We made it to France finally. It was about 13 hours of travel in total over 3 plane rides. The over-the-ocean flight was not as bad as I expected. They had little TVs in each seat with several options for movies, television, and games to go through. I watched The Stepford Wives, some French film, and about half of Duplex, with an episode of Frazier thrown in for good measure.
We nearly missed our flight in Paris. After getting off the plane we had to take a shuttle bus to our connecting terminal. Our terminal was “C”. Well, we take one bus to get to another. The second bus went from terminal A to B to D to E to F, but not C. Then we realized that you had to get off of B and walk to C. So we had to take the bus around for a loop, all while the clock is ticking and our plane is ready to leave. We finally got off and sprinted through the airport and just barely made it before they left us.
We are staying with the missionary and his wife and two children. They are very nice and extremely helpful. It is interesting because he is the head missionary here and has command over several AIMers (Americans In Missions, I think) who are all 18-20 years of age. So he is used to taking charge of them and telling them exactly what to do. So I see him doing that a little with Amy and me, but catching himself a little realizing that we are not here as missionaries and that we are not so young. But he has definitely helped to cut through the French red tape.
From what I am learning the French have a lot of red tape. Even to get a bank account, you have to see the right person at the bank and if they don’t feel like seeing you they won’t. Unlike Americans, where everyone does everything to help a customer, the French have their little systems and they may not help you at all if they don’t feel like it.
Yesterday two of the AIM girls took us around town and allowed Amy to meet with her University fellows. Then later that evening we went out with several people in the department. They were very nice for the most part. It is interesting because we are in France, but this was the English department and some of the lectures (like Amy) were British. So there was an interesting mix of French, American, and British conversation going on.
Today Daniel helped us get a bank account. Later we will contact the girl who is going to sublease her apartment. Apparently, this is also an ordeal. You have to have all these papers for the landlord to look at before he will let you have the place. We will see how it goes.