OH HAI FRANCE.

Posted on May 9, 2010

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Welp, I made it!

After power walking across the Atlanta airport, realizing at takeoff that there was no way I would make it to my connecting flight and coming to know the London airport like the back of my hand, I’ve finally made it to Juan-les-Pins. We arrived at around 6:30 p.m. here, but at the time, I had no idea that was the case. Those of you who have traveled transcontinental before know how strange and helpless a feeling it is to cross time zones and have absolutely zero idea as to when and where you are. My body still doesn’t get it. But here are some lessons I’ve learned on the way:

1. Don’t waste $30 reserving a window seat. If you’re like me, your window seat won’t help. The man sitting behind you WILL recline his seat as far as possible. You WON’T be able to move over or away. The flight attendant WILL be pissed when you imply that, for you to be able to eat your meal, the man must be awoken from his deep slumber to move his seat back up.

2. Being left handed is already disadvantageous. It’s even worse on long plane rides. If you have the window seat, that is. This goes along with number one. Once I [temporarily] rid myself of the reclining seat problem, another problem arose: I couldn’t properly use my utensils without letting my left elbow get all up in my neighbor’s bidness. As you can imagine, this made for an incredibly awkward situation.

3. Blame Eyjafjallajökull. Remember homeboy with the reclining seat? He showed one redeeming factor when he woke me up to tell me there was a volcano outside my window. The same one that cramped mine and everyone else’s style. I got a photo out the airplane window. Our flight to London was delayed so much that it caused us to miss our connecting flight, but the people at Heathrow airport were THE MOST COURTEOUS airport employees I have ever encountered. They got us on the next flight to Nice. That being said, Eyjafjallajokull has cramped everyone’s style. It’s the reason so many people still aren’t here.

4. British people are the joint. Whilst walking around Heathrow airport, we were escorted by two charming British pilots. They took us through a secret passageway, then they said “Cheerio!” Enough said.

5. Ribbons aren’t only for women–accessorize fearlessly! For our first meal in JLP, we went to a restaurant called La Bamba. Simply it was called La Bamba. We were waited on a man who we decided to name Gustave because the long black ribbons he used to tie his bun led us to believe that his name was equally fancy. We figured we needed to document the event:

The Italian man who took our picture decided to take one of his friends first.

This is at the point where we still didn’t know each other well enough to look like friends.

But that has changed since! Today, our second day, has been great. Sydney, Jasmine and I took a little trip to Casino. Unfortunately, as it is a supermarket, we shopped there rather than gambled. It was an interesting experience, though–I bought a baguette because I felt out of place not buying one, I found wine for less than three Euros, and I successfully located Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner.

After that we temporarily returned to the hotel, went to the cafe across the street for some crepes and coffee, and ran into some other students on the trip. We spent the day strolling around JLP, where we saw puns everywhere. E.g. “Juan les voyages” and “Juan les pain.” We then found a place called “Live Pizza.” For a business, we found this title hilarious. What does live pizza even mean? If anything, it’s a bit scary. As Michelle said, “Does the pizza deliver itself?”

Melanie, me, Sydney and Michelle with a very much alive pizza.

We then went down to the seaside, which was beautiful despite the cloudy day.

Tough life as a study abroad student, huh?

After purchasing several more bottles of wine, we returned to the hotel and reconvened with a bigger group for lunch. We went to a place called Master Burger. Also known as the greatest provider of sandwiches in the greater-JLP area. With roughly 12 of us ordering various French fry-stuffed sandwiches and paninis from Master Burger, the folks next door at Wall Street sandwich shop were not pleased. The competitive spirit was evident. It reminded Jody (aka Josh and Cody) of the classic film “Good Burger,” and Good Burger’s arch-nemesis Mondo Burger.

Jody enjoying their Master Burger. Notice the throng of students choosing Master Burger over Wall Street.

So that’s all for now! We’re back at the hotel, sitting in the lobby (where the internet only works). Tonight’s “bonding activities” are sure to bring some good times and stories.

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