Brian was very nice and helped me check in my luggage and made sure I go up the escalator to security before we went our separate ways. This was the first time I had ever traveled alone before. I have gone on flights without my parents before but not without knowing someone on the flight. But luckily I've traveled enough by myself that it wasn't a huge problem. My flight from Albany to Philly was delayed due to the unpleasant weather and deep freeze, however, we got off only about 30 minutes later. Once in Philly I had about 3 hours to kill before my flight. I filled most of the time by either sitting or pacing back and forth. I ate half a sandwich which later made me feel sick on the plane, but otherwise the wait wasn't horrible. Again in Philly the plane had another delay, this time due to Mechanical issues. However, about an hour later we were on hour way to Paris.
|Watching the sunrise over France|
Apart from not feeling well the flight was very smooth and relatively quick. I watched "The Butler" for the first leg of the trip which I thought was wonderful. We arrived in Paris only 15 minutes later than scheduled, so at about 8:10 or so. I was expecting it would be more difficult to go through security and customs, however it only took me about 2 minutes, including the waiting time in line. I grabbed my suitcase which was 48 lbs and decided that taking a taxi might be easier and less stressful for me. It was about a 30 minute ride to the train station so I had 3 hours to kill until my train from Paris to Grenoble. While I was watching the monitors a girl came and sat next to me. This is how I made my first friend in Europe! She (Dammy) noticed I was reading a book and got really excited and asked me if I spoke English. Dammy was from London meeting her friend in Lyon and didn't speak a word of French either. Her train left an hour before mine but we spend about two hours chatting and it was really nice and we exchanged phone numbers so hopefully I'll have a friend I can visit when I'm in London.
After I met with the woman in charge again, she gave me a box full of kitchenware and I was finally ready to go! She gave me a map and I finally ventured into the city of Grenoble. As I tried to follow the map I got more and more lost. I asked a handsome Frenchman to give me directions and I was finally in the right direction again. I approached the train station where I had arrived earlier and could see Grenoble Encole de Management just on the other side. The problem was I wasn't sure how to get to the other side. After asking for directions, again, I was finally able to get there. Once at the school I had no idea where building C was so I got frustrated and left. It was already after 6 and I was tired. I started wandering in what I though was the right direction only to get myself even more lost. I realized I hadn't really had anything to eat and had forgotten my lunch on the train so I stopped at a kabob shop and ordered some dinner. I tried asking the gentleman where on the map we were. I didn't speak French, and he didn't speak English. It made things a little challenging. Another woman walked in who did speak english however, I told me how to get home. I was only 3 train stops and about a 15 minute walk away... After eating, taking the train and finally figuring out where I was I stopped in a store to buy some odds and ends like soap and cereal and garbage bags, to name a few. By the time I finally got back I was ready to crash. I still had no bedding or towels. With the help from my dad I decided to use my coats as blankets for the night and tackle that problem tomorrow. I went to bed at about 9 after having a chance to reconnect with a few people back home. Luckily I have free wifi here so I am able to do so.
It is now 4:30 AM and I am realizing how bad my jet lag will probably be. I have found someone to walk me to the school tomorrow so I won't run the risk of getting lost again and I am safe and settled. My apartment is perfect for me. This is just a little bump in the road and I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings!