Sunday, September 15, 2013

Broke and in Paris :(

A very handsome French man just came up to me and started speaking gibberish (also known as French) to me 
I said no French. 
He said: mademoiselle, you are very beautiful, do you live here? 
I said: no, just visiting. 
He: For long? 
I: A week. 
He then asked me for coffee. I declined as I was in a panic as I need to get to the US embassy and figure out my banking. A girl needs money for food and hotel while abroad if nothing else and I am running dangerously low like the equivalent of what $10 gets you in the US. Really not good. 

However after he left I checked my purse for my checkbook (not that it did me any good not working here) my passport and other ID and then I thought to myself, "wow, that would have been a nice under different circumstances,"  my second thought was, "he probably wanted to kidnap you."

I then headed to the US embassy to try and figure out why my bank card is not working in FRANCE, who the heck does that to a girl whom is traveling alone.  Locks up her bank care?  Big time bad, big time.  I was seriously freaking out as I had been in Paris for over 24 hours, almost 36 at this point and had VERY little money in the pocketbook. 

12 of Sept
I talked to the embassy, texted with my grandma, who thankfully is up at the crack of dawn also known as 5am and she was going to have my Aunt get me some money so that by the end of the day I had my budget of money for my trip and I would no longer have less money in my pocket than the man begging for change on the street. (Dear Readers- knowing that you are in a different country and have less money than the homeless man is not a good feeling.  It is scary.  It is embarrassing, I saved for a long time to be able to go on this trip and after all of that hard work- and I had the bruises and scratches to prove it was hard work, I was in Paris, one of the most magical cities and I was in essence, BROKE.) When I am back stateside, I will be having a VERY long chat with my bank about this.  One of the main reasons that I took my accounts there was because they did not charge international fees, which is easy to do if while you are on a trip you can't access your funds (the scoundrels!) they will be reimbursing me the fees to have the money wired to Paris.

The people at the US embassy in Paris are very nice, not one but two days the guards dealt with me very upset and sometimes crying (I was scared remember).  They were understanding and professional and most of all they were very helpful.  Marie in special services was a God send in helping me figure out HOW to get money from the US to Paris the least expensive and the more reliable way.

So after I picked up some money (yay no longer broke) I went back to my host's home.  We went to the gym (OMG it is the most amazing gym I have ever been too) it has a waterpark, a gym, classes, water classes, hot yoga, yada yada yada.  You can check out there site here.  Yes, it is AMAZING!  I was so lucky to be able to go here not one but TWO nights in a row.   After the waterpark and sauna, yes that's right this broke girl got to waste her stress away in a sauna, I don't even think I have access to one of those at home, we went to the Hippopotamus, I was told to order a steak, which was surprisingly inexpensive, like $18US.  It was ok.  My virgin drink however was to DIE for.  After dinner I took the Metro back to my host's home and they picked me up in a car to go to a latin dance club.  Yes, this very white girl went to the latin dance club.  Walking into this club I could hear the lady from the metro say "please beware of pickpockets" in my head.  It kinda looked like a sketchy area, but as soon as I saw the coat check I felt better.  I felt out of place, and self conscious because I had NO IDEA what I was doing, so I just sat and watched (it was an Erkle moment, anyone else have those?).  I have however decided that I would like to learn how to dance to this type of music, it is beautiful it is sensual and it is kinda amazing.  The plan was to stay for an hour- but like most good plans, we stayed much later, until about 1.15 am, and then the 25 minute drive back with laughs and some serious conversation, after getting back to the apartment I went straight to bed.  I was exhausted. In all honesty, way beyond exhausted and really needed some sleep.  My hosts were leaving for a flight in the am, so I had to wake up early and to check out the apartment I had rented for the remainder of my stay in Paris.

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