“That is SO French!”
Alors, it’s official. I have been in Paris for over two weeks, so I am now qualified to make some observations and tell some funny stories. You are probably wondering when I am going to start going to class. Well that’s a great question. I tried to go to a class yesterday (Gender and History, so Wesleyan). One slight problem (a very French problem): the history, economics, geography, and anthropology departments are all on strike. Needless to say, no professor, no class. So what does one do? I did a very French-like shrug, laughed and went and drank a lot of wine, also known as a wine tasting. We tried three types of French chardonnay. The man who led the tasting was so cliche it was hilarious. He even had the little neck scarf. As far as when the strike will end, and I can start getting an education…well no one knows and my host family reassures me that these strikes can last for months. C’est la vie!
As far as intellectual pursuits where you don’t need a professor present, I went to the Picasso Museum which was terrific. It’s housed in an old beautiful building and there is a very cool mirror in the courtyard which distorts your face, much like one of his paintings.
If you are wondering what the weather is like here, this sums it up (poor Katie):
I finally understand why everyone sings about Paris in the spring time :) Also I finally decided to do the ultimate tourist attraction: the Eiffel Tower.
I also had my first creepy man encounter at the Eiffel Tower (I think hanging out with Alana is starting to rub off on me in a bad way). A man wanted Alana to take a photo, the catch was he wanted me in the photo with him. So I quickly said “no” and off we went. Never a dull moment. But then today I decided to have a creepy adventure on purpose: Les Catacombes! There are six million bodies under the city here. It’s quite eerie, especially when there aren’t many tourists.
Another thing that I have noticed is dog poop. Okay, don’t think this is weird but I am used to California hippies who clean up after their animals. So now when I walk around I have to watch everywhere I step. I asked my host family if there was a law about cleaning up after your dog. They informed me that there is, but when do people ever really follow laws?
MGMT is actually pretty popular here. The other day I was buying a charger for my camera (which I did successfully in French, I was so proud of myself because let’s face it, I don’t know the first thing about electronics in English) and “Electric Feel” was playing in the background. Just proof that you can never escape Wesleyan. The man who sold me the charger liked to chat so we did and like every other French person I have discussed politics with, he is a huge Obama fan. As I left the store he said, “Au revoir et ‘good luck’ (in thick accent) Monseiur le President Obama.” For the inaguration I watched CNN with my host family and then they made me an American dinner: pizza! However, I think French people have a much more cautious outlook. I was reading one of the free Metro papers and a columnist made an accurate point: “Rien n’a été negligee pour écrire la légende avant meme qu’elle ne commence.” Essentially you should not write a legend before it begins.
Let the adventures continue…