The GoGlobal Blog

Tag: Loyola University Chicago



I could do a clichè post about how beautiful Italy is so far, or how excited I am to start my semester abroad here. But I’m sure you already know this. I’m going to give you an honest opinion on my first few hours here at the JFRC (later in the night finding out people here have coined it “J-FORCE.”)

I walked into my new campus lugging two suitcases after spending a whopping 80€ on a cab (WELCOME TO EUROPE WHERE THE DOLLAR IS WORTHLESS). Then after registering I, and 5 other friends, dragged our bags approximately 1 kilometer to The Zone Hotel, which is where I decided to live this semester. After turning a 20 minute walk into a 40-45 minute long struggle of avoiding pot holes and dog droppings (which we quickly learned Italians do not use doggy bags…) and helping my fellow “Zoners” with their luggage, we arrived.

Now this, you could say, isn’t the most inviting way to experience my new life. But I beg to differ.

When told in depth, it’s actually quite pathetic how hard we made the moving in process, but it also makes a memorable story.

That same night when the rest of my friends arrived we took to the streets of Rome and had an interesting experience. Making our way to Campo de Fiori, which is the “American hangout,” we got to see the Pantheon and other buildings that looked really historically important and awesome.

We make it to The Abbey, which you could easily say is the italian version of P’Cos. YAY!

When we walked in, everyone from Loyola was there. As a recommendation to other students who may or may not read this, and are considering studying abroad here in Rome, The Abbey is comforting because of your fellow J-Force students around you, but you cannot experience “real” Italians here. Most of the guys who hang around the American pubs are total creeps.

So we bar hopped a little, stopped to get a pizzette from our new favorite version of Star Grill, then grabbed a taxi and headed back to our little home on the hill.

So welcome to Italy Britanny!

So far, the Italian men are creepy; if you ever get lost, just keep walking uphill and you’ll eventually find your home; and get ready to get some gladiator legs from walking 20 minutes UPHILL everyday!

But hey, its just the first day!


First Night: Pantheon
Best friends taking over Rome (clichè, I’m aware)
Ancient History

Ancient History

Take any Islamic Civilization or Islamic Art class and you will inevitably study Granada. Granada and Córdoba have some of the best conserved buildings from before the Catholic Kings took over Spain, the best examples of which are the Gran Mezquita de Córdoba (in Córdoba) and the Alhambra (in Granada). Walking through some of the neighborhoods here puts you in touch with buildings and streets older than the idea of exploring the Americas. In the U.S., if something’s really really old it might have been built in the 1800s. Here, that’s new and shiny.

Last week we took a trip to Córdoba for our Art and Architecture class so that we could see Madinat Al-Zahra, the city built exclusively for the Caliphate of Córdoba by Abd Al-Rahman III, and the Gran Mezquita de Córdoba.

In 929,  the emir Abd Al-Rahman III decided that since he was so rich, he didn’t have to be ruling a measly emirate, still linked to Damascus, so he declared himself the caliph and established the Caliphate of Córdoba. After doing this, he decided to build a city for himself. This city is Madinat Al-Zahra, outside of Córdoba. It was built with the finest materials and adorned with the finest decoration, because it was meant to be a city of brilliance, the symbol of the caliphate’s power. As time wore on and the caliphate was divided into the Taifas, then defeated by the Almorávides, and then the Almorhades, and then the Catholic Kings, Madinat Al-Zahra was abandoned and buried in the sands of time. Until some farmers outside of Córdoba happened upon some stones too perfectly arched to be natural, and caused an archeological uproar. The mythical city of Madinat Al-Zahra had been found. Now the city is a museum, and you can visit it and walk on the very floors that the former kings of Andalucía laid. It’s unreal. I’ve never felt so much like I was in a history book. In my classes we study the Independent Emirate, the Caliphate, the Reigns of the Taifa and their art, but it is something very different to be able to stand there and run your fingers across the deeply carved capitals of the red marble columns.

Being in the mosque was another experience. I’ve seen iconic pictures of the forest of red-and-white striped arches printed on the glossy pages of books, and to stand looking up at them gave me chills. Not only is the mosque still largely intact from when it was finished during the Caliphate, but parts of the Christian church it was built on top of still exist as well. The grandeur and the detail are unlike anything else, but the part that really blew my mind was that it was still standing. Through the years of Andalusian turmoil, it is still standing, and around us swirled the whispers of the worshippers who had come through the ages, the whispers of the architects and kings who shaped Spanish history.

There is something magical about being one of millions to have laid your feet down in the same place, and to have stood in awe. There is something beautiful about stopping to gaze and reflect in a building that has held thousands of years of human beauty and suffering and discovery and questions.


Portico and arches at Madinat Al-Zahra outside of Córdoba, Spain


8 + 8 + 8

8 + 8 + 8

There are 24 hours in a day. Those 24 hours can be divided into three sets of eight hours. The Spanish day essentially follows the structure of 8 + 8 + 8. Eight hours of rest, eight hours of work, and eight hours of free time.

We’re thinking that we are not going to possibly have enough time to get all our schoolwork done and explore the city and absorb the culture and travel, but eight hours a day for free time is a lot. And that’s just the five-day work week.
It’s interesting that Spaniards think of the day this way, with free time and time to enjoy oneself built into the routine. In the U.S. it seems like we know that we need to be at work or school for eight hours a day, but then we have to come home and do more work and more things and if we don’t totally get eight hours of sleep then that’s the way it goes. We enjoy life so much less than we should.

Here, things are more relaxed. Whenever we leave to go on a walk or to go out for food, our host señora says “se disfrute mucho”, which means “enjoy yourself to a great extent”. Here, the meals are slower. They are meant to be cooked with love and shared with friends over good conversation. Life is lived in the street so that it can be shared, so that experiences can be had and friendships can be made. Life here is about enjoyment and living in the moment.

If nothing else, this is what I want to bring home with me. To remember to let myself enjoy life, and to remember to divide my time so that I can equally feed my body and my soul, as well as my obligations to society.

Sea breezes, sand castles, calamari, in february?

Sea breezes, sand castles, calamari, in february?

The week of New Years is about to start and Ho Chi Minh City is already starting to clear out. Everywhere, decorations are being put up and flags are being flown proud. So far, I get the feeling of 4th of July and thanksgiving is coming. National pride is everywhere, flags and banners are everywhere. Today I saw someone driving around in a Mercedes with a giant 6×9 flag attached to the roof. People are getting filing out of the city and traveling to stay with family during the celebration. The city is quieter and it is ten times easier to cross the street, even during rush hours. The excitement can be felt in the air everywhere around the city as people clean their shops and restaurants and post signs saying they will be closed during the New Years. I can’t wait for the fireworks.

Last weekend, a group of nine of us Loyola students took a trip to Vung Tau, which is on the coast just east of Ho Chi Minh City. We woke up early on Thursday morning to make it to the river to catch a hydrofoil boat. It was around $10 for the hour and a half ride through ports and forests, all while weaving in and out of huge container ships. This was really cool because we were going so fast and it was pretty smooth. When we got off the boat though, we were overcome with the sea breeze and sunshine. It is crazy how just an hour boat ride and the air clears right up and it is noticeably easier to breathe.

We walked over to the bus station and bought our tickets, then checked into our hotel and straight to the beach we went! The waves were huge! It was so much fun to jump and play in them, even though it was really really really salty. After what seemed like 45 minutes, but was really 3+ hours of swimming and building sand castles, we all realized we were starving. We caught some xe oms to a restaurant that everyone was referring us to. Our table was literally 15 feet from the waves and we had some of the freshest seafood I have ever had. It was so yummy, especially the calamari.

That night, we played a card game in the hotel driveway on little plastic chairs, it was awesome, especially when the desk worker guy played with us. A couple people went to go get food and when I went to go find them, I ran into this guy who called himself “Crazy Moe.” I tried calling him just Moe a couple times, but he would correct me every time. He walked me to his house and I had a good forty-five minute discussion with him. He was 66 years old, fought for the South Vietnamese Navy during the Vietnam war, was “reeducated” after the war, and about his family. His first daughter was born in 1972, his youngest, 1992. It was great to hear someone talk about how the government really works in a citizen’s point of view.

After checking out of the hotel the next day, we traveled to the base of a giant hill that had a huge jesus on top. Kind of like in Brazil. It felt like the stairs went on forever, but we finally made it to breathtaking views and a strong breeze to cool off with.

The journey back was an experience unlike any other… a sprinter van pulled up to our hotel, we climbed in and the sliding around started. Our driver was one of the most aggressive drivers I have ever even seen. It reminded me of the Night Bus in Harry Potter, weaving in and out of thousands of motorbikes. We would just stop in the middle of a huge intersection, someone would climb right from the back of a motorbike into the van, then we would speed away. Another weird thing that happened was it was picking up more and more people as we went. It got to the point where someone hopped in and the driver handed them a little plastic stool to sit on.

Something really funny that I’ve been noticing here, restaurants must just pick “popular english music” playlists. I am currently sitting in a cafe, with Jingle Bells blasting. It really makes you smile, especially when you don’t know what you’re eating.

This weekend was weird, for the first time in my life, did not watch the greatest game of the year. I could not watch the Super Bowl. I tried to pull a How I Met Your Mother and watch it later without hearing any news of it, but I accidentally saw the score.. but nothing more! It is currently downloading on this super slow internet… at between 12 and 24 KB/s… not to mention the only one online that I could find was 8.9GB. I am anxiously waiting to watch it when it finishes downloading. It’s been downloading for over 15 hours, and just over half way.. I hope I can last!

Back to classes for a couple days, then now I am off until the 17th for the New Years. After growing up in Wisconsin, this whole hot weather in February stuff…. I feel like I might actually melt into the sidewalk.


Check out my photos here!

First Impressions

First Impressions

¡Hola! Finalmente estoy en Granada.

First of all, Spain is beautiful. When we first landed in Madrid, we got to see this beautiful sunrise made up of layers of orange and gold and yellow with the silhouettes of the mountains in front of it. From Madrid we went to Málaga, which is a coastal town with a lot of palm trees. We didn’t see a whole lot of it because we were all basically vegetables from jet lag and travel, but we did get to go to el centro and see a really beautiful cathedral and a building from when Málaga was a port for this region.

From Málaga we drove to Granada. It’s probably one of the only hour and a half road trips in the world where you see a beach at the beginning and snow-capped mountains at the end. Granada. Is. Beautiful. It’s in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and almost every home and building has views of the mountains and the Alhambra. Granada is a medieval city, so many of the buildings are extremely old, and much of the city retains a lot of its history from when it was home to los arabes, los judios, y los católicos. A lot of the buildings are white with red tile roofs, and it actually looks like paradise. Much of the city was constructed before cars, so the streets are very narrow and change direction a lot. The streets also don’t have prominent signs, and nothing’s on a grid, so it’s somewhat difficult to navigate. I do not envy the drivers around here at all.

There are a few things I’ve noticed so far. Spaniards are all about second breakfast: you eat a small breakfast, then halfway through the morning everyone has another cup of coffee and a snack. Siesta is also serious business. Everything shuts down and everyone goes home to eat lunch and take a rest. Right now it’s siesta time, and it’s practically silent outside. Lunch is the biggest meal here, and it’s very important that everyone gets to eat with their families (not unlike dinner in the States). Dinner is a lot more casual, and people often go out for drinks and tapas for the evening meal. Vegetarians are uncommon here, and if you say that you want something vegetarian, it usually ends up including ham. However, my host mom is an excellent vegetarian cook, which works out well because my roommate and I are both vegetarians.

Spaniards have a very odd relationship with their floor. You can’t put things like bags on the floor because it’s bad luck, and you can’t put clothes on the floor because the floor is considered to be dirty. No one goes barefoot in the house for the same reason, but people clean their floors all the time. It’s very rude if you walk around without slippers or shoes on in the house, but my roommate and I keep forgetting that. Whoops.

Let’s hope I remember to wear my slippers and be very clear about not wanting ham on anything I eat. ¡Hasta luego!

Recap: Reunion & Revelation

Recap: Reunion & Revelation

From the 52nd floor of the Bitexco Building, tallest in HCMC

Over a week since that first plate of rice at 3 AM  half-way across the world from Chicago, there have been far too many stories and topics to address in a single post. For the continued duration of this blog, I will attempt to address posts by specific topics rather than try to create a chronological narrative of my adventure in Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City is a fascinating city; a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells that are both familiar and bizarre. Its people continue to surprise me everyday with their hard work, determination, and character. I feel that my experiences for these next 4 months will be undoubtedly shaped by my interactions with the Vietnamese. However, ever present in my thoughts will be the Vietnam–both the idealized and the actual–that my parents raised me by. I only hope that these juxtaposition of these two dynamics will enrich my study of Vietnam.

However, in my first few days living in district 1 of HCMC, I’ve been able to explore a great deal and meet a lot of remarkable individuals. Foremost, all of the Vietnamese roommates that we Americans have been paired with are incredible. They are each intelligent and talented in their own ways. Some of them have worked for the Argentine Consulate, others have traveled far from home to seek higher education, one teaches English 7 days a week to foreigners, and there is still more to learn about each of them. My roommate, An, has essentially become an adopted little brother to me. We have similar majors, and family stories and its just been wonderful to explore this city with him as a guide. Sometimes we know we’re going (because of his leading), and other times we end up discovering new diamonds hidden in the rough.

HCMC itself is host to a vibrant culture and city life that strikes a balance between the sleepy-town of my parent’s past and the bustle of a metropolis like Chicago. Many businesses are still managed by family, and they often close near dinner time, leaving the nightlife to commercial ventures and specific districts. By nighttime, many retire and if you are a night owl you’ll have to venture out to districts such as Pham Ngu Lao (Backpacker’s District) which cater to a foreign crowd used to a nightlife that wanes when the sun rises. Even though I’ve only extensively been through District 1, I feel like I haven’t seen nearly half of it yet and there’s still 20 other districts to visit!

To avoid rambling on in a single post, here are some pictures of my first week in Vietnam. With each picture is a story that will be expanded upon later.

Collection of Snake and Scorpion "wines" at Ben Thanh Market

A HipHop (B-boy) dancer landing a freeze during the Converse Street Festival

Vendors selling goods in the streets during "Night Market" near Ben Thanh Market

Reuniting with some of my uncles

One week, one day, one month? Who knows on Vietnam time, either way it’s a blast!

One week, one day, one month? Who knows on Vietnam time, either way it’s a blast!

It has been a week and all I can say is WOW. Vietnam is exactly what they say, a totally unique study abroad experience. Everything is dramatically different than life back in Chicago. From the millions of motorbikes crowding the streets to being able to barter for anything, even groceries and on to buying a decent DVD copy of Skyfall for 10,000vnd. Loyola University Chicago’s Vietnam Center is a truly immersive study abroad experience. Vietnam has everything from living with an awesome Vietnamese roommate to getting a ride on some random guy’s motorbike. Just walking down the street is like a sensory explosion from the sights and smells. Cell phone stores line the streets next to family run bakeries and restaurants. This program is everything a student who wants to study abroad somewhere unique wants.

Globalization is very prevalent here, Vietnam was ruled by the Chinese for over a thousand years, then the French colonized it and the Americans were here in the sixties and even more. Even though it is not a truly developed country, the effects of globalization can be seen everywhere. Here I am, typing this up on a computer that was designed by an American company, then built in China. Then, I am sipping on some of the freshest orange juice I have ever tasted while savoring some ice cream from New Zealand and listening to music from the United Kingdom. I would say the orange juice rivals Spain’s.

Now I bet you are wondering what I have been up to other than class and homework. I have been exploring Saigon a lot by foot, walking around is great because you get to capture every sight as it happens. I’ve visited the backpacker’s district and it was pretty crazy! I visited a museum yesterday, and it totally changed my perspective on the Vietnam War.

The War Remnants Museum here in Ho Chi Minh City, I honestly have never been so impacted by a museum. At first you get there an are amazed by the American jets, helicopters and tanks, but then you get inside and read the stories and see the pictures of the monstrosities that occurred during the Vietnam War. Now I know that this museum is very propagandaish towards the Vietnamese, they did ‘win’ the war so they can tell any story they want, but it truly made me feel a wide range of emotions while walking through the exhibits. They had a section on American war crimes of aggression, I always knew a lot of bad stuff happened during the war, but they had pictures of everything. There was a picture of American G.I.s waterboarding a Vietnamese, another where someone was being unruly while being transported in a helicopter and they threw him out, another of a G.I. holding up a man ripped apart by a grenade launcher. There was a section though in that exhibit that hit me the hardest, it was pictures that were taken by journalists. One that sticks out the most in my mind; of an elderly man who was so weak he couldn’t walk who looked like he was begging, his face showed one of pure terror. The photographer noted that he was ushered away after clicking the shutter and a minute later heard two shots. In another exhibit, it displayed the dramatic effects of Agent Orange, a defoliate agent used by American troops to clear the jungle canopy. Agent Orange devastated the country, from destroying land and farming livelihoods to birth defects seen by pictures in the museum as late as 2008. I do not want to share too much of the museum though, because I feel that it is a must go place to anyone coming to Vietnam, even if you come with a main purpose of spending the 15,000vnd to get in and experience it. After some reflection, the propaganda side of the museum comes out; with portraying Americans as evil and the Vietnamese as peace loving farmers, but the facts are still there. I highly recommend everyone to visit the museum.

Well, on a lighter note, living with a Vietnamese roommate is one of the greatest things about Loyola’s Vietnam Program! My roommate, Trung, is an amazing guy. I feel like I got really lucky, especially since we both love to sleep in past the time the cleaning lady comes in to clean on weekends. Which is one of the most vivid differences between America and Vietnam to me. When staying at a hotel, at least the guest house, when it is time for the cleaning lady to come clean your room, even if you are still sleeping, she will come in and clean the bathroom and sweep/mop the floor. At first this really shocked me!

Vietnam truly is an amazing place, and I cannot wait to explore more of it! With Tet coming up, I will have a break to walk around Saigon with less traffic and people about. I cannot wait to see and experience as much of it as I can. I hope everyone had a great weekend!


About to go off to a new land

About to go off to a new land

Well here I am, in limbo between Winter break and the Spring Semester. All of my friends at Loyola are already almost half way through their first week of classes, and I am procrastinating packing for a semester in Vietnam.

I leave on Thursday for the grueling trans-pacific flight and have hit the “what am I doing with my life” stage of packing. What do I bring? Am I forgetting anything? Quick! I have to go pick up something at Target! With one more full day here in Wisconsin, I am gallivanting around with my thin rain jacket, freezing while convinced that pulling out my winter jacket from the basement closet for a couple days is far too much work.

I am really excited and cannot wait to meet all of my new classmates. I have been emailing back and forth with my Vietnamese roommate, but still feel like I have not even scratched the surface of getting to know him. I actually think I am getting more nervous than excited to go, or maybe it’s just because I have an empty suitcase and a starving mind for all of the new experiences that I will have starting in less than a week.

I’ve been abroad before, but from what I have been seeing in movies, videos and reading about, Vietnam is going to be a totally new experience for me. I was at the John Felice Rome Center for both Summer 2012 sessions. That was a blast! So far while preparing for this semester though, all I can do is remember all of the memories from last summer. I cannot wait to make more.

I will check back in once I get settled into Saigon, until then, I hope everyone is having a great week!

Bonjour- From Across the Pond!

Bonjour- From Across the Pond!


Wow! This has been the most incredible week thus far! I will focus on my weekend in Paris, as that has been my favorite part of this week! I apologize for how long this post will be, as I can’t help but describe every detail of my trip… the main point of this post is if given a chance, you must go to Paris, the most romantic city in the world!

Friday morning we had to get up at 5am in order to make the charter bus at 6:05am. After finally getting on the bus, it finally hit us that we (Kathryn, Carmen, and I) were going to Paris! We expected to sleep on the bus for the entire 6-8 hour journey to Paris, however we hardly slept at all! We drove to Dover, where we got off the bus and went through French customs (which really just consisted of a frenchman talking french, then asking where we were going, and then stamping our passport). We then got on the ferry, which was nothing like a ferry I’ve ever been on- it was more like being on a cruise where there were restaurants, bars, and even stores that had beauty products. It took about an hour and a half to get into France. Once we arrived, we got back on the bus and drove for about another hour and a half where we then took a lunch break and went to “Quick”- a burger place that had a “Dark Vador Burger” and a “Jedi Burger.” Of course we had to try them! It was very strange ordering in French, as I spoke no French, Carmen only knew Spanish, and Kathryn knew some French. Luckily, Kathryn got us through!

After eating we got back on the bus and drove another hour and a half until Paris was finally before our eyes! It was breathtaking! The moment we saw the Eiffel Tower I knew I was going to love Paris!

We went on a boat tour on the river and saw various historical sights and then we went on bus tour around Paris. It was marvelous! We then had free time where we grabbed crepes for dinner at a crep restaurant across from our hotel. I had a nutella crepe with bananas!

After dinner we decided to go on an adventure and look around Paris. Our tour guide told us we should go near Notre Dame to a popular student area where they have different pubs and shops. It was supposed to be a 15 minute walk from the hotel. Apparently we took the wrong turn because after 30 minutes or so, Notre Dame was no where in sight. We got out our map like classic tourists and just stood there trying to figure out where we were. I was a little hesitant to ask for directions because I had heard French people tend to dislike Americans and won’t try to help you if you ask for directions. However, that was not the case at all, in fact throughout the trip, every person we asked was very helpful and did their best to help us. It was funny because we would ask for directions in choppy french, and then many times the person we asked would just respond in english like they knew we spoke english!

Anyway, we never did make it to the Notre Dame, but we walked around the river a little bit and managed to find a small restaurant on the river. We were all really tired so we ended up going to bed around 12a.

The next morning we had to wake up at 7a (you really don’t get any sleep while traveling, although I have no reason to complain), where we got a free complimentary breakfast (it was literally the best breakfast ever!). There was the usual eggs, sausage, cereal (although it was chocolate cereal), and then there was the amazing croissants, ham, cheese, and french bread! They also had a fancy coffee machine, fresh orange juice, and milk. “Wow” is all I can say!

After breakfast we were off to our busy day of seeing Butte Montmartre, a small, beautiful neighborhood right outside the old Paris walls where famous artists like Van Gough and Picasso once lived. It was very neat because there was an artists’ square where many different artists were painting and trying to sell their own art work. There was this one statue of a famous singer in France (whose name escapes me at the moment) but her life was very tragic- she had three husbands all of whom ended up committing suicide while being married to her- eventually leading to her committing suicide- anyway the reason I bring up this statue is supposedly it brings you good luck to rub her chest area- something that seemed totally bizarre! After walking around for a while and stopping to admire Van Gough’s old apartment (an older Japanese lady now owns it but only visits about once a year and leaves flowers in the windows to pay her respects to him) we got lost from the group! Kathryn, Carmen, and I were all freaking out because we couldn’t find our tour group anywhere. Eventually we did, but for about 15 minutes we were completely lost. It’s all part of the experience, right? 🙂

After the walking tour we went to Notre Dame, where the gothic architecture was just gorgeous. To my surprise, you were allowed to take pictures inside the beautiful cathedral, which in a way seemed to take away from the experience, but I’ll admit I did take some nonetheless. It was too beautiful not to!

After taking in the site of the gorgeous cathedral, my friend Carmen wanted to get a good picture of her jumping in front of Notre Dame so we kept taking pictures, but none of the shots captured her in the right moment. After about ten tries, we finally succeeded at getting a good jumping picture! We celebrated and a group of people started clapping because they were watching our many failed attempts at getting a good picture! It was so funny! We bowed and just laughed off the moment.

We then went to grab some lunch at a local cafe with a few people we met on the tour. I had the “madame,” a sandwich on french bread with cheese and ham. It was pretty delicious. After getting full on french bread, we decided to find Angelina’s, a restaurant that is supposedly known for having the best hot chocolate in the world. It just so happened it was fashion week in Paris and we just so happened to pass where fashion week was happening. There was something about just knowing famous people and designers were just a tent away just made our experience in Paris that much more exciting.

We passed a hotel where a lot of people were just standing around the front door. We couldn’t figure out what was going on so we asked why people they were waiting outside of the hotel… it turns out Jessica Alba, Kristen Stewart, and other famous people (there were about five) were staying in the hotel for fashion week. It also turned out Angelina’s was right next to this hotel! The line just to get into Angelina’s was about a 45 minute wait and yes, we waited over 45 minutes to get this hot chocolate. Let me tell you, it was worth every minute! The whipped creme was different than whipped creme in the U.S. as it wasn’t very sweet but it was somehow still very good. Everything about Saturday was just amazing!

We were pretty tired so once we got back to the hotel, we rested for a bit and then went on a pub crawl. In order to get to the pub crawl we had to take the Metropolis (Paris’ version of the L). Carmen got on the train and then the doors were closing so I decided to stick my arm in the door thinking it was like an elevator and would open. Much to my surprise the doors closed right on my arm without any warning and my arm was stuck! Luckily another person thought they could take on the doors as well and was literally stuck half on the train and half off. They opened the doors after about 20 seconds but those 20 seconds seemed like the longest 20 seconds ever!

On Sunday we woke up early to get breakfast (again, amazing!) and then we went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, besides some other breath- taking artwork. Our guide knew a “secret” way to get into the Louvre so we didn’t have to wait in line to see the museum. The museum was massive! Supposedly it would take someone 6 months to see every piece of artwork in the museum, and that’s only looking at each piece of art work for 15- 20 seconds!

After our visit to the Louvre, the reality of going back to London began to sink in. We left Paris around 1p and got to the British customs around 4p. Unfortunately we were stuck in traffic just to go through customs for about 3 hours. By the time we got through customs and finally on the ferry, we were starving so we got our first fish n’ chips! It was good, but one complaint I have is you have to pay for each ketchup pack you use… this is bad news for a ketchup addict like myself (haha)!

We arrived back in London safe and sound where it was nice to be home!

Since I am here to study, I guess I should mention I actually had my first paper due today (thursday) for my personality psychology class. The way to turn in papers is different from in the U.S. in that you don’t put your name on your paper, you have to print off a cover sheet that has your student id number on it, and you have to turn your paper in to the undergraduate office sometime before your class! The British are all about the anonymity!

Anyway, I am off to make some dinner! Tomorrow I actually leave for Edinburgh, Scotland!

Cheers! 🙂

P.S. The reason Paris is the most romantic city in the world in my opinion, is there is this bridge where couples go to leave a pad lock on the fence of the bridge and then they throw the key into the river to symbolize they will be together forever! Men if you’re a sap for romance, this would be the perfect place to take your lady!