culture shock to come.

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