James in Paris

James, a French and history double major, is returning to France in Spring 2009 for his second semester abroad. He is hoping to reconnect with old friends and his French family while working on his language and culture skills in preparation for graduation and a master’s degree program.

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Finalement …

Well, I’m finally here. I’m actually back, and it’s all so … normal to me. It’s like I never left.

I got off the plane and got out of the airport via the train that drops you off at Gare du Nord. I couldn’t find anywhere where I could buy my ticket for the metro using a credit card, so I kinda snuck into the metro behind these other people who had lots of luggage and were using a gate. Then I lugged my luggage up 20 or so stairs … which was a total —–. I took the metro to Villiers where this really really nice man and his kid offered to help me with my things. Who says French people aren’t nice?

JamesBatchelor-F1019_6-174.jpg Then I walked down the street to the Valencourts’ apartment. The only thing that tripped me up was that I forgot for a few minutes which floor they lived on. But, after I figured it out I rang the doorbell and, sure enough, Mr. Valencourt opened the door and gave me a big hug. He said that they were so happy to have me back to their home. As he was cleaning up my room a bit before I got in there, I couldn’t help but notice that the Christmas card I sent them was placed along with all their others, and that the picture the three of us took together the last time I was gone was prominently placed above their computer desk.

And as for my French? Well sheesh … it’s all coming back. It’s weird actually. It’s like, almost as soon as I got into the country, my mind began to think in French. Suddenly I was saying everything in my head in French again. All my thoughts, all my reflections … it’s crazy. I was nervous about speaking to my French family again but I had no problem. How awesome!

And so now I’m sitting here, once again at my desk in my French family’s apartment … amazed at everything. I’m amazed that I’m back in Paris. PARIS! I can’t wait to see the Eiffel Tower again. I did it! I really did. Gosh …

This is totally amazing, it truly is. I get to spend the next five, six, seven, or eight months here (depending on what I can find to do here). INSANE.

Ok, time to unpack. I’m starving too. Did I hear someone mention crepes? Hehe.

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