15 January 2009

Bienvenue en France!

My first night in France was a whirlwind of culture and jet-lag. Although I felt prepared having been in France a few months before, many things still caught me off-guard. The instance that replays in my head over and over was when I met a french girl named Clémence only 20 minutes after arriving in Lyon. It was New Years Eve and I hadn't slept in 25 hours. When Anaïs and I arrived at her apartment, Clémence, Anaïs' roommate, greeted us at the door. I was really excited to make a new friend so I mindlessly stuck out my hand to introduce myself. At this point, she was already leaning in to give me 'bisous' (kisses on both cheeks). In all the awkwardness, I ended up poking her in the stomach with my hand and when I tried to explain myself, my english words only confused her. After that embarrassing American moment, I realized I must leave all my normal actions and responses behind. It was time to watch and learn. That same night I saved myself the embarrassment by taking the lead of others. I met about 15 people my age at a party that night. I did not stick out my hand to introduce myself, I gave bisous and spoke French!

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