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in⋅vo⋅ca⋅tion: (n) the magic formula used to conjure up a spirit; incantation.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I think I'm starting to like you, Paris

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I feel like I'm starting to "get it". A couple of weeks ago, I was having issues finding housing, getting a wire transfer, setting up my bank account, getting classes figured out, etc, etc, but for the first time in a while, I'm starting to feel like the time you devote to getting settled in and getting things to work is almost over.

This last week, I signed the contract for my new apartment in Paris. It was so exciting to sign a lease for the first time in my life. My landlord and I met at a cafe (I can't do accents on this laptop so whatevs), we went over the document, and signed it. I'm getting my keys on Tuesday night and I move out of la cite, (GOODBYE, MAISON DES PROVINCES DE FRANCE!) and I move into my new apartment on the 3rd arrondissement. I'm really looking forward to moving in (not looking forward to carrying 2 overweight bags up 6 stories, NO ELEVATOR) but to furnishing the place and buying homey things.

This last week, I also got my money wired to me. It felt really good to not have to worry about cash. This is one thing that really annoys me about France. Credit cards are not widely accepted and not only that, but they barely take American Express. This is a problem because this is what I use most of the time, and sometimes, they won't even take my Visa. I'm not sure why, but they always ask for the chip...I thought mine had a chip, but I guess all this time, what seemed like a chip, really wasn't? In any case, they barely ever take American Express anywhere except for most supermarkets (except for Lidl). I've started to slowly get used to that and to carrying enough cash with me.

I had my first full week of classes this last week. I seriously felt like I understood basically everything in most of my classes. I only had one class that freaked me out, a class on the financial crisis. I've never taken economics in college, and I know a bit about finance in general, at least the minimum amount the Economist can teach you. For the first hour of the class, I was excited, I felt like "YES! I know about Madoff!!" but the second hour of the class, I doodled in my notebook, completely confused, unable to understand this man's french. I'm not feeling 100% confident yet in my ability to understand french, but I feel like it's not as hard as I thought it would be, and that's comforting.

Jenna, my friend from Penn, is coming on Thursday night, so I'm pretty excited about that too. I feel like I'll have my apartment semi-figured out by then and I'll be able to show her around with some knowledge of the city...I can't wait.

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