I've been here two full days plus my weekend of travel, and I think I am starting to get things figured out. For five hours a day I am taking an intensive language course at L'Intitut Parisien and it is very helpful. I feel my French getting much better already but it is pretty overwhelming. Until dinner tonight, when I ate with some people at the house I am staying out, I went two days without speaking English vocally. It was strange but felt good.
After class, I've been exploring, and I have seen some pretty cool things. My language course is in the centre-ville, near Garnier's Opera, and not too far from the Lourve and Les Tuleries. That makes for a lot of tourists and a lot of haute couture stores, as well as expensive restaurants, but my Norwegian friend Bjorn from class has helped me find some good sandwich places that are cheap. The neighborhood has dictated my exploration, but not in a bad way. I've seen a lot of tourists, but there are also many Parisiens, as there are numerous businesses in the area. You can tell by all the men in their tailored suits. I've got to get a few.
I've been taking the metro to class, then exploring, then taking the metro back to my house. It is exciting enough to see everything that I don't yet need crazy activities. But soon, they shall come.
Some things I have noticed: The people are well-dressed, pedestrians rule, there is a lot of smoking, things are expensive, good fruit is easily available, the Metro rocks, the French speak incredible fast, late August weather is fantastic, saying Bonjour et Bon soir et merci and excusez-moi go a long way, all the buildings are super cool looking, I'm not going to be biking inside the city. As a side note, I'm suffering from serious jetlag. Last night I barely got any sleep. I'm hoping to get back tonight. I thought I had prepped well by sleeping on the plane during Paris nighttime, but no luck.
Here are some photos from today:
Life is good. I'm making friends, eating good food, seeing good friends. Hopefully, I can be more active than just walking and doing pushups in my room soon.