Finally my body has caught up to me. I’m sick. Not so sick that I didn’t still take full advantage of the sunshine today, but sick enough that I know I’ll need to be getting a lot more sleep this next week in order to be back to my normal self for next weekend’s activities. I guess that’s what I get for going nonstop 24/7 for a whole week. I can’t say it wasn’t worth it though.
My “fruncle” Wayne was here for business this week and when I started to feel a little homesick it was nice to have a little bit of home come to me. We went to dinner twice, once to a restaurant called “La Cule de Poule” literally “the chicken’s ass” and it was fantastic. The other, we wandered about in the Jewish quarter, and, being the very loyal Jews we are, had no idea that it was Sabbath and were confused why no one was around… we still found a place and ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant and gorged ourselves until we were so stuffed and couldn’t move. Or couldn’t button our pants. Just the way I like it.
With no class on Friday, it makes for “profiter-ing” (taking advantage of) the city, very useful. I snuck off to Versailles with a friend and walked around the gardens for a few hours while the sun was shining. Saturday our group went to Giverny, Monet’s gardens, and an impressionist museum and even though it was pouring down rain, I still loved it. If I could die and be reincarnated as a flower in his garden I would be very happy. Also, the lunch we were provided by IES at a restaurant in Giverny was the first time we were ever served wine as a group! BIG DEAL. And the meal was one of the best I have had here yet. I shall share with you. (May the mouth-watering commence) Appetizer: a plate of smoked salmon, butter lettuce, a tomato, and some fresh whipped herb cheese (I stole someone else’s plate and ate it too, it was that delicious), entree: potato gratin, chicken mushroom creamy deliciousness, baked herb tomato, baked apple with spices, and dessert: coffee and a piece of cherry pie with creme fraiche. Deathly.
La Nuit Blanche (an annual event, you can read about it here http://nuitblanche.paris.fr/en) was Saturday night, so after getting back from Giverny and drying off for a bit, we met for dinner in the Pompidou center where the museums were all just opening up. There was a DJ playing on one of the levels outside of Pompidou so the center turned into a mosh pit. It was awesome. We stayed and ate dinner, went to a bar, met up with friends, and spent the rest of the night walking along the Seine with the rest of the city. It was the first time I’ve felt like the city was alive at night and it was awesome to see so many people partaking in this anual event.
Tomorrow marks one month of living with Madame and being in Paris. We’ve been spending more time together lately, talking about my excursions and art. I asked if Wayne could come over and see the apartment and I ended up being a translator for their conversation that lasted about an hour. It was fun to have that kind of opportunity, and also exhausting. I did pretty well though, if I do say so myself. In fact, after being here for a month, I only JUST learned some of the more common phrases the French use. I hear them saying things like “Quoi” “Quand meme” and “Opa.” Which literally translate into “What” “When same” and god knows what, respectively. However, they don’t even come close to meaning what they translate to. It’s hard to explain but basically I felt like I had a minor revelation once they were properly explained to me (in English) the other day and now I can better understand simple phrases that Madame and others say to me on a daily basis. It’s the small things, my friends.
Speaking of small things, the only reason I wish I were home right now is because of Justin Bieber’s America “Believe” tour. Can’t believe I’m missing that to be here! Torture! (I’m almost kidding.) Speaking of torture, you wouldn’t be able to comprehend that sitting through a formal dinner could almost be considered torture. Let me remind you, that you must always finish what is on your plate. So when you are served appetizer, you eat it. Dinner – eat it all. And maybe a second helping to not seem rude. Cheese + bread – eat that too. Wine all the way through, three refills is normal. Dessert? Why not? I FEEL LIKE I’M DYING. Plus the conversation is all in French. It’s a talent to be able to navigate proper (French) manners, hold a conversation, and keep all the food down.
I really appreciate all of you who take time to read these updates. They’re personal and sort of silly most of the time, so it means a lot to those of you who enjoy keeping up with me.