I am just loving my life here! I have been lucky enough to find some great friends from many cultures who are super excited to explore this fabulous city with me! Here are some of the activities I have been doing in the past two weeks:
Thursday nights I go to the weekly poker night party at Bruno’s apartment. Usually his friend Kevin makes croque monsieurs (basically grilled ham and cheese sandwiches), and we drink cider, wine, and juice, then play poker. I have started bluffing, which works sometimes, and other times causes me to be the first one out! It’s always really fun and a great opportunity to learn more French!
The kids and I are continuing to bond. I played Simon Dit (Simon Says) and Cache Cache (Hide and Seek, don’t ask me why it’s “Hide Hide” in French because French people are just weird) and they went wild! They are great rainy day games to have up my sleeve. Gabrielle’s birthday was November 4, so we went out for hamburgers at an American-style restaurant. They were actually great burgers and I plan to return when I get the craving! We also had a fabulous cake from a fancy patisserie that I would like to check out. I made her a birthday card and she loved it. 🙂
A French teacher at my school shyly approached me in the teacher’s lounge asking if I would give her English lessons. She offered to pay me, but instead I proposed that we trade English lessons for French lessons. We begin this Thursday and I can’t wait! The more French people I can talk to, the better. Especially because I recently told a Polish girl I was meeting for the first time that I was déshabillerai instead of déménager (“taking off my clothes” versus “moving into an apartment” [I know, they aren’t even that similar, I just get SO confused sometimes! Lots of words to remember!])! Luckily, she had a sense of humor and didn’t think I was a weirdo. 🙂
I saw France v. USA at the Stade de France! It was very fun and such a great cultural experience. I went with some fellow Americans, and we were surrounded by some funny French guys who kept taking pictures with us and teasing us for being American. I enjoyed cheering with the few Americans around us (all of a sudden I got very patriotic) and did not enjoy inhaling hella cigarettes from the guy in front of me. The French soccer team was definitely better than the US team, unfortunately, and won 1-0.
Shopping, otherwise known as torture
Kelly wanted boots and I wanted a birthday dress, so we went to Galleries Lafayette and another street with tons of boutiques and designer shops. We kept wanting to faint at the beauty that surrounded us, whether it was the ceiling of the cathedral, I mean mall, or the sparkly $10,000 euro diamond bracelet at Chanel that we both tried on.
My friend Laura and I went to check out the Musée Marmottan Monet in the 16th. It was only 5 euros and so beautiful. There were some waterlilies, and also some other Monet’s I had never seen; darker, angrier and scarier ones. There were also a bunch of paintings by Matisse, Cross, and other similar artists who employed the pointillism technique. They were incredibly beautiful! 50% realistic, 50% on drugs with bright colors, and some were so well done that they looked like photographs, and made the perfect use of contrast between dark and light to make it look like the light parts were glowing like real light. I am in awe of what humans can do with colored goo and sticks.
I am 23!
I had a fabulous birthday here in Paris – I bought myself some perfume, and threw myself a dinner party at Le Bouillon Chartier, a wonderful old French restaurant. I was joined by many of my new friends here and showered with love and presents! Thank you Mehdi, Bruno, Stéphane, Germain, Guillaume (French people), Kelly, Omid, Margo, Ami, Phoebe, Kate (American people), Pamela (Bolivian), and Elisabeth (German) for celebrating with me! Everyone had a good time speaking French and English and enjoying the wonderful food. I drank kir (wine mixed with flavored liqueur) and wine, ate confit de canard, and had delices au chocolat for dessert. I also tasted some andouillette. Ew. Let’s just say I prefer duck! Apparently it’s an acquired taste, but I think I would rather acquire some more shoes. It’s funny because Americans are disgusted by unusual cuts of meat, and French people are disgusted by Kraft mac and cheese. I think it mostly has to do with what you grew up eating!
I was given tons of gifts, which was so sweet! It was a great day, especially being so far from home. I am so thankful for all the love! It almost distracted me from the fact that I am old. 🙂