LD: Bonjour Paris!

Rebecca Cao DiplomatThis post is part of Le Diplomate series, in which I will chronicle my travel joys and tribulations as an intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. OECD in Paris.

After a nightmarish week in which I finally received my security clearance, booked my flight to Paris (leaving on Wednesday!), scrambled to find housing, was scammed by an Englishman, and eventually established housing plans with a Frenchwoman I sincerely hope is real, I now await my departure. Right now, this wait entails procrastination on the packing front and cheering on my boy Tsonga in the French Open.

In fact, Roland-Garros is a mere 25 minutes from my apartment in the 16th arrondissement. If I were rich, or had not gotten scammed perhaps, I would have died at the opportunity to watch the French live. Only, of course, Tsonga makes it through this match against Wawrinka.

Right now, I’m trying not to think too much about my impending arrival in Paris because I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep then. Although I’ve known about this internship since December of last year, it wasn’t until I purchased my plane ticket that I actually believed I was going. Now, the fact that I will be in Paris the day after tomorrow is just blowing my mind. I’ve traveled before, but always with family, and to either China or Taiwan. The only time I’ve been to Europe is to Spain on a study abroad trip, with a group of Americans.

I feel like this is my first real traveling experience. I will be entirely on my own, which excites me now but will probably end up being quite a challenge. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling — to dream for so long, to study a language, to understand a culture, and to finally be able to experience it all in person.

You see, my two concentrations (Romance Languages and International Studies) serve different purposes. Whereas the former is personal, the latter is professional. On one hand, I study languages because I love them and no matter how many exams and papers I have to endure, they never become work. On the other hand, I pursue International Studies because I want to become a diplomat and sometimes exams and papers are very painful.

In this case, for my internship in Paris, I simultaneously get to go to la ville of my dreams and have the job of my dreams. This is as good as it gets for me, I realize, because officers in the foreign service don’t get a cushy assignment like Paris until decades into their career. I will thoroughly enjoy this while it lasts, and remember to share it with all of you!

Do you feel like you’re living your dreams? What are your summer plans?

Au revoir,


P.S. Tsonga won! Allez les bleus.


4 thoughts on “LD: Bonjour Paris!

    • I stupidly sent a money transfer to a man who claimed to have a flat in Paris. Later, I googled the phone number he gave me and it turns out he’s been scamming people for years. He even sent me a copy of his (probably fake) passport!

  1. Oh, my gosh, the scammer ! We almost got scammed too. We have a houuse we were renting out, and advertised it on Craigslist. Some guy from England said he was going to rent it, sent us the deposit which was about $3,000 over, then he told us to please send back the excess to him. Mom told him, no, not until the check he sent was approved by the bank. we never heard from him again.

    Btw, congratulations !

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