The summer after my first year of college, I went on a study abroad program in London. This program also included a four-day trip to Paris. I was so excited to be going to Paris that I did not accurately prepare for the trip. I forgot my French-to-English dictionary, I packed all the wrong clothes, and I left my umbrella in my flat. Coincidentally, all it did was rain while I was there.
The first thing I noticed as I stepped off the bus was that Paris smelled. "But hey!" I thought to myself, "This is Paris -- the city of love, the city of light! Who cares if it smells? This is a historical, important place."
I went into the hotel to check-in and unpack. After this, I had some time left before I had to be anywhere, so I decided to find a bookstore and buy another dictionary. I left the hotel, and wandered into a small boutique around the corner. I walked up to the salesman. "Excuse-moi," I said oh-so-politely. "Je nes parles pas Français bien. Parlez-vous Anglais?"
The salesman looked at me as if I were a total moron. "Of course I speak English," the man said rudely, in a perfect British accent.
"Thank you," I whispered, and I turned around and walked back to the hotel, where I sat in my room and cried for twenty minutes. My friends practically had to drag me out of my room that afternoon.
Eventually, I was able to leave my room and go see the sights. I eventually bought that dictionary, which came in quite useful.
I had packed clothing for warm weather, however, my entire trip was cloudy and cold. So I bought quite a number of t-shirts to wear with my one pair of jeans that I had with me. The problem was the rain. My only shoes that I had in Paris were an old ratty pair of sneakers with holes in the heels. My feet were wet for four days. I thought that I was bound to come down with pneumonia.
The entire time we were there, the rain just got worse. On the night we decided to go to the Eiffel Tower in order to get an aerial view of the city's lights, there was a thunderstorm. The winds were so strong on the top level that I kept getting blown into the railings. The storm got too violent, and we had to be sent down. Then my friends and I got to walk through the twisting streets of Paris, trying to find our way back to our hotel.
The next night, in order to celebrate the end of our trip, my friends and I decided to go out to a "nice" dinner. We found a restaurant that looked appealing and went inside. We were seated and proceeded to order. The group of us decided that it would be a good experience to try some French wine. We looked at the wine list, and as everything was unrecognizable, we randomly selected a name. When the bottle came to the table, we were shocked. It was a California Chardonnay. We couldn't stop laughing about it all night, or even the next day, as we started our journey back to London.