05 September, 2013


I'm in France!

My flight was at 6 in the morning, so I left the house at around 3am. Couldn't sleep from the excitement (and had to do some last minute packing, plus CampusFrance* still hadn't told me which hotel I was going to sleep for my one night in Paris).

*CampusFrance is an agency in charge of international students and giving scholarships and grants. They originally booked me in a flight that leaves on Sept 3 at night which would arrive Sept 4 in France, plus a train from Paris to Lille leaving Sept 4. The airline cancelled the flight I was booked in, so CampusFrance booked a flight leaving early morning still on Sept 3, and arriving the same day in Paris. CampusFrance didn't want to cancel the train booking for Sept 4, so they just chose to reserve a hotel room near the airport for me. (All of this was free, by the way!!)


                                                            Ate Gem and Ate Tin accompanied me to the airport :)

I was about to go in when a familiar voice called out my name. It was my good friend Jordan!! He was with my bff/roommate Janilyn! I was so touched by their surprise :')

Thanks for seeing me off at 3 in the morning, guys! :)
My luggage was so big and heavy, I could barely roll it to the check in counter! Haha. I flew with AirChina, so the stop over was at Beijing. No free wifi, so I just sat and stared at space for four hours while waiting for my connecting flight.

When I finally arrived at CDG, there was thankfully free WIFI (for only 15 minutes, but still!), and I was finally was able to find out which hotel CampusFrance booked for me. Gotta hand it to CampusFrance, they booked me in a pretty decent room, plus they paid for my hotel breakfast!

What my room looked like, hehe. Yay for free accommodations!
I was finally able to get some proper sleep, and thankfully, I woke up in time (ish) to catch my train to Lille the next day.

OK, so about the trains. I didn't research anything about the trains in France. Bad idea. I got to Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2 TGV (the train station) about 30 mins before my train's departure. I had no idea which platform my train was going to be in, so I just waited around 5 minutes at a random platform which was also serving a train for Lille but at an earlier time, and took some photos.

After about 5 minutes, I felt I was waiting at the wrong platform, so I went around the train station with my big ass luggage and my competitively heavy carry-on bag, sure in my heart that I was going to miss my damn train. The line at the information desk was so long, so I talked to the (handsome!) guards with my minimal French their equally minimal English. I was able to infer with the help of my high school French and critical thinking that I would only know which platform my train would be 15 minutes before its departure time. I was supposed to glue my eyes to this black board with words and numbers and wait...

So my platform number finally appeared (turned out I was at the right platform after all). Smooth sailing from then on! Phew. I arrived in Lille Europe Station on time, and Solène, one of the girls in the family I'm staying with, was there to pick me up. :)

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