Vivian Ambasa
Oct 24, 2022

First days in Paris

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2 min read

When I arrived in France for the first time in September, I was very anxious . It was my first time out of my native country and I traveled alone. I come from Kenya, and I wanted to come to France to pursue my Masters' in International Management. Well, you can guess the only knowledge I had of the country and Paris was what I saw in movies and read in books. Paris is said to be 'the city of love' and I had high expectations of how my experience was going to turn out. I still remember when I was younger, our french teacher who had traveled to France would tell us how everything was 'automatique'. I know you probably would not get that if you are from a developed nation. In essence he meant, things were so automated ,doors,cars,etc and you didn't have to do much manually.  Now I know it was a little bit exaggerated.

The Culture Shock

You can imagine the culture shock I experienced  because how different my country was from France. From the transport systems, metros,trams etc to the food , I found it so strange how people in the streets would walk around with bread ' baguette' and even eat it as they moved. We can talk about the terrace and how the french just like to sit outside in the bars and restaurants, taking some coffee or smoking or just chatting. How can I forget the change in weather, it was my first time to experience winter and I got a flu within the first week of my arrival. The change in food was also something so distinct, I had trouble trying to find the right food to eat or adjusting to the french cuisine. I remember I ate a lot of kebabs and noodles and sandwiches. Finally, this one is major, it was so confusing, having to take a 'rendez-vous' for almost anything .I was so used to getting things done instantly and now I was being taught patience. When coming to Paris one of the things on your to do list should be the 'bateaux mouches' ,it was a good experience.


It was not so easy to find accommodation. I spent the utmost 3 weeks in a hotel as I tried to find a 'logement' . I was lucky to find a ' colocation' and it was my first experience to share an apartment with complete strangers, we don't have these kinds of rentals in my country. A friend had shared a couple of sites that I could do my search for an accommodation. The experience turned out to be fine and not as bad as I had imagined.

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