Author Archives: elenachilders

We’ll Always Have Paris


Currently I am on the plane from Paris to my layover in Charlotte, NC. I woke up at 5:30am to make sure I would not miss this 11am flight. Yesterday was my mom’s 50th birthday, so my coming home is like a present for her. I am happy to be going home, to familiar territories, friends and family; I cannot wait to enjoy my favorite home cooked meal. However, my heart is broken. I mean seriously, if you have been reading my blogs this should not be a surprise. I am in love with the French language, with Paris and leaving feels like I am leaving the love of my life. Lift-off on a plane always kind of shakes me, but this time I was completely distracted by the tears building up in my eyes. I felt so at home in Paris, actually, I felt better than that! I felt like I could accomplish anything. My dreams were made in Paris and I will never forget it. That famous line from Casablanca keeps playing through my mind, “we’ll always have Paris” and Paris will always have me.

My last week in Paris was great. An old friend of mine was passing through Paris and came to visit me. We picnicked in the Luxembourg Gardens and ate cotton candy (cotton candy in French is “barbe à papa,” which translates to, “dad’s beard” Ha!) by the Ferris wheel. We also visited the Moulin Rouge, which is still an active burlesque theater. It is on a street filled with other little burlesque theaters, sex shops and erotic museums. It was an interesting experience… Nonetheless, the Moulin Rouge is a beautiful theater. From there we walked up to Sacre Coeur and watched the sunset over Paris. It was a breathtaking sight. Also, my step grandmother came to visit me! It was so great to see family in Paris, we had such a great time. Though communication was complicated because I had no phone, we eventually were able to meet up for a day. We walked around the Eiffel Tower and I showed her around Saint-Michel (which is the street the foyer is on). Later that day we met up for dinner, we got all dolled up and she took me to this fancy restaurant that I would always see on my walk to class. A seafood restaurant that is super fancy! The menus were ipads and they put a little bowl of dry ice in all their entrees, so all their food had a mysterious fog surrounding it. I felt pretty cool.

Before I met up with her I made an appearance at the dinner the program was having. It was in a seriously authentic Parisian restaurant and I tried my first infamous Kir Royal. It is a drink with casis and champagne, the very “French” drink. Also, with the program, we toured the Catacombs. Oh man, Eastern State Penitentiary looks like a fun house compared to the Catacombs. There were so many real human bones! The Catacombs are underground tunnels beneath Paris that are just filled with walls and walls of skulls and bones from thousands of Parisians. The tunnels are stone, manmade tunnels, the ground is damp and there are all kinds of carvings on the walls that talk about death. It is a very eerie feeling. You walk for a bit through tunnels like that until you get to where the bones are. The first room you enter with bones has a warning sign engraved above it in French that says something along the lines of the dead will breathe into you once you step into this room. The bones are piled up very orderly, you can literally stare them right in the eye-sockets. It was a really cool experience and the gift shop had absinthe!

Also, I had a last meeting with my Parisian friend that I met here. Her name is Marianne and she is so awesome! She told my friend, Harry, and I to meet her at a place called “Miss Cupcake.” It was the cutest little cupcake shop on Montmartre and she goes there so often that the cashier was extremely nice and gave us an extra cupcake for free. I am going to miss her and my other friends that I made here!! I really hope they come visit me someday! My classmates were all really cool people as well. Last night we had a final super. We went to a touristy restaurant near Saint-Michel and after we all sat by the Seine with a few bottles of wine and just talked about how much we are going to miss each other and how we are going to try and visit each other back in the U.S. or in Sweden or Australia! It was a good way to say goodbye.

The first night I was in Paris I was delusional and jet-lagged and I sat by the Seine drinking wine with people who were strangers to me then but are now great friends and we drank wine and talked about what we were determined to accomplish in Paris. My last night in Paris was spent by the Seine, drinking wine with people who are now great friends of mine and we talked about what we had accomplished and how proud we are of each other. It could not have been more perfect. So this is probably my last blog about Paris, thank you for tuning into my blabbering about my adventures. I really do feel like a new person, like my life has been refresh. Je voudrais retourner à Paris un jour. C’est une bonne ville. Je suis tombée de l’amour avec Paris. Il faut que je practique ma français toujours. Je t’aime Paris!! Au revoir. (A bientôt!) 😉


p.s.      I have never been more content with myself. I got a B+ in my class at La Sorbonne and I know for a fact I have learned so much! Just a minute ago, while the stewardess was passing out the dinners I had to help communicate for the French couple sitting next to me. They do not know any English and I had to help them order. The stewardess talked to me in English and I repeated it to the couple in French and then they answered in French and I translated to the stewardess in English. The reason this is proof that I have learned a lot is because on the plane to Paris the man sitting next to me (that I mentioned in the first blog) was quizzing me in French to see what I knew (I asked him to) and I had no idea how to say Pasta. Low and behold that was the first word I had to translate for this couple. They don’t know, but it gave me the best feeling ever. I am truly so happy, la vie est rose!


Welkom To Amsterdam (PG-13)


Before I begin this blog I would like to say that anyone who is easily offended should stop reading right now. Now calm down. I am not saying I am writing an XXX blog, I now Amsterdam has quite the reputation.  However, this blog just has some over 13-18 years of age stories to it and that is it, nothing too off-the-wall. If you are ok with that then this blog will not only be very entertaining but enlightening. So, in Amsterdam I stayed at a Hostel on the popular bar street called “Leidseplein,” and partook in the Gay Pride festivities and visited the red light district. The story commences with my train ride from Paris, Gare du Nord to Amsterdam, Centraal Station (those two a’s are not a typo).

Currently it is difficult for me to access a printer, so I opted for the “paperless” tickets for the train. This made me a little nervous because when I got on the train everybody had paper tickets. However, I felt pretty cool and high-tech when the ticket conductor came and scanned my ticket all while we were exchanging formal greetings in French. Yea, that happened, I am awesome. Anyways, the train ride was quite a surprise. I literally closed my eyes and fell asleep for what felt like a second, but when I woke up I was in Amsterdam.

The Amsterdam train station was gorgeous. Beautiful red bricks and unique stone work. Actually, when I think back on that city every building was built similar to that. It was like I was stepping into a city who knew how to make their past work as part of their present. It was amazing. When I exited the station I realized I did not plan ahead on how I was going to get to my hostel. I had arrived at 9a.m. so I had time to get lost. I strolled around the area where the station was until I realized I was not going to figure this out. Haha! So I found a Macdonald’s and got some free Wi-Fi. (The only time I was grateful for a Macdonald’s). I googled how to get to my hostel and it was easy as pie: one, 10-minute, Tram ride from the station dropped me off right on my street.

I walked around the area my hostel was in before I met up with my friend to check-in. There were so many cool things happening around me. I first stumbled upon a flower market where they, of course, were selling tulip bulbs and “grow-your-own cannabis” kits. To be perfectly blunt, that was one aspect of Amsterdam that kept surprising me. People would walk down the streets smoking cannabis like it was a cigarette. I may or may not have entered a coffee shop out of curiosity and I may or may not have found out that these places provide cannabis exactly like a restaurant, with menus, waiters and everything! They are highly respected as vendors. If I had experienced such a thing like that my mind would have been blown and I would have definitely not partaken in any of it’s content, but I definitely would have thought it was super chill… Anyways, when my friend and I checked into the hostel we met everyone staying in our room with us and they were all really cool! There were a group of girls from Finland and a group of boys from Australia.

We all ended up going out together that night. We went to several clubs and danced together as if we had been friends forever. It was great. The next day my friend and I went to the red light district. There we saw things that made me feel for the first time a cringe of culture shock. The sex shops I was not surprised by. I mean come on everyone, south street in Philadelphia has “Condom Kingdom.”  Seeing the girls with their red lights on was just inexplicable. There were half naked girls, tapping on the windows trying to entice you to come in and do whatever. Somehow my friend and I walked into a strip club, I do not know how we ended up in there, I swear it was just a bar. Anyways, we only stayed long enough to make a friend with one of the strippers. Though she was topless we had a great conversation that started from us complimenting her ring. She was a gorgeous Dutch girl that was into fashion. Walking about in the red light distract was both intriguing and heartbreaking. Some guys would taunt the girls and you can see the girls roll their eyes when the guys would pass laughing. Other girls were talking on their phones or to their girlfriend across from them and laughing, looking like they were having a great time, probably laughing about all the tourist that pass. Photos were forbidden, but the street itself, by the canal, was actually quite beautiful and I snapped a picture of that, with a few others from the sex shop…

In the morning I would go get some alsdkfjasdj to eat and then for lunch I would have jdasfkaj. Actually, those are not real words of food, but that is how it looked to me when I would read the menus. Overall, it was a great trip and I would suggest everyone to visit that beautiful city. So, that was my Amsterdam trip in a nutshell. Make sure to check out my next blog, this is my last full week here, so who know what’s going to happen! I am sure it will be inexplicably awesome.

Go Hard or Go Home



            Dear readers, I apologies for the tardiness of this blog. I will be making up for it by writing two RIGHT MEOW! (And OH, is it worth it.) So, This past week was quite fantastic. It is unreal to me that I am down to a week and a half left. Sigh, it breaks my heart. Anyways, this week I visited the Château Chenonceau, ate escargot, went to Montmartre, cried for those who have passed, kissed Oscar Wilde and thanked him, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison for being alive. AND, I got an awesome grade on my past test and homework. So overall, it was a good week.

The Château Chenonceau was so beautiful! It had the most amazing gardens and towers, all surrounded by a legit moat. When you walked up to the castle entrance there was a wishing well right next to a look out tower that I swear looked exactly like the wishing well that Snow White sings into and the tower she climbs into to hide from the prince. Of course I ran up to it and sang so beautifully (actually, more like shouted like a kraken from the sea), “I’m wishing, for the one I love, to find me, todaaaaaay!!” Also, walking through this magnificent structure was incredible. I could not help but walk holding my dress and feeling like royalty. Another cool fact about this castle is that during 1914-1918 in WWI it aided 2,254 soldiers.

This week was the last week for our sweet ole’ Professor Roget. He treated us to an authentic French dinner and our new professor, Laura Spagnoli, joined us. I felt unstoppable, so I ordered the Escargot. I just would not have been content with myself if I left Paris never trying it. The conclusion was good. I thought it was delicious! It tasted like Calamari, which I love. So I was very content, though if I thought about how I was actually eating snails I kinda would start to get a little queasy, but if you just do not think about it, it is a great meal. Also this week I went with a friend to visit Montmartre. Those who are familiar with the popular movie “Amélie” know that Montmartre is where she lived. It is a breathtaking view of Paris with great street art and street musicians.

While walking up to the top of the magnanimous hill my friend noticed a plaque on a school for boys, “Ecole De Garçons.” It was in French so I had to read it a few times before I understood the entirety of it, but when I did I started to cry. In short it explained that more than 700 young Jewish boys were taken from that school and killed in concentration camps. The history that Paris holds will always be branded on my heart. On perhaps a less morbid note of deaths, I visited Père Lachaise. I kissed the tomb of Oscar Wilde, I sang “La Vie En Rose” with Edith Piaf and danced to “Touch Me” next to Jim Morrison. It felt so right to thank each one of these artists for being alive and influencing my life even in their death.

Experiencing all of this is not only making me a happier person, but I feel changed, in a good way. I feel matured and cultured; I feel like I could do anything. Paris is giving me a better view on life and I cannot wait to spread my love to those who cannot see the light of such self-freedom! Thank you all for enjoying my blog! Tune in next time and hear all about my weekend trip to Amsterdam!! It was Gay Pride week! Things got a little crazy, in a good way. 😉




        I just do not understand. Speaking French is a heart-racing, blood pumping, and adventure-creating experience here in Paris. I love everything about it. My heart races and I feel so thrilled! I have made friends with French speakers; I can understand what they are saying and now I can even somewhat respond (sloppily). My professor and I only speak in French to each other, while my classmates and I hold fully functioning conversations in “frenglish” (French-English). However, I feel so frustrated in my class. I get my work and exams passed back to me with the professor saying, “c’est une bonne note” (which means, “this is a good grade”) but when I see it I am not content. The grading system is very different here. What is usually a B in the U.S. is practically failing here. It is just so frustrating it breaks my heart! In real life situations that I have encountered here I have been able to communicate with real French speakers and that makes me feel so proud of myself and accomplished. It is obvious to see that I have progressed so much in my language acquisition.  However, when I go to class and get my work back I see red markings everywhere from all sorts of little mistakes that I have made. I was not forced to take this language, I chose it, I fell in love with it, but when I see so many mistakes on things that I felt so good about, I feel like I have fallen in love with something that will never love me back. The thing about uncontrollably falling in love is that I cannot give up on it even if I wanted to. I am just going to have to work harder.

        If that is the only thing that upsets me while I am here, then I think I am going to be OK. Ha-ha! Other than that downer, life is still beautiful here. You are all probably getting bored with my enchantment of Paris, or jealous ;). I just cannot help it. This past weekend was lovely. I hung out by the “Paris plage,” which literally translates to “Paris beach” and that is exactly what it is. Every year Paris creates a fake beach by the Seine River. There is sand, lawn chairs, umbrellas, booths that sell ice cream, drinks and other boardwalk/ beach-like things and everyone is lounging around in their swimsuits tanning, playing with the sand or in the sprinkler. It has been very hot here this past week, so it has been packed with people. Still, it is nice to feel your toes in the sand and the sun on your skin and then be able to walk into a city you love.

        Also, there was another group excursion this past weekend! We went to Reims to see their Notre-Dame cathedral. It was absolutely breathtaking. Then we went to Epernay to tour the Caves Mercier and learn about the champagne distilling process. It was very interesting, plus we got free champagne! The vineyards seem like they go on forever. Most of Reims was destroyed during the First World War, so the tour guide kept apologizing for the city not being as historical looking than the rest of France. However, Reims captures my favorite time in history. They rebuilt the city in the 1920s, so I felt like a flapper walking down the street to a speakeasy. I wanted to roll down my stockings and do the Charleston! During the Epernay tour, I was so happy because I was able to understand everything the tour guide was saying in French! Also, she said she loved my hair. 😀 The bus ride back to Paris was a few hours, and very scenic.

        This past weekend was also Le Tour De France! These cyclists are not your usual hipsters riding on their fix gears you see going through Temple campus. These are the professionals! The race was amazing. Everyone was there! They are a blur going past your eyes through the Champs Elysees. On the way back from the race the metro had a beautiful string ensemble playing in the midst of everyone rushing to catch his or her train. I have seen banjo players and guitarist belching in the New York subway system, but I have never seen anything this classy. It was such a reminder of how pleasant this city is.

        To finish off this blog I would like to let the world know that my taste buds have died and gone to heaven. I finally tried the infamous Macaroon. They are everywhere here and everybody raves about them. I had a “framboise” flavored Macaroon (which means “berries”), and once you go Macaroon you never go back…aroon. Seriously though, everyone MUST try this delicious baked good. It will change your life. This weekend I will be visiting the castles of Amboise and Chenonceau. Get ready for a princess themed blog next time! Au revoir! (Le Tour De France photo provided by Cara Anderson. Merci!)

Sorry Folks, I Don’t Wanna Leave


I do not know what it is about Paris, but I feel like I have found my heart again. Inspiration oozes from the walls of every building, character grabs a hold of you with every person you pass, and the air gives your senses an exhilarating tingle. This city makes you feel complete. You are part of something here. It is similar to a “Where’s Waldo” picture. If you look at it from far away it is just a blur of colors, but when you get close you see that each color is a unique individual. This makes you want to look at every single person on this page, each person has a purpose. It grabs a hold of your heart when you realize that not one person is the same. Paris is like a “Where’s Waldo” picture and each person is their own “Waldo.” I am “Waldo” and I see everyone else in the city, each person is very different from the next and doing something that contributes to this great city, I see all this while I am trying to find myself, “Waldo.”

It is funny that I think this because when you walk around the city there is a lot of street art that contains a picture of Waldo from “Where’s Waldo.” There is such beautiful street art here. I came across one just the other night that read, “Regarde le ciel” which means, “watch the sky,” and I have never seen a more beautiful sky. Paris’ sky is like a painting. It is so romantic when you live in a painting. As Kurt Vonnegut said, “everything is beautiful and nothing hurts,” and that is how it feels here. I feel like I am falling in love more and more everyday and that I am invincible.

Speaking of invincible, Bastille Day showed me some real Parisian patriotism. My first step outside that day was me hitting the ground and covering my head because I was frightened by an extremely loud noise. It was military airplanes flying over the city over and over again. I felt a little silly after I saw everyone walking around casually and me on the ground like a crazy person. It was a beautiful sight. The sky was clear and the planes were roaring around the skies with such pride. That night the streets were filled with people dancing and singing and enjoying the fireworks. I would say the tourist enjoying the show seemed more excited than the actually Parisians. The Parisians seemed cool and collected, however, when I looked around at all the people I could tell that the true Parisians had full hearts. I saw this because while the fireworks were going many of the people started cuddling up, holding hands, and even kissing.

Oh la la! That is something I had to get used to here. Public displays of affection are totally accepted here. I do not just mean sweet little hello and goodbye kisses exchanged between couples, I mean straight up making-out, legit French-kissing, legs-wrapped-around-each-other, in the middle of the street kind of kissing. At first I was a little uncomfortable, but now I think it is sweet. They are so passionate about their feelings for each other that they are in their own little world and do not care what anybody else thinks about them. It is beautiful. I would take a picture for everyone to see and understand better, but that would probably be a little creepy…

My phone keeps dying so I did not get as many pictures as I would have like for this week to post, but I will try to remember to charge my phone for next week’s post! I do not have a functioning phone here. I just use my phone for Wi-Fi and pictures. To contact anyone I just go on Facebook, or I actually talk to people face-to-face and plan ahead. I feel like I am in the 50s! Ha-ha! Actually though, it is pretty nice. I feel more laid back because I am prepared for anything to happen, and in Paris, ANYTHING can happen (in a good way). Well, this weekend Paris is setting up a fake beach around the Seine River, with sand and free concerts! So tune in next time to here about that! It should be trés fou! (The last 2 pictures are from of the Eiffel Tower on Bastille day.)

But I Really Want To Go To Class…


Classes at La Sorbonne have begun and currently I am sitting in the Hogwarts-like library of my student hostel typing this. I am in here often now because of my schoolwork. I was just getting used to having a free schedule and simply exploring the romantic city of Paris and becoming great friends with everyone in the program. I guess I thought classes were going to put an end to that, so the night before the first day of class I converted back to my 12-year old self, thinking, “I don’t wanna go to school. School is for squares. UGH.” Also, having my first class at 8a.m. did not help. However, my passion for the French language won the battle, and of course I went. These classes were not like any other classes I have every taken. They are so lovely. This adjective, “lovely,” is the best adjective for these classes because they are truly every meaning of the word. The students are from all over the world, the teachers speak a beautiful, song-like, French that just entrances you, and everyone that surrounds you is very encouraging and not intimidating one bit, like I know how some language classes can be.

Every morning, no matter how late I was out the night before, I wake up bright and early with the enthusiasm of a playful puppy. I cannot wait to get to class. The student hostel provides a breakfast of fresh baguettes with jam or butter, along with orange juice and a café au lait. The mornings fill you with fresh air while you sit amongst friends and practice your French. The walk to class is just as nice. The mornings can be a little chilly, however when the sun starts to peak through the clouds it is as if a warm blanket was just placed over the city. My first class is in a small, but homey room, with friendly classmates and an amazing teacher. She is so nice, always smiles at you and makes sure that you never get lost. Writing this sentence hurts the high school rebel I still have somewhere inside of me, but I must confess, the homework is the best! You get the perfect amount, not so much that you feel overwhelmed and rushed, but not too little that you feel you have not learned anything. It is perfect. I already feel like I understand this language so much better! Doing homework in this library just makes me feel magical. Homework is finished every night with loads of time to spare for the night.

I do not even know where to start to explain the nighttime adventures here. I had no idea my feet could walk so much. Nancy Sinatra must have had Paris in mind when she said, “These boots are made for walking” because that is just what my boots have been doing. Weeknights are usually spent doing homework and then sitting on the roof with wine and cheese watching the beautiful Parisian sunset. Then the weekend nights have so much room for activities! It can start in an English pub near the Luxembourg gardens, to sitting on the grass watching the light show at the Eiffel Tower, then dancing at a club in Bastille, or a party on a boat floating down La Seine River and can end with a free baguette in hand while watching the sunrise over the Notre Dame. Last weekend a large group of us went out to a bar and made Parisian friends and we spoke French as much as we could. Who knew a learning experience could be so much fun! We got their contact information and will probably meet up with them again and speak even more French!

If you are not really into the French language then I can see my excitement getting boring to you. However, you have to understand, language is the greatest man-made gift. The first humans on earth wanted to communicate to each other so badly that they created their own language. Humans want nothing more than to be able to communicate and share life with each other. Language is what fuels the unconscious and conscious mind. Without language we would not truly exist. So being able to communicate with the people here in France is exhilarating. I feel accomplished and more human every time I have a conversation in French to someone. From ordering an apple at the café, “Bonjour! Je voudrais une pomme s’il vout plîat.” to striking a conversation with someone at the bar, “Bon Soir! Quelle bière est la moins chère, mec?” makes me feel that much closer to the human race.

Also, we had an excursion this weekend with the program. We went to Giverny to see the House of the famous impressionist painter Claude Monet. Being in the atmosphere that filled Monet with such inspiration was a life changing experience. The garden, and the pond with the notorious water lilies, was absolutely breathtaking. Colors swirled all around you and gave you a feeling that life was going to be ok. After Giverny we went to Rouen. This is the town where Jeanne d’Arc, the first feminist, lived. God told her she had to fight in the war to keep her people safe, so she cut her hair and joined the war, leading a group of men to victory in the war. However, back in those days women were not allowed to do such things. When she was found out she was said to be a witch and was burned at the stake. Now she is a religious symbol and seen as a saint.  Bits of the foundation of her house are still visible and the Notre-Dame cathedral that honors her is available for visiting. When we were there, a beautiful wedding was happening. These excursions were amazing and I cannot wait to have my eyes opened even more during this trip. This weekend is Bastille Day, which is Independence Day for France. Check in on my next blog to hear about that crazy shindig. Au Revoir!

Bonjour de Paris!


Bonjour de Paris! This is an amazing place. I wish I could thoroughly convey my feelings about my 5 days here so far, but I just do not know if that is possible. This place makes you want to grow your arms long enough to be able to hug the entire city. Since the second I set foot on my plane from Pittsburgh this adventure has felt like a dream come true. This is my first blog entry of the trip and I already wish I were writing it completely in French. This blog entry is just the first of many that will be explaining my amazing, once-in-a-lifetime, experience here in Paris, France studying at La Sorbonne.

It begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While in the airport my parents are driving me crazy. “Do you have this?! Are you sure you didn’t forget that one thing?! I think we should buy you a new suitcase right now. Maybe I should come with you!” The security line has never felt so relieving. After getting onto the plane I noticed that my ticket was not a direct flight like it was pre-supposed. Instead it said that “changing planes” in a different city is somehow not the same a layover; turns out I had a “plane change” in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nerves would have gotten to me if I had not immediately noticed whom the passenger a few rows in front of me was. It was Nick Vujicic, the actor from an amazing and inspirational short film entitled “The Butterfly Circus.” (Watch it here!- When we arrived to Charlotte, I rushed over to see him in order to exchange a few words with this living legend. I was able to talk with him and get a picture with him. He is a man with no limbs, simply a torso and a head, but what a good head he has on his shoulders.

Everyone knows how awful overnight flights can be, and my next flight, from Charlotte to Paris, was certainly not something I was looking forward to. However, the man seated next to me turned out to be a fitting neighbor! We started talking after he dropped his fork during dinner and it vanished into thin air. He was born in the Philippines, but his mother is from France and his father is from England. Having a French mother, he had an interesting take and connection into the city. He told me all the most beautiful spots to go to in Paris, gave me pointers on French culture and we even talked about punk music. When we got off the plane the airport had lost my luggage and he helped me communicate with the airport officials to get my bag back. We split after leaving the terminal, however we are now Facebook friends.

Exiting the terminal was a little frantic. The airport was packed from wall to wall and we were all rushing through one door with luggage and I was supposed to be meeting someone that I had only met briefly once before. The first person I see outside the terminal was a smiling face waving at me. We waited for the others at their terminals and we all became friends immediately. I would confidently say, even though it has only been 5 days, we are a family now. Entering into Paris was breathtaking. Every building has such history and beauty. Maybe it was the romance language that was filling my head, but I fell in love with the city.

Jetlag was a little rough on me, which made the first day feel like years, but I still never wanted it to end. Everyday here, so far, has made me feel like a giddy teenage girl falling in love. My heart fills with the Parisian more and more each day. I can already tell leaving is going to be heartbreaking. This blog has to come to an end now, but in my next blog I will be writing about my classes at La Sorbonne, the Parisians and other European people I have met and my crazy adventures around Paris.