i'm in paris! wee! and it's so gorgeous i could just move here right now. le sigh. hahaha!
the good news:
- everything travelwise has gone beyond well. lots of sunshine during the flight making gorgeous cloud-scapes, and good, free maps of the paris metro and trainsystems made everything really smooth. i even made it to the hotel 15 minutes earlier than the original plan. cooool!
- the hotel is tiny, definitely on the cheap side, but cute. i'm on the third floor and while my room is small (which makes sense since it's a single - totally works for me and the bed is large), it's bright, and has ridiculously tall windows that open up to a view of a small park. i even have the hotel sign right next to my window.
also, the hotel is just around the corner from a metro-stop, which means it was very easy to find. yey!
- there are houses here that have me grinning from ear to ear, constantly. just beautiful old buildings with statues and clingy leaves. and i've discovered that i don't really need to plan where to walk, because every neighbourhood i've walked through has lots to look at and enjoy. hi, paris. i like you. :D
- notre dame = so huge! and they had a mass when i got there, which was really moving. lots of inscense and gorgeous singing, like ethereal opera voices drifting throughout the service.. so pretty. i lit a candle for grandma. i think she'd have liked that.
- people have been very friendly, AND, i understood directions given to me in french, twice! i'm still really, really hesitant to speak french beyond a lot of "merci!" and "excusez-moi?" though.
oh, i did managed to order french pastries in, uh, french. that was cool. i was all "je voudrais achetez une eclair, s'il vous plait? et une tartelett pomme?" and the lady did indeed bring me a chocolate eclair and an apple tart. hehe. amazing.
and that eclair? was FUCKING AMAZING. i've never liked eclairs because they've been too sweet, but this one wasn't sweet, it had a yummie mousse filling instead of the frosting-like filling i've encountered before. definitely addictive.
the bad news:
- i was going to the catacombes but the website lied and they closed an hour earlier than announced online, so it was already closed when i got there. boo. i won't be able to go another day because the opening hours are so short, i'll be at the seminar. oh well. i'll definitely be back to paris, so it'll be fine.
- ..and the saint chappelle was closed as well, even though it was within opening hours - a guard had to refuse entry to several of us because there were simply too many visitors already. boo. oh well.
- I CAN'T FUCKING EAT! it's now 7 pm, and i haven't been able to overcome my anxieties enough to actually go to a restaurant and eat proper food. if i hadn't found that patisserie earlier and gotten the eclair and apple tart, i would be starving. well, actually, that was a couple of hours ago, so now i am kind of starving again.
i did buy a cone stuffed with roasted chestnuts off a man on the street. they were heavenly. so, to recap: i can handle buying pastries and buying food off of strangers in the street, but can't bring myself to enter a single restaurant.
yo, i couldn't even force myself into a freakin' mcdonald's. meh.
oh well. it's getting kind of desperate, so i will have to force myself to do it sooner or later. here's hoping it's sooner rather than later, haha.
- i haven't located the office where i am to show up tomorrow at 9 am. i'm pretty sure i've found the area on a map, though, so i will take the metro to the closest major adress there, and then either ask a local, or take a short taxi cab ride. i just need to make sure i leave the hotel around 7.15 am so i have a while to be lost..
i did just pay for another 30 minutes online though, and mapquested the adress and have drawn a little map, so i think it might work out fine. will grill the hotel clerk though for help. :)
oh, and yes - i am photographing lots, but it's probably not too exciting, haha. just lots of buildings and random streets. and pastries. lots of pastry-photo's. hehe. oh well. i brought 2 extra 1 GB memory cards along, so.. i should have some fun pictures to bring back.
ok, au revoir! i'm sure i'll find another internet cafe this week. hehe, go figure, i'm on a french keyboard and can't find the accent key to properly write cafe! haha!