Monday, September 5, 2011

T-minus cinq....

Well, the week has finally arrived!  I have exactly 5 days left until I leave for Paris.  I have been running around nearly breaking my skull trying to buy last minute assorted items like clothing, medications and other nick-knacks, that I haven't really been giving the actually journey much thought.

Packing is probably one of the biggest annoyances I have ever dealt with.  I really don't want to over-pack because the fees associated with packing over the weight limit is no joke and NOT cheap!  But I'm conflicted because I am a US size 12/14 and with all that I've heard about French women being extremely skinny, I am concerned that I won't find clothes to fit my curvy frame so I want to bring enough that fit me and look très chic.  And then there's the issue of shoes.....ohhh shoes, I love all of my shoes and I wish I could take them all with me, but sadly I can not.  Other teaching assistants have advised me to only take 3 pairs of shoes......yeahhhhh not sure that is feasible for a shoe fiend like me!

(Discalimer: these adorable suitcases are not mine ;-)

As with any major life change/ transition, I have been experiencing a lot of "pre-departure anxiety".  This anxiety has made me very nervous about my journey, but I supposed these are all normal feelings.  Recently I have been waking up in the middle of the night contemplating what awaits for me in Paris.  I'm really excited about seeing Le Tour Eiffel  and all of the museums but, and yes there's a but,  I am not looking forward to being reminded that I've only taken a year and a half of French, when people try to converse with me and I look utterly baffled and confused.  Back in January, I wrote about how badly I needed to practice my French, but nearly 8 months later, I have yet to crack open my French book.  I failed so badly at keeping this promise to myself it's comical.  But it's not completely my fault, I had to work full time and went to school part-time so I was way to preoccupied to practice.  I'm hoping to take a refresher course at L'Alliance Francaise, and like everyone says hopefully the French that I've learned and forgotten will "all come back to me".

But nervousiness, fear and anxiety aside, in just 5 days I'll be here...... wonderful is that!


  1. Love the blog....this is so exciting!! I feel like i'm going with you! I have butterflies in my stomach lol

  2. French women are NOT "extremely skinny". The AVERAGE sizes ARE smaller than the US and they don't tend to get as big as we North Americans can do, i.e., obese. But don't buy the hype. :P I think there's a blogger called "Madame K" (can't remember the blog name) who is in France, who wears a size similar to you and possible a bit larger. May be useful to contact her for advice about the availability/price of clothes in your size range, so maybe it will help you to decide if you need to bring/buy specific items. Oh! "My so-called life in France" I think her blog's called.

    That said, if you can afford it, bring as much as clothing as is necessary, esp. for the different seasons. It is nerve wracking to buy a new wardrobe, especially when u're paying Euros. And if you have nice pieces, they may be more expensive to replace/find (not only clothing, but winter boots/shoes that don't look too rugged, for e.g.). As well, don't pack too "dressed down".

    Good luck and can't wait to read about the adventure. Bon voyage!

  3. thanks Toni!!! Much more exciting things to come! :)

  4. Reading this made my heart skip a beat!! We are both about to embark on an incredible journey. Nervousness is normal, but you will have an amazing time! And you will be fluent in no time! Your lucky your in Paris, most people speak English so the minute the confused face appears they'll probably switch over to English! Me on the other hand... I'll probably be 1 of 2 english speakers in the entire town haha

  5. I'm not sure on the difference between US and NZ sizes, but don't fret too much, I am not 'extremely skinny' and I manage to shop TOO MUCH! Promod is my best friend (very classic-style clothing). I think you might have more of a problem if you were obese, but you don't need to worry I don't think. I do stay away from shops like Pimkie that are aimed at teenagers though, that's where the small sizes get depressing (I mean, apart from not wanting to dress like a teenager anyway).

    Oh and bon voyage! Exciting!

  6. You leave tomorrow, I believe! AHHHHHHH SO EXCITING! I can't wait to hear about all your adventures!

  7. Hey Ugomma!!
    I found your blog through a post on Assistants in France. I'm interested in applying for the program, I was wondering if you could help me? I'm 23 years old as well and I'm still trying to figure out my life still! I was wondering if you could give me some tips on applying for the program? I know applications are out in October. I just have a couple of questions to ask, could you give me your e-mail? Or you can e-mail me at
    Thank you so much and bon voyage! :)