Saturday, September 6, 2014

Our first 48 hours, My first impressions

After a 15 hour long journey from Bangalore via Doha, we landed in CDG on a bright and crisp Friday afternoon on the 15th of August 2014. Though we were completely exhausted from the journey the excitement of what lay ahead kept us going… well more than just going. After all, our new home was waiting for us!

The immigration at the airport was super smooth and so was the baggage claim. As we came out, we saw our taxi driver with an INSEAD board. How can one miss that beautiful green and white logo.. and yes, we did have a moment then (‘This is for real… it’s happening) :)

The taxi driver couldn’t speak a word of English but I am lucky to be married to someone who speaks amazing French, so all I did was listen to the conversation between my husband and the taxi driver with wonder, trying to guess and make sense. It was also really simple for us to get a SIM card at the airport. We bought LEBARA SIMs – cost us €10 for the SIM alone and a few more euros for top-up. This SIM needs to be activated by either calling the helpline or online. We did the latter – as soon as we got home.

It took about an hour to get to Fonty from CDG. Needless to say, like everyone else, we couldn’t stop smiling from the moment we saw the signboard with “Fontainbleau”. Soon, the taxi driver was on Rue Guerin – our neighbourhood for the next 10 months.

First impressions – I loved it. The apartment block was very secure. We met the landlady who walked us to our apartment. It was just like in the photos we'd seen. We were more than happy – well, actually delighted!

The reason – not so much the apartment, which was by the way was perfect for the three of us, but more so by the warmth and hospitality of the landlady.

What an amazing woman! About 78 years old but looked no more than 60. Had the energy of a 40 year old – so inspiring, to say the least. She had taken the effort to buy bread, butter and water for us. Seeing that we had a small baby, she rang her sister and arranged for a baby cot with all the bedding within an hour! Also, realizing that the baby may feel cold as the building’s central heating was scheduled to operate only from October, she arranged a heater for the night and drove next morning to a near by town to buy a radiator.

If you thought that was amazing, what would you say when I tell you that the next day she drove us around town, gave us a tour, dropped us off and picked us up from the supermarket when we couldn’t find taxis. Just one phone call and she was there in less than 5 minutes!!!

The word “nice” does no justice… I am so touched by everything she did – she didn’t have to go that extra mile – but she chose to. I wanted to tell her how grateful I am but she doesn’t understand English. At least to tell her how I feel, I want to learn French!

So my first impressions – well, bowled over by such kindness!

What a positive start to our stay here J Feeling very hopeful about starting a brand new chapter of our lives! 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Do you still have the info on the apartment you guys had? I appreciate it :)