I can’t believe how quickly the time is passing! Technically, as of today, I have been in France for 103 days. A lot has happened, yet it feels like yesterday that I arrived.
When I arrived I wore my headphones everywhere. I wanted to be left alone, I was scared to talk to people, to order at a restaurant. Mostly because I am a perfectionist and it was super frustrating when I wasn’t understood. Now, this is not an issue. I know that my pronunciation is good enough that people will figure out what I am saying and I don’t mind asking for someone to repeat themselves if I am unsure what they said. In general, I am comfortable. The only frustration now is, 1.) not being able to be conversational with colleagues and people my age. This leads to a lack of French friends, a serious lack. 2.) not being able to express my disgust at something in French. Examples, when someone is ridiculously rude to me, when someone is rudely staring at me, when food isn’t good (which is rare 😉 ), when kids are annoying in public (unsupervised kids). etc etc. Sometimes I just want to say shut up!!! or There’s no need to be like that!!! or something to that effect…Overall though I am pretty proud. I know I am not fluent but I do understand conversations and I even saw a French movie a few weeks ago WITHOUT subtitles! In the theater! That was pretty darn cool!
I went to Paris this weekend. My friend and I ran 10 miles around the Seine. If you know the area, picture this — Start at Bercy, follow the Seine all the way past the Eiffel Tower, take the bridge after the Eiffel Tower and follow the Seine back. It was SO far! But we did it and it was pretty cool that we got to see so much of Paris, while running! Now, to be honest, afterwards I went on to eat an obscene amount of food including MEXICAN food at Anahuacalli.
It was great! We had guacamole, a ton of margaritas and I got a Burrito, my friend got some Mexican type soup. Not sure what that was. anyway, it was awesome. Perhaps I said this before but that is one of the things I miss most about the States…the abundance of awesome (and cheap) mexican restaurants! I miss Chipoltle, Qdoba and of course the non-chain Mexican restaurants too. Moving on…we also ate a ton of macarons, awesome hot chocolate, confit de canard, a ton of chocolate, STARBUCKS CHAI (yeah, we’re american, whatever). We also got to go to a concert … Marianne Faithfull and Bill Frisell. So, any fans of Marianne will probably hate me for this…I didn’t know who she was and apparently she is a HUGE deal. We really went to the concert because my friend knows Bill Frisell, who is also a pretty big deal! There were two shows in Paris last Saturday and my friend got to see both for FREE. I went to the second one for FREE! And afterwards…we got to go backstage and hang out a bit. I even “stole” a banana (no no, it was offered). It was really cool but again, I feel awful because I didn’t realize who she was. She dated Mick Jagger for like 4 years!! What!!! Anyway, it makes for a cool story and she was hilarious anyway. Bill Frisell was an AMAZING guitarist!! I was very impressed! Check him out if you can, he has played with so many amazing artists and everyone seems to know him!
In other news, I finished the Count of Monte Cristo…it was great and I can’t wait for the day that I can read it in French !! I am also impatiently awaiting when I can visit the Chateau D’If. Each time I try to go, the boats are not running due to weather concerns or something. Perhaps this weekend…Now I am on to reading another book. I couldn’t choose for almost a week what I wanted to read. I can never decide what to read after reading a great classic like that. I feel like I should read something lighter, quick but I have so many must-reads on my wishlist! I settled on The Paris Wife.
I had been wanting to read it for a while. It focuses on the first marriage of Ernest Hemingway. I am about 1/3 into the book and it is good so far. It is difficult sometimes reading historical fiction since you know the ending and I am afraid it will be written quite sad and heart-wrenching so I am trying to prepare myself for that…I like it though because it describes many place in Paris and in France that I “know” and it describes Ernest Hemingway in a different light. Anyway, it won’t take me long to read (with over an hour of public transport each day) so I guess I should begin pondering what’s next…maybe a series of some sort.
I have 2 weeks until my friend Hayley is here! We have finalized our travel plans for her time here, meaning we have purchased a TON of train tickets, 1 flight and a plethora of airbnb reservations for our stays in Venice, Milan, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg…I am very excited about her coming!!!! This is one time I am very happy for the time to pass très vite!
I think I am sick again…it might be a quick bug (which I am hoping for) but I am having some throat issues again. Not strep, different than that but still. I NEVER get sick in the States. This is my second time in 2013! Come on France, give me a break! BUT, I did go ahead and sign up for the Marseille Semi-Marathon! I am stuck now. I have committed my 28 euros and the 24th of March to running 13.1 miles. Wish me luck!
This weekend my friend Alexandre is coming to Marseille to see the opera Elektra. It’s nice to have visitors and hopefully the weather will behave. He is coming from snowy Grenoble. I like to offer my visitors sunshine, otherwise why come to Marseille 😉 no no, I am kidding, Marseille has more than sunshine…doesn’t it? 🙂
That’s all for now!
Here’s my remaining 100 days in France until I return to the States!