Hello, Europe! 

Within one hour of landing in Paris I had to change into jeans and a hoodie. It’s not cold (not really), but my organism thinks it is and refuses to remember that 20 degrees Celsius is my favorite temperature. 

And I’m still astonished by the fact that everything around here is in French and airport personnel doesn’t know English. This is so weird. 

As is my pronunciation: my English got so Japanesed that I asked for “orangu juicu” and didn’t even notice. (As you might know, Japanese have trouble with words that end in consonants so they add “u” /oo/ or “o” /o/ when pronouncing them: like kissu instead of kiss or pointo cardo instead of point card.)

Not frogs

My smiling theory is working! People are nicer and try to explain things to me – in French. Smiling did not make me understand it. So I did what every hungry person who doesn’t know language would do: I bought my dinner at a convenience store of sorts. My feast for tonight:

(yep, Starbucks and squishy thingy – I feel so mainstream that it’s not even funny)

BTW, I saw it, I misread it, and I can’t unsee it:


Everything is in French here. I don’t know even one French word. I feel like a barbarian. Or maybe they make me feel like one when they act oh-so-surprised when I reveal my “no French” weakness. Considering that I’m going to Japan with ever bigger weakness (“no Japanese, no sushi, please give me a fork”), it’s a good exercise. Especially as people tend to get nicer when you smile at them. So, smile mode: on.