Traveling the world, learning languages, and immersing myself in new cultures.

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All my travels, encounters with language and culture, and of course, learning the language.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

European Road Trip: Summer 2009

Synopsis: My mom has invited out my god-brother and god-sister, along with two of my cousins, to come experience Europe with us for two weeks. She has planned a road trip around Germany, France, and Italy. My dad will be taking off to provide us excellent chauffeur support, and I will be the witty narrator of videos and photo-taker. 

Trip Overview:

The whole gang in Stuttgart, Germany ready to roll


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paris, France: New Year's 2009

Synopsis: Who can want to experience France without going to it's capital, Paris? My parents and I want to spend New Year's in the city of lights and bring in the year correctement. We will for sure see all the big sites like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, on this go round, and hopefully I'll move here one day and I can see all the other ins and outs, then.

Trip Overview:
Day 1: We set out shortly after traffic subsides, on our second trip to France. Every road sign we pass, my mom is asking me what is says. I really need to improve my french because I have no idea what any of these signs are saying. We approach the city and we can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. We drive toward the hotel and my dad drops my mom and me off to check in, while he finds parking. After we check-in, we go straight out for dinner and grab some kebaps.

Because it's New Year's Eve, all the public transportation is free, and we hop on the metro to the Eiffel Tower, where we will bring in the new year. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people around the monument, waiting for the clock to strike midnight. Africans are selling trinkets everywhere! Soon, everyone is screaming and cheering as there are 12 stars on the side of the tower and we all count down the last 12 seconds. There are no fireworks, which is strange to me, but a few bottle rockets and black cats, that people brought themselves.

Heading back to the hotel via the free metro is madness. There are so many people crowding to get on the metro, that at one point my feet are not even touching the ground, thanks to the people pushing from behind and there only being two turnstiles to let people through the gates. Finally we do get on the metro and head back to the hotel and call it a night.

Thoughts: So far, every french person we had to talk to has spoken english, which alleviated a lot of pressure off of me, because I am not comfortable with the language yet. We have a Toyota Sequoia, so my dad took about 30 minutes to find a parking spot big enough for it. Celebrating New Year's in a foreign city is exciting all by itself, which mitigated my discontent from lack of fireworks. The whole metro ordeal was just insane. I hope no one got hurt, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Tiny bathroom in the hotel


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