Well no matter. Now I have internet and can at least know I'm within the dorm complex, if not my dorm. First bad night in Paris, and hopefully the only bad night in Paris.
For the past few days I've just been acclimating to the city. The gorgeous lights, great (if limited) shopping, the new friends. That's one thing I've gotten right so far, making friends. I get along with about ten different students here, and they all bring something unique to my friend circle. I do miss the sense of style and wine knowledge of my Austin friends, but I now have new Austin friends to teach all about what I'm into! Apparently I'm "fabulous" and "crazy," but really I just want to eat a crepe in the Latin Quarter.
Last night, after a bit of shopping and a "bit" of wine, we all headed off to a CIBER-sponsored riverboat and saw the sights along the Seine. It was beautiful. Freezing, yes, and my whole "style over comfort" maxim didn't save me from the chills, but as the sun set the clouds parted, the Tour Eiffel lit up and sparkled, and the entire city just woke up. Afterwards we took a trek through a few bars near the Latin Quarter with our professor and his wife, who happen to be some of the coolest people I've ever met. The night ended with a double-tall glass of Foster's in a bar called "The Long Hop," which is owned and operated by a UT graduate. Apparently, one of my friends mentioned that she was American and the bartender laughed and threw her a bag of potato chips. We're not sure what this metaphor means but we're hoping it was a gesture of endearment.
Earlier this evening we took another tour, this time of the city, and we all decided a visit to the fourth arrondissement is in order for the weekend. Glowing bars and restaurants with names like "Le Roux" have that timelessness so characteristic of Parisian culture. Replace the Peugots with carriages and you have the 1880s.
After the tour...well, you know what happened already. A night was wasted, I'm extremely upset, and I feel like a loser.
It's still raining, but I think it's clearing up this weekend. I want to travel around France starting next Friday but the friend who I was supposed to meet tonight (and who consequently ruined it) is my travel buddy. I love her, but a night in Paris should never be spent next to urinating homeless men.
To end on a positive note, money spending has been minimal. Food is cheap* (if you don't mind eating croissants and cooking spice-less omelettes) and shopping is cheap, but I am dying to eat out and see the city like the people of Paris do.
*I bought a bottle of wine today for 1 euro. (That's about $1.27.)