Whenever I opt to go on a long journey by bus, I always, always regret it afterwards and swear I'd never do it again. However, as time goes by, I forget how horrible it was and I do it again. So, since a year has passed since my awful Croatia -> Prague experience, I decided to go to Paris by bus - it's cheap and you get almost unlimited luggage. I went with my dad (who offered to come with me to help me carry stuff), so we had 3 pieces of luggage together (all of them mine, of course). Since my preferred Student Agency had no connections on Thursday, I had to go with Eurolines, whose buses I don't like - no movies, no attendants, no nothing. No stops for toilet either - in the 14 hours ride, there was a time when we went for 7 hours without a single stop. Come on! People need to pee and buy drinks and stuff.
We arrived to Paris at 6:30 AM, it took as forever to find a taxi, but we managed (thanks, my high school French remnants) and thanks to a nice guy, I even managed to enter MIAA, my dorm of doom. I swear I'll show you self-explanatory pictures later, for now, you have to imagine the horrors I've gone through. So, I arrived to MIAA at 7, which I told the receptionists before by e-mail. She replied back that it's ncie, but she won't be there until 9, so I had to wait. Thank god my roommate was already in Paris and I could drop my stuff off in her (and my future) room. At 9 I went back downstairs, was told to wait for a couple more minuted and then it started. It took 3 hours for me to pay, get the receipt, get my accommodation card and my dossier and mail. It took 4 more hours for me to be told that I don't have a room yet, because the person hasn't moved out yet. During that time, I gradually met tons of my lovely classmates arriving, so at least we waited together and had tons of fun.
We decided to go around the campus at noon, so we had lunch at the cafeteria, checked out the library, Paribas and post office. We also explored the local Carrefour and got stuff for a picnic - the most awesome dinner you can imagine. I'm in no place to share information about my classmates and friends, but I have to tell you they're all extremely amazing people, really. We had a great time and got to know each other pretty well.
Lunch: salty tart with goat cheese
Part of Cité Universitaire
Neighborhood and Carrefour
But then we came back. And I still had no room to move into for the night! They told me I wasn't supposed to arrive so early (sure, becuase I only sent them 4 e-mails, both English and French, confirming my arrival date and time, not to mention I already PAID the rooms too). Then finally, the lady from the morning came back and gave me a key, so I went into that room, took a shower, tried not to wake my temporary roommate up and went to sleep. Or so I hoped. Then I got a horrible pain in my back, and realized I left my pain killers in the other room, so I prepared to die. After 2 hours, my temporary roommate woke up too, saw me doubling up in pain and asked if I was OK and when I asked her if she had some Ibuprofen, to my surprise (and endless joy) she said she did. So I was saved and could get like 2 hours of sleep, yay! To repay her, I got Gerald and myself to help her move out in the morning, which we shouldn't have done, because when we saw her new dorm, which cost the same amount of money as MIAA but looked infinitely nicer, we felt like crying.
Anyways, we decided to go out (sorry, this messy, but that was already Saturday) and for reasons hard to understand to most of you, we opted for the local Chinatown, which is like a 20-minute walk away from MIAA. It was awesome, cheap fruits and veggies, Asian food, restaurants, decorations, Casino supermarket... I got prawns (10 E/kg) to make tempura for dinner, and we had lunch in a Chinese restaurant. After coming back and dropping our stuff off, we went out again to check out Lidl and Carrefour for additional groceries, and we cooked dinner together in the evening - we had Indian rice, Anette made Korean side dishes, I made the tempura, plenty of people made cold dishes - well, you can see FIPDes is very international. This sound too nice though, right? So, when I wanted to go to my temporary room, I saw its door wide open - I hurried inside and found out my stuff was gone! Almost crying, I run downstairs to the reception, where I learnt "oh, we though it was left behind by the other girl, don't worry, we didn't throw it out though" and eventually I got my stuff back. But since my future room's non-roommate left, I decided to move into my room for the semester already, which was smart, because the room I was supposed to stay in was cleaned out the next morning again.
Asian grocery store
Fruits and veggies opposite Casino:
My soup (so far, dieting in France is easy... at least for 2 days):
Preparations for tempura:
Vita in action
So, on Sunday, we finally decided to go to the city, since some of FIPDes kids have come to Europe for the first time. Since the first Sunday of the month = free entry to museums, we went to Louvre. To our great surprise, the giant queue took only 15 minutes to move from almost the exit of the subway to the entrance. We spent about 3 hours there, which means that we saw just a part of Louvre, but we managed to visit the most famous parts (and to take zillions of crazy group pictures). Then we continued to take crazy pictures outside of Louvre as well (just look at the photos!).
A random French lady: "You're much, much prettier than her!"
Me: "Errr... certainly not in this photo... orz"
Me: "Errr... certainly not in this photo... orz"
This is hard to explain - there was a screen and a camera that took your picture and made you part of the screen. The challenge was taking a pic before real people or pictures on the moving screen got in front of you.
My dream bed
Taking pictures of yourself is apparently a national sports discipline in Phillipines
I don't know this guy who's just died in fornt of Louvre, I've never seen him before.
Oh, he's alive. It's just another pose...
Blouse: second hand (Don Don Down on Wednesday, Tokyo)
Skirt: second hand (Closet Child, Tokyo)
Bag: L'Intemporelle (Angers)
Hair pin: DIY (see my Liz Lisa hairpin tutorial)
Earrings: Claire's (Tokyo)
Then we went to Place de la Concorde, where I dragged everyone to Ladurée, and we got an overpriced box of macarons in the cutest bag ever, with pastel leaflets and cards and Ladurée napkin. Since I wore pastel pink, I was voted as the one to pose for our "shopping at Ladurée" photo.
90 E/20 mins - that's almost for free, right?
Ladurée - *______*
Me looking ugly and retarded in front of Ladurée
So weird O____o
Afterwards, most people were too tired to continue, so it was just Gerald, Liz and me who bravely continued to Champs-Elysées (the cheapos we are, we were interested in looking for discounts, but there are none after the main sale period TT____TT). We also wanted to go up the Arc de Triomphe, but I would be the only one to go for free (Liz in non-EU and over 25, and Gerald is under 25 but non-EU as well - what a stupid policy). So we passed, since 9.50 E are not exactly an acceptable price to go into anything, even if it is the Arc de Triomphe. Then we went back, dropped Liz off at the station and went to look for a church for the Sunday mass. We found it, learnt the mass was bound to start in half an hour and left to get food (since my bread disappeared) and drinks (since Gerald only drinks coffee and then he's surprised he's dehydrated in the evening). We came back right before the mass was going to start, and then Gerald realized it was going to be in French (which I didn't interpret as a problem before, so I didn't tell him). So we left after he prayed right before the mass and we went for a bit to a park near out campus. And we had a big dinner together with the freshly arrived people! Yay! And, I got my room with a key (they just didn't give me a blanket, but still - I finally have a place to sleep and store my make-up in).