I arrive in Menton during my friends finals week. All the students at SciencesPo are staying up till midnight, pounding cups of coffee in between liters of beer, rolling their own cigarettes, and cooking all the food that will go bad when they leave the campus. This time for them is incredibly wild but they still manage to be the most hospitable people I’ve ever met.
I had never felt so welcome to a place within a matter of minutes. They were incredible genuine. What surprised me even more is hearing about their amazing stories. For example, most of them were interning at an embassy or consulate somewhere in the middle east. Others were planning on going to Iraq, Cairo, some of the Stans. I realized how easy it is to pick up and leave a place and just be a nomad. It was really easy to be carefree there. I can’t say I was worried about anything while they were all there.
However, that soon changed after they all left to an interscholastic competition. I was going to be entirely alone once again in a city that I really didn’t know much about. This is where culture shock begins to set in. What in the world am I doing here? Why did I ever decide to study abroad? I want Torcheys, Pluckers, for god’s sake someone get this kid some Kinsolving chicken tenders, a hopdoddys burger and some stake. I gotta have more cow, baby. Guess what I got a fever and the only prescription is more cow.
In order to fight homesickness I begin to watch youtube videos. I found it best to simply relax at the beach during this time. Taking in the rays and listening to some good old American music.