Just bein’ me… but abroad

So I’m a pretty embarrassing person in general.

Like this one time (that I never really told you guys) where, after filling up my water bottle, took a huge swig. As I made hard eye contact with a stranger-boy passing by, I pulled the water bottle from my lips only to have my gum go with. There I was, in the middle of a hallway making complete eye contact with a stranger and I was doing Lady-and-the-Tramp with my water bottle and a piece of gum.

I don’t know why I considered things like that to feel less awkward here—maybe because I expected to have more moments like this? But more moments in an already awkward setting = really awkward. Which is great for laughs!

I’ve only been here 2 days and there’s been too many of these moments. Let’s take a little stroll down comedy lane.

Day One

  • Introduced myself to (stalked) this girl down the hall when I heard her move in and speaking English. Debated on doing this for roughly half an hour because I didn’t want to become dependent and clingy just because she spoke English. Running on 2 hours of sleep for the 26 hours of travel, I said something like “Hi! Come by any time. But I will probably be asleep” and peaced. Probably from her life. Forever.
  • After waking up, sheets drenched in sweat because it is still summer here, I staggered to the Carrefour connected to a mall across the street. I then grabbed some hand food (after realizing that the dorms did not provide kitchen utensils like they said) and held up an entire line when the lady demanded that I go weigh the bananas. Apparently you do that for the fruits and vegetables here. And the machine you weigh it on prints out this pretty little label for you. #embarrassing.

Day Two

  • Stood in two lines that took about an hour each. Achieved nothing. Only stuck it out for one line. When I reached the counter, the lady saw me struggling with French and quickly switched to English. Then to miming because I couldn’t understand her English. Didn’t even get the things I had to because I didn’t have the necessary information.
    Tip: bring passport, spare passport photos, housing information, and RIB wherever you go when you’re trying to get something done. 
  • Made grand gesture of taking DSLR out to photograph La Bastille only to realize I forgot all my SD cards at home. Put it away shamefully.
  • Purposefully dehydrated myself to the brink of another heat stroke because I was anxious about the bathroom situation. I can’t remember the last time I was fully hydrated, which is bad because I usually need to drink a gross amount of water. But the price of that is having to always know where a bathroom is, easy enough in America, land of the free bathrooms, but in France you have to pay per use.
  • After miraculously finding a gross, BUT FREE bathroom at La Bastille, I stumbled LITERALLY into a park. I did the embarrassing model stumble until I gave up and embraced the fall. I heard someone exclaim surprisedly something along the lines of concern and turned to make yet more eye contact with cute French boy who smiled and walked away. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me either LOL.

I hope we both see fewer of these occasions, but we all know that it’s only going to increase with time.

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  • http://www.theladyokieblog.com Amanda Bumgarner

    Oh my gosh! Too funny. It is good to pay attention to the bathroom situation. I drink a lot of water and have to pee practically every 10 minutes!

    • Michelle

      Same! I never thought of having bathrooms everywhere as a PRIVILEGE. It’s definitely one of the things I miss most.

  • http://www.notentirelyperfect.com Stephanie

    Ok, those are pretty funny! But a lot is having to do with a different culture, so it’s not all super shameful. One of my sponsors this month, Patricia, she lives in France. Not in Paris, but still, she’s an American who moved there at 19. She might be helpful just to talk to, learn things from (if you don’t know her already) Check her out! http://www.kissesandcroissants.com/

    • Michelle

      Hahaha, that’s what I keep telling myself. Brush it off, Michelle, and continue the embarrassment. Actually I do know her! I’ve been following her blog for a while and she went through the same program as me. Small world!

      • http://www.notentirelyperfect.com Stephanie

        That’s so crazy! How fun is that to find a blogger that did the same thing as you?! She’s very sweet, I’ve been reading her lately and leaving pretty much “I’m a dumb American, explain this to me” comments, and she’s so nice about helping me understand!

        • Michelle

          It’s amazing! I basically devoured ALL of her study abroad posts to get ready for this experience. Thankfully I did because I would’ve been so lost without some of her help :)

  • http://www.besohappyblog.com Stephanie

    Goodness! Hopefully your next few days will be better!

    • Michelle

      Haha, thanks, they have been even though these make for pretty entertaining memories!

  • http://karisa-tells-all.blogspot.com/ Karisa Tells All

    haha making eye contact with someone while doing something embarrassing is the most awkward thing I can think of. And that gif is beyond amazing. Is this real life?

    • Michelle

      Um, yes! This gif has been the story of my life for the longest time.

  • http://www.thebigmansworld.com Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Haha, its a learning curve but it’ll get easier! The banana thing happened to me many times over there, I think I got told off more in europe than I ever had growing up!

    • Michelle

      Haha you have to tell me about your time abroad!! I have yet to hear it :)
      And agreed. I feel like a CHILD here :(

  • http://www.kissesandcroissants.com/ Patricia

    Have you found the Caserne de Bonne yet? It’s a mall that’s right next to the down town area and they have amazing, FREE, clean, American style bathrooms. Saves my life every time. Also, Subway is pretty good about letting you use their bathrooms. (Ok, they let you. But it’s still somewhat badly viewed if you don’t buy something.)

    • Michelle

      No! I still have to thoroughly check everything out. I used the “free public self-sanitizing bathroom” by the carousel once and there was a HUGE pile of POOP on the floor! We were so desperate… hahah