As I find myself procrastinating writing my first real (and 3-page) essay of the semester, I’m realizing how screwed I am once I get back to school. So far, classes have been easy enough, besides getting past the understanding-everything-the-professors-are-saying thing. But I haven’t had much real work besides a few daily readings and nonsense assignments. Midterms start next week and in at least one class I have NO idea what the test will be on. That class is the history of Paris, which is interesting enough, except my teacher is 80 years old. To further illustrate, we had a 3 hour walking tour around le Marais on Thursday (the equivalent of our Friday), and how the time did NOT pass quickly. It’s an interesting subject but I find myself day dreaming a lot in that class. Wish me luck for my tests next week!
Meanwhile, I’m sufficiently 4 or 5 lbs heavier after returning from a short, but much-needed, trip to Brussels. Some girls and I bought $15 round-trip bus tickets to Brussels for the night on Saturday, pretty much just because we can, (and also we were craving fries.) Lots and lots of fries. I almost didn’t make it on the bus though, due to my reliance on technology… When I got to to the bus to give the driver my reservation number, my email wouldn’t pull up and I couldn’t get WiFi anywhere. I must have good karma though because he believed me that I had bought a ticket and there were extra seats on the bus anyways so he let me on. My friends didn’t have such good luck on the way home, though. Two of them had bought tickets a few days after the rest of us, so our bus on the return had sold out. So they bought one thinking that it was leaving 10 minutes after ours. Only today did they discover that what they thought was 2pm did not translate to 14:00, and their bus had left at 2am that night, so they had long missed it. There was only one open seat on the bus so they didn’t separate and just stayed in Brussels, apparently buying a new bus ride back home leaving at 1:30am. Brussels isn’t a bad place to be stranded though. It’s almost like Willy Wonka land with all the fries, beer, chocolate, and waffles. It was a glorious 24 hours.
Now that I think of it, I spent almost all of my weekend eating, which is just how it should be. Thursday after my field trip that lasted a century, I got the long-awaited L’as du Falafel for a little taste of the Middle East. Divine. That night was two girl’s 21st birthdays so we celebrated properly by dancing the night way in a club near l’Arc. Friday we spent all day at the Montmartre wine festival called “Fete des Vendanges” and I consumed 2 of the best mulled wines I have ever tasted, part of a sausage and sauteed onion sandwich, some potatoes and cheese, more wine tasting, and more cheese. That night we went all the way back up to Montmartre to a famous fondue place and gorged once more, before becoming too annoyed with the angry French waiter and the pissed-drunk American girls in the corner before going to bed early before Saturday’s bus ride.
Upon returning back to Paris, it seems like it suddenly turned to winter. I’m not one for the cold, hence my dislike for skiing and my relocation to California to go to school, but it is nice to actually have distinct seasons for once. When showing an SCU friend around this weekend, she kept commenting on how beautiful it was to see fall for once, since she has been studying in Barcelona, and I definitely agreed.
I do actually have a couple classes I’m particularly enjoying. One is phonetics, where we’re actively learning how to sound like true Parisiens, awesome, and the other is history of photography. For that class, I’m excited to do a photo project of our choice, mine being “Fall in Paris,” with my partner Katherine modeling the shots for me. It’s mostly fun because I get to boss her around and take pictures of her, but it’s also fantastic because it’s a really wide-open project and I’m excited that I get graded for taking pictures – something that I love to do.
I made a lot of new friends this week, as per usual Crazysash behavior, both in Paris and in Brussels, but for now I am sure I will never be seeing them again. That’s the beauty of being somewhere new – you never know who you’re going to meet and who you’re going to see again, so why be afraid of putting yourself out there? It has normally always worked out for me and I wish more people felt comfortable doing the same with me. It’s too fun not to!
I have many new pictures to show you all but I suppose I actually have to finish that essay now… Meanwhile, I’m depleting my bank account at a rapid rate and am now accepting donations to my cultural abroad (food) fund! (Only joking).