I made it to my new town, Tournan-en-brie (approximately 7 miles from the center of Paris)—but as with so many things in my life, I decided to take a slight detour. I got off the train at the Tournan stop (as I was instructed via my program’s website). Upon arrival however, I headed down the road in the wrong direction and ended up walking carrying all of this (see below) for approximately 5 km according to my program director:
Thankfully, a wonderful Parisian named Alan came to my rescue and pulled over and took pity on a lost, exhausted and slightly flustered American. Though his English was barely better than my French (which means nonexistant), we managed to communicate enough to where he understood that I was pointing at my map and shrugging my shoulders because I was completely lost. With that he took my map, helped me load my things into his vehicle and drove me to the house where I will be living for the next 4 weeks. He was joyful and did not hesitate to help a stranger and would not take the money I tried to give him for his kindness (he also had a guitar and an amp in the backseat so I felt confident that he was a good person haha). And so I decided to give him a huge hug and the classic two cheek kiss goodbye.
My dear classmate, Naomi, also went the wrong way out of the train station. Thankfully, she too was picked up by a kind person an dropped off safely at the gate of our Tournan cottage.
In other news, on the Metro heading from Charles du Gaulle Airport I really enjoyed the Parisian street performer who sat with me (literally, right across from me, facing me) and serenaded me with his accordion. My favorite part about him? His teeth. When he would smile widely, his lips revealed two gold canine teeth that glinted in the light.