Days Two and Three

Yesterday (Friday) we had CEA orientation from around 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.  One of the sections touched on research by Pascal Baudry that looked at French v. American culture.  It was really interesting and a great way to explain the differences!

After explaining some of Baudry’s research, she said that Americans are less close to their families and country, making them have a solid inner shell, but are easier to talk to and friendly (and thus have Facebook friends in the 100s), a softer outer shell.  The French are much closer with their families and country, making them have a soft inner shell, but are a little harder to get to know (Facebook friends numbering less than 100), a harder outer shell.  Americans=peaches French=coconuts.  So she said if someone bumps into us and doesn’t say sorry (as we bruise easily as peaches) or yells at us, to keep that difference in mind and not take it personally.

Cavalier Bleu: Crepe with nutella
Cavalier Bleu: Croque-monsieur

CEA took all of us to lunch at a restaurant down the street from the headquarters called Cavalier Bleu.  They ordered  croque-monsieur with fries for our main course and we had crepes after.  Yum!  I know my dad will probably love to see the food and others might too, so I’m snapping quick pictures (no flash) with my iTouch as I go.

Les Invalides: Napoleon’s tomb
The Eiffel Tower at sunset

Last night my roommate and I walked around to check out our neighborhood, then decided to see if we could find Notre Dame.  We didn’t find it (but can’t say we were lost because we were just walking wherever we wanted without looking at a map!), but we did find Napoleon’s tomb and a view of the Eiffel Tower at night!  And I learned a valuable lesson: DON’T leave the apartment without my DSLR!  It made me sick that my good camera and tripod were at the apartment when we ended up at the Eiffel Tower with such beautiful clouds in the sky.  But at least I had my point and shoot. 

Glittering Eiffel Tower

Today (Saturday, May 28) CEA had a bus tour lined up for us.  We rode around Paris and got to see the major monuments and get an idea for where they are in relation to each other.  Once that was over, my roommate and I walked around and looked at vendors along the Seine river, then went to dinner close to our apartment at Café Canon des Gobelins. While we were there, I said my first whole sentence in French (to our waiter, my first person who didn’t start speaking in English after being around us for five seconds!): “Qu’est-ce que vous me recommandez?” or, “What do you recommend?”  See her answer below.  From what I could tell it was made up of eggs and ham in a pie crust.  Yum.

Café Canon des Gobelins: Tarte salée du jour