France: A country filled with pink toilet paper and stereotypical pointed noses. As this being my first experience in Europe, I have found myself truly mesmerized by the unique simplicity and yet rather combusted Country. I’m a person who is not easily bothered by conformity and change, so that is one obstacle I could face. The other obstacle would be a large language barrier, due to the fact that I am one of the two students in the History department and not the French department. Thankfully my keen sense of humor I tend to find in awkward situations has, in truth, been a life saver. Getting slightly off topic, when we arrived in the airport of course we were all dying for something to eat. Of course what do we find to satisfy our hunger…McDonalds? Yes, let’s all go to France to eat the spectacular cuisine of Mickey D’s. My double cheese burger and fries was anything but the perfect way to begin my intense culture immersion in France.
Moving forward, the students that are here with me on this trip are in fact a matchless find. From the moment we met at the café in the Charles De Gaul Airport, we had all managed to get along and enjoy each others’ company.
This picture was taken in the airport the first day that we all arrived (May 25, 2010). During the time that we sat there and awaited for the highly anticipated 4:00 departure, we unintentionally began creating great memories. Who knows, maybe it was just the jet lag and lack of sleep that our conversation so funny, but either way it was a fantastic start to our adventure.
Finally, after getting on the train, which was going 200 MPH, I had mixed feelings about what I was about to see on my journey to Montpellier. I noticed the large amount of green land that was left to be nature, as intended. In America you so often find that when a large piece of land is untouched, we automatically want to use it to build another shopping center, that eventually becomes deserted and a waste of space. Graffiti is another common sight in the cities that we went through and even in Montpellier. Why has this not become a concern to the city? I wonder, do the people of France not appreciate the historical landmarks and architecture they encompass? I guess when something is around you all the time, a habit, you tend to abuse it.
When arriving in Montpellier, I was quickly paired with my host family. The neighborhood where I am staying is located outside the city in a suburb of Montpellier. The house is very modern on the outside, but the inside is stuck in the 1970’s and very cluttered. This is where I find the simplicity of France. In America, so many people are waste their money on the unnecessary things, where here in France you find only the necessary objects. I thoroughly enjoy the company of my house and host family. My family has been very hospitable and welcoming towards me during the transition and adjustments for my stay.