The First 24 Hours in Paris

Let me tell you a story about my first day of summer intern life.

I woke up at 8:00am. Sure, fine, make-up done, dressed-to-impress first day business professional put on, head out the door with click-clacks from my most comfortable, BCBG black patent leather heels and the confidence only a beautiful, Kate Spade structured purse can bestow. Walked to Ligne 4, made successful transfer to Ligne 6, got on and rode it two stops when the intercom came on and said “BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH MERCI.” Then everyone got off the train and I was told that Ligne 6 was closed for the next two months due to construction. Stay cool Wendy, this is why you got up early, just in case the French decided to be super French and block metro lines as usual. You got this. 

Does the following list of the subsequent events sound like I got this?

1. Took a bus the wrong way.
2. Wandered around looking for the metro after getting off said bus.
3. Took said train in the wrong direction.
4. It started raining at step 1.

I arrived a full hour or so late but my supervisor is the sweetest, British ex-diplomat and was completely understanding. He had a bunch of deadlines coming up anyway so today was full of my officemate introducing me to all the people in the office and getting my desktop/ids/email set up. It’s just amazing how many different nationalities are in this place – I work next to a Turk, across the hall from a Venezuelan, and there’s Chinese, Korean, British, French, everyone. This also means that the kitchen has every type of tea and coffee from all over the world and people bring snacks from where they’ve traveled to share as well. There’s also a coffee bar and Bueno stash. I love it.

Also, my room!! I have my very own French windows and I couldn’t be happier.


Also the fridge makes ice! I have ice for my iced tea/coffee! Which I brew in this handy little glass water bottle/infuser:


My stash of dried goods, including a big bag of mung beans for Chinese Mung Bean Soup which is more a dessert than anything else (try this recipe but I add tapioca pearls and coconut milk too).

dry goods shelve

The little newspaper clipping that I taped behind this shelf was from the first Maroon issue of first year during O-week. I fell in love with UChicago this year so I’m glad to have a piece of home with me. Part of it reads:

“No one sleeps here. Blame it on rigorous academics or undergraduate insomnia, but a more plausible reason is the campus-wide coffee addiction. There may be Marx-Engels readers and Indian epics bundled in the arms of select students, but the sight of a hand glued to a steaming paper cup – whether in class or on the quads- is much more likely. Coffee shops, there fore, are as critical to the community as any glass-domed library or Gothic classrooms.”

And many memories were indeed made in many coffee shops. Hard to imagine that in three months, I’ll have memories marked by the many coffee shops here in Paris as well. Cheers to that 🙂