Bonjour, mes amis! I am typing this at 10pm in my little room in my new French home! Ah, the joys of technology. I have safely arrived and am settling in to my new life in Aix-en-Provence, France. C’est magnifique!
The journey to get here was crazy. I boarded a direct flight from Pittsburgh to Paris, which arrived an hour later than planned. Which meant that my one hour layover… Became a six hour layover. That’s right, folks. I missed my flight. After sprinting to the terminal where my flight had already taken off, I tried to find the ticket counter. I asked the people in front of me if I was in the right place but they didn’t speak any English. Awkward. After walking around to figure out if I had found the correct place, I was surrounded by new people in line, who were Americans.
If you’ve never travelled abroad before, finding Americans elsewhere is possibly the best feeling ever. You just want to say “YOU GET ME. You speak English!! This is fantastic.” They were kind enough to allow me to use their phone to call IAU College (my university in Aix) to tell them I wouldn’t be at the airport at 11a… More like 5:25p.
I camped out in the F terminal of the Charles de Gaulle Paris airport. After a few tears, a little Bible reading, and a nap, I felt much better. Funny how rest and the word of the Lord can do that to you 🙂
I got lunch (caprese salad on a crusty baguette, a raspberry macaroon and some Evian) from a little stand called Paul. And then I read until my flight boarded. The man I sat next to on the flight was very kind and we shared some pleasant conversation about the US, Aix, Marseille and how to say some little phrases in French. The girl sitting behind me happened to be a student who was also arriving for my program. I walked down the stairs of the Marseille airport, collected my bags, and was greeted by my host mom, Béatrice! She is a spunky, sweet lady. We waited for a while for my friends and roommates, Katie and Hannah to come. After a bit of baggage confusion (Katie’s bags were lost), we embarked on the journey home, which ended up being a bit more complicated than we might have thought. Katie and I rode a bus from the Airport to Aix, because Béatrice has a mini cooper that couldn’t fit us all and our luggage. She dropped off the luggage and picked us up and took us home. At that point, I had not slept in about 30 hours. My mind couldn’t really process French.
When Béatrice picked us up from the bus stop in Aix, I greeted her by saying “hola.” Clearly, my brain wasn’t processing French (but maybe it was processing Spanish? Even though I can’t speak it? Still confused on this point…)
Béatrice fed us a fantastic dinner (quiche and mache, a Provencal salad). She calls me Ja-me-n-son. It’s precious. Soon after dinner, I finished unpacking, FaceTimed my parents, and went to bed.
Today was a whirlwind as well… Woke up late, did a few things around the house and then explored Aix with my roommates and a few friends. The city is gorgeous. I can’t wait to explore it even more. But jetlagged jweav is tired. So until then, À Bientot!