Today was my first full day with my new hostmom – Marie France de Dainville. Try saying that three times fast! But I will just be calling her Madame. The other day I visited my friend from Mercer Island at her homestay in Paris and was quite angry with myself afterwards. Reason being, the apartment looks like a museum, and I thought, “If Reilly’s apartment is la creme de la creme, then what will be awaiting ME tomorrow?” I thought it couldn’t be anything like Reilly’s and for that reason, I almost wished I hadn’t had seen it before my own. The apartment I visited occupies almost an entire floor, the ceilings are 15 feet high, and the walls are all elaborate tapestries or famous paintings of the hostmom’s ancient family history (someone in her family way way wayyy back killed Napoleon in the war. Super casual.) But I enjoyed a nice tour of the place with the hostmom chattering away at us the whole time. I felt like I could almost get lost in the ancient, creaking hallways. I took pictures inside my friend’s room. You can see one of them below in another post I made.
I have recently thought to myself that you can’t judge a French book by it’s cover. I say this because as I walked to my hostmom’s apartment yesterday with my friend, I found the outside to be slightly unappealing, but on the inside, it was stunning. I have posted pictures on my Flikr of my own apartment that I will be living in. Also, the picture below of le Tour is actually from the window from Madame’s painting studio. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to live these next four months. To top it off, I landed myself with someone who likes to cook almost as I like to eat. Last night she made an avocado and shrimp salad appetizer (served in the empty avocado shell) then chicken breast cooked with tomatoes and herbs. And for dessert some fresh peach with mango sorbet. Tonight, the first plate was fresh tomatoes with herbs, a hard boiled egg with some mixture in the middle part, some jambon (ham), and shredded carrots. Then the main dish was a poached salmon that was stuffed with vegetables and a zucchini/carrot salad on the side. The French eat their cheese after dinner so I had some chevre with bread after that THEN I had the real dessert – chocolate mousse. I’m still digesting right now.
Our conversations have been easy and comfortable. Madame resembles quite the same character as my grandma, and for that reason, I already feel very settled and at home. She is a retired artist (a painter), but still works a little, restoring some old paintings that go in museums. I don’t exaggerate when I say her home feels a little like a wing of the Louvre. I can’t wait to hear more of the story of her life as these months continue, and definitely obtain some French recipes that I can then bring back home with me.
Tomorrow – first day of orientation! Weird, school. That thing I forgot about.
A lot of things are happening back at home right now. I’m sad that I’m not there to be of comfort to some of my friends during difficult times. Sending all my best wishes and biggest hugs all the way from Paris to those in need.