By the time I was a sophomore in college, I'd realized that I hadn't exactly challenged myself to do much outside of my comfort zone. Having lived in Massachusetts all my life and choosing to go to college a distant 30 minutes away in Boston, I decided that I needed to test the European waters. Because I'd taken French all my life, it seemed only right that I apply to programs in Paris to study abroad.
Well, the day I got into the University of Paris III was the day that I nearly lost control of my bowels. And believe me, I have an idea as to how uncomfortable & inconvenient that actually would be after watching a friend cradle a rope between his cheeks during a summer tubing trip in Maine a few years ago. Anyway, I digress..
After I swallowed the reality of leaving everything I'd known for a period of 5 months, I began to sob upon boarding the plane and immediately turned to an unquantifiable number of red wine medicine bottles to curb my anxiety. Luckily, I was seated next to another college student, so we proceeded to imbibe quite heavily throughout the duration of our flight to Zurich.. where I'd have to drunkenly figure out how to find my way to my transfer flight to Paris. I somehow managed, but not without a battle - thank goodness there were many English speaking folks around to comprehend my slurred attempt at French.. or mumbles.
A few hours later, we touched ground in Paris.. I had finally sobered up which was sort of positive until I remembered how anxious I was and realized that I had no idea what I was supposed to do once I got there. Our program wasn't the most organized, so I didn't travel with any other students in my program. I managed to dial out to the US on the nearest payphone and got a hold of my mother. To this day, I could swear that she thought I was being tortured as there were absolutely no actual words being generated by my mouth, but rather the sweet sounds of Chewbacca.. but I'm still too proud to ask her. I finally met up with our program coordinator, Diane, and off we went to the Maison de Canadiens..
I'm out of breath from writing so much.. Parts II thru More to come shortly. But first, a baguette & brie for lunch.. that are obviously to be washed down by a nice glass [or bottle] of Shiraz.