Paris Bound

#1
After 6 months of dedicated preparation, the day for my departure has finally arrived. I am leaving the US for Paris today and arriving on Monday afternoon. I got a room in downtown Paris (Latin Quarter) for 2 weeks for an extremely reasonable price. I plan to use the time to let my body acclimatize and spend my last bits of freedom taking in the culture of the country that I'll (hopefully) be serving for the next 5+ years. I figure that this is the last freedom that I will have for quite a long time, so I hope to make the most of it before signing away my life again. Is there anything I absolutely have to do in Paris before I go to the Legion? I don't really have an itinerary for these two weeks and I'm open to any suggestions you guys might have. As of right now the plan is to hit the gates of Fort de Nogent on the 23rd.

As for selection, I am cautiously optimistic. I'm in the best shape of my life, including my years in the USMC (quitting smoking does wonders for your health and fitness). I am doing 17 pullups and running 7 miles (11.25 km) in about 52-53 minutes, 5 days a week. My command of the French language has come a long way from where I started in July. These studies have been extremely rewarding in their own right and I hope to continue to develop my proficiency in the language regardless of whether I am selected or not. For a few years after leaving the USMC and prior to making the mental commitment to this endeavor I was a rather aimless individual, lacking in motivation and goals. It has been very fulfilling to have such a challenging goal in my sights to constantly strive towards. Even if I am not selected, I will still derive a sense of satisfaction knowing that I truly gave this everything I had, and that I did everything within my power to make myself the most attractive candidate possible. Je ne regrette rien as the legionnaires like to say.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#2
Thataboy rockitz! All the best and try and get out of the 'if I don't get in' attitude. Think positive. Don't get disappointed if your French does not meet your expectations, it's a great start. Can't really suggest any places to visit in Paris except to mention that the museums are free once a month on Sundays. But you will have lots of time later for sight seeking. 666 is on leave in Paris at this moment after six months service. Also you will have time off during Operation sentinelle in Paris.

If you really want to practice your French chat up some of the demoiselles. Take it easy on the beer as your next five years count on making a good first impression. There are a few bars in Paris where legionnaires and ex-legionnaires hang out, that might give you a few ideas.

Good luck mate and do keep us informed, we're all gunning for you.
 
#4
Good luck, brother ! Take in mind that nothing ever goes according to plan, be smart and use any opportunity in your favor and if there are moments when you're thinking about giving up, always remember what made you keep going untill now !
 
#5
Congrats to on being on your way! What a grand adventure that it sounds like you have worked hard to prepare yourself for. As one who has stood in the "yellow footprints" long ago I understand the "Why" of your quest. Semper Fi
 

loustic

Banned
Banned
#7
Best wishes for you ex-SGT and future ‘simple légionnaire’. You are courageous and I wish you the best !

Remember, once you enter Fort de Nogent, each of your moves will be noted for selection. So, put your brain on "OFF", your mouth on "SHUT" but maintain your eyes and ears on "OPEN AND READY TO OBEY ORDERS". Volunteer for chores, without smiling (the CPL might think you are making fun of him)

Don't forget the three basic pillars : RESPECT (of the institution, of your chiefs, of your comrades wannabes and EVs, and of yourself), MODESTY and HUMILITY (without exageration)

I think you are more than ready, except maybe for the Beep Test (Luc-Léger) which you did not mention. There will soon be another American wearing the great Legion uniform. I hope to meet you one of these days and drink a beer with you.

Lots of luck for you and keep in touch with us: a last message before you knock on the big door, another one as soon as you are allowed to communicate again (not too soon I hope !)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
#8
Thanks for all the well-wishes guys. I'm finally here. I got in yesterday afternoon and got settled into my room. I was dead tired but stayed awake as long as I could to try to offset the jet lag. I think I ended up falling asleep around 7 and woke up around 4 this morning. I couldn't fall back asleep so I went out to do a nice early morning run. The roads were almost completely deserted which was cool. I ran along the south side of the Seine river starting at the bridge across from Notre-Dame, all the way to the Eiffel tower, then turned around and ran back to Notre-Dame. I think it was about 5.5-6 miles. I'm feeling great now and ready to go out and find some petit-dejeûner.

Joseph, I didn't mean to give off a defeatist vibe in my post, I've been preparing for this for a while and have full confidence in getting selected. Do you happen to know the names of those legionnaire bars?

Loustic, Respect, Modesty, Humility. Three qualities that are essential to any well rounded person! I just hope that I can display those qualities to the selection committee. Also, I was actually a Corporal when I was discharged, never a Sgt. It's not a big deal, but I don't want anyone to think I was a rank that I never earned.
 
#9
Thanks for all the well-wishes guys. I'm finally here. I got in yesterday afternoon and got settled into my room. I was dead tired but stayed awake as long as I could to try to offset the jet lag. I think I ended up falling asleep around 7 and woke up around 4 this morning. I couldn't fall back asleep so I went out to do a nice early morning run. The roads were almost completely deserted which was cool. I ran along the south side of the Seine river starting at the bridge across from Notre-Dame, all the way to the Eiffel tower, then turned around and ran back to Notre-Dame. I think it was about 5.5-6 miles. I'm feeling great now and ready to go out and find some petit-dejeûner.

Joseph, I didn't mean to give off a defeatist vibe in my post, I've been preparing for this for a while and have full confidence in getting selected. Do you happen to know the names of those legionnaire bars?

Loustic, Respect, Modesty, Humility. Three qualities that are essential to any well rounded person! I just hope that I can display those qualities to the selection committee. Also, I was actually a Corporal when I was discharged, never a Sgt. It's not a big deal, but I don't want anyone to think I was a rank that I never earned.
Sounds almost exactly like what I did when I went, stayed right near Notre-Dame above a Greek Restaurant in the Latin Quarter (Les Argonautes) and like you, did the early morning runs along the Seine. :) Enjoy and good luck.
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#10
Thanks for all the well-wishes guys. I'm finally here. I got in yesterday afternoon and got settled into my room. I was dead tired but stayed awake as long as I could to try to offset the jet lag. I think I ended up falling asleep around 7 and woke up around 4 this morning. I couldn't fall back asleep so I went out to do a nice early morning run. The roads were almost completely deserted which was cool. I ran along the south side of the Seine river starting at the bridge across from Notre-Dame, all the way to the Eiffel tower, then turned around and ran back to Notre-Dame. I think it was about 5.5-6 miles. I'm feeling great now and ready to go out and find some petit-dejeûner.

Joseph, I didn't mean to give off a defeatist vibe in my post, I've been preparing for this for a while and have full confidence in getting selected. Do you happen to know the names of those legionnaire bars?

Loustic, Respect, Modesty, Humility. Three qualities that are essential to any well rounded person! I just hope that I can display those qualities to the selection committee. Also, I was actually a Corporal when I was discharged, never a Sgt. It's not a big deal, but I don't want anyone to think I was a rank that I never earned.
I've got to admit I tagged on with my mates when we did the 14th of July (twice) but one is called Irish Tony's on the Rue St Denis. Another is a new place called Redd's but I don't know where that is. Drop a PM to Ossie O, he knows the owner from 3rd Cie REP.
 
#11
So I walked the length of rue Saint Denis yesterday and didn't see any pub called Irish tony's. I did see a "McBride's Irish pub", oh and a ton of "Massage Parlors".
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#12
So I walked the length of rue Saint Denis yesterday and didn't see any pub called Irish tony's. I did see a "McBride's Irish pub", oh and a ton of "Massage Parlors".
Times may have changed, If I remember rightly it did a Y with another street leading off to the side. The front was very narrow but once inside it was quite large. Did you ask at McBride's if they new anything about it?
 

DCLXVI

Legionnaire
#13
Dude, ill be in Paris after this weekend. I have service this weekend but will be there the next. My gal and I can meet up with you if you like. The McBrides in châtlet is far better...tell the boys I say hello...also, pm me man. Ill give you.my number if you run into any trouble. RAPACE. I got the pm. VOLT. GOT yours also. Sorry,working.
 
#15
Went to the PSG game last night and had a blast. I got a ticket from a scalper in one of the corners behind the net that PSG attacked in the second half, right next to the chanting supporters. I must have looked like a typical lost American because as soon as I got within sight of the stadium I was immediately approached by a bunch of guys selling tickets. I undoubtedly overpaid for the ticket but I really enjoyed the experience so I dont mind at all. Great game and great crowd! Glad that I got to experience an authentic European football match atmosphere. I've been wanting to for a while.

Joseph- no I didnt ask but if end up that way again I will be sure to.

666- I sent you a PM but ive been having spotty luck with the PM system here. Hopefully you got it.

Bobbys- oorah
 
#16
The best of luck Rockitz. Enjoy your 2-week holiday. One thing you have to do of course is to go to the top of the Eiffel tower. It's a tourist trap but you're a tourist, no :D? If your finances are in (very) good shape, date a French girl and buy her a dinner at either restaurant Le Jules Verne, on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel tower (they have a private elevator, so you don't have to queue with the tourists) or La Tour d'Argent, the oldest restaurant of Paris, from where you have a superb view on Notre-Dame cathedral. Since you are staying not far, you may also want to visit the cathedral (construction lasted for about 1 century, from ~ 1100 to ~ 1200 AD).
Like Nick said, the Greek restaurants in the Quartier Latin, are generally a good spot. Many foreigners, students, and... well, you got my drift. Some have a small band playing traditional Greek music and they even give you plates that you can throw and break on the floor (another Greek tradition).
Anyway, let's not lose sight of the main objective. Get the coveted képi blanc.
 

DCLXVI

Legionnaire
#17
Rockitz,
I got the pm. I'll be in Paris late the 20th, so we will meet on Sat the 21st. My gal and I will meet you and we will get a pint or a coffee, whatever you like. Keep an eye on your pm box, I'll send my number as the time gets closer. What district are you in Paris? My gal lives in the 3rd. Châtelet.
 
#18
(...) Another is a new place called Redd's. (...)
Great bar. We spent a really nice evening there last month. Didn't get to the béret vert though. The Irish girl we were with worked there and said she'd rather not. The Eiffel Tower is awesome but I've never been atop of the Arc de Triomphe before. I didn't realise you could!
 

DCLXVI

Legionnaire
#19
Sarah,
Gratuity after all this time and us finally meeting the strangest of ways!! I'll pm you my number. Next time you come over here we must get a drink. You seen me literally at the very start, now I am all grown up. Lol. Be well and thank you for the craziest meet up in history.
 

Most viewed threads of the week

Top