06 February 2008

C'est la vie

I just polished off three squares of dark chocolate with almonds in them. I feel partially guilty, partially happy, and partially hopeful that I find something else to eat besides chocolate. There's a lot of it here. I would be fine if it were all still stuff like nesquik and old m&ms. But no. It has to be the good stuff. Man. So not fair. There are these chocolate covered mini crepes, too. Oh, man. I'm going to come home with brown skin. Actually, that might be a nice change...

Yesterday was Jessica's birthday. The day before that was the day that we did all of our class planning. It was pretty much like being in freshman year again. Andrew had presented the process to us in such a way that we all thought that we would look at the classes but make the final decisions and registration with him and Staci by our sides. Ha. That's all I have to say about that. Ha. Ha. Ha. We really need to realize that offers for help really just mean that they're going to be standing there ready to take the paperwork when we're done with it. But no, we keep on trusting the people that are leading us around everywhere. Silly us.

As a result, everyone was frustrated except for maybe six or seven people. Go figure that they were the introductory peeps. Not that idiots have less to think about. Oh, wait....No, no. I'm kidding. They're not ALL idiots. Kidding again. They are. No, they're not. They're nice. But ignorance really is bliss, especially when the ignorance is focused on not speaking French. I was one of the frustrated ones. I mean, I have friends/acquaintances everywhere. And I knew from the very beginning that I was going to be Seuil. But of course, I let myself think about maybe being Avance, and then I got annoyed and worrying that maybe my classes were going to be too easy. And then when we were in our classrooms I was with two friends and a bunch of Chinese. I'm still not really sure why this bothered me so much.

Maybe I'm racist at heart or something hilariously secret like that. That would be horrible. All I know is that they were all year students and were speaking pretty well (ah ha) and I felt like an idiot, understanding everything and being able to respond to almost nothing. What made it harder was that I was with Julia, who has a crap load of credit specifications to fulfill in order to get what she wants at her home university. And because she was frustrated, I got frustrated. Like, so frustrated that after registration I was talking to Mark and Jessica in the hall and I had tears in my eyes. I talked to Andrew about switching classes and he told me that no matter what, I had to wait out the week. If it was too easy then, I could say something, but not before. So I have to stay where I am for a week at least.

At first I was super angry that he said that, and even with the way he said it. It felt like he just kinda brushed the idea away. I know he must have dealt with that question from at least ten other people, but still. I'm selfish. I like to be catered to. But then we ate lunch and I talked to Jess for a while and then I just felt fine. I've pretty much focused on the fact that if my writing is what got me into Seuil in the first place, then I deserve to be in that level. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link (if that's not the cheesiest thing I've ever said, please notify me immediately so I can start saying that instead); so that means I need to fix up my writing before I even have the right to consider myself a French speaker.

Being able to order a sandwich and a pain au chocolat doesn't count as speaking French.

Since yesterday was Jess's birthday (also Mardi Gras) tonight we were all supposed to go out for pizza together. Yes, yes, very American. We planned it, told our families we were going to be gone and everything. Got to classes today and about three people said that they had forgotten/felt bad/didn't want to tell their families about the dinner plans. Collin and Mark and I had already been planning to go see No Country for Old Men right after classes, and then going to dinner with everyone after six. It was going to work great, before those people brought up their whole time thing.

After lunch the other girls (I being the only other one) decided that because of time issues we should eat at five. Collin and Mark and I agreed, ignoring the fact that all of us knew that the resto wouldn't be open until at least six thirty or seven. We went to our last classes (thank you God) and Collin and I met Mark outside afterward. We walked to the theater. We were five minutes late, not even joking. Did we decide to be assertive and just walk in? No. We stood there, trying to decide what to do. Everything that's easy in the states is apparently hard to do in France. I don't know anything about French movie theater etiquette. Do you? Didn't think so.

We "made" the decision to see the movie after dinner. We wandered and sat around and went to the Haricot Rouge. This cafe, I'm just going to come out and say, is the most beautiful establishment on the planet. Not only is it red and has booths on the premier etage, but it serves hot chocolate. Not just any hot chocolate, I mean. I mean you get this bowl that fits perfectly in your two hands, and a shotglass of water, and a piece of brownie, and then you lift the bowl to your lips and I swear it's like they melted a bar of chocolate and that's what you're drinking. Gorgeous. Only 2E60, too (that means 2 euros and 60 centimes....about $4). That's cheap for amazing hot chocolate.

At five we met people at the resto, and surprise surprise, it wasn't open. We walked back down to the theater, and surprise again, we'd missed the showing by twenty minutes this time. Hahaha.....this is the part where I just wish I were braver. And had a car.

We ended up going to the bookstore to look for kids' books that we could read. Luckily for me that's all I seem to read anyway, the only problem was finding the first volume of anything. Oi. We were there for a while and then Collin bought his books and said he was heading out. About ten minutes later Mark left too. I was determined to actually not go home for dinner. Why? Because that's what I'd said I was going to do, gosh dangit! I felt like such an idiot calling my mere an hour before normal dinner time and saying I was actually coming home and could she make something for me please? Besides that she always buys the things for dinner that day. She's French. She doesn't do tons of food in the freezer.

So I stayed in the bookstore and tried to find the perfect book. I think I mostly succeeded, I bought "L'Histoire de Pi" (The Life of Pi). I'm hoping it goes well. When I left the bookstore I walked to the only French fast food place in Rennes, Brioche Doree, and got a sandwich and a pain au chocolat. Just so you know, whenever I say I got a sandwich, I don't mean sandwich like in the states.

Sandwiches here are a baguette, about a foot long, cut lengthwise and stuffed with a couple pieces of meat, and whatever else you want. They're so much better than sandwiches in the states. At least, I think so. You almost feel like you're eating a lot, but you're not. I ate my sandwich in a monster park and read my book and then guard-esque guy on a motorbike told me that I had to leave so they could close the park. I did, and went home, reciting in my head the entire time how I was going to tell my mere why I was home instead of eating with my friends.

She didn't even hear me come in, and I convinced myself that it would be super duper dumb to come home and not say anything, so I went to say bonsoir and get a drink. She asked me, of course, if I wanted something to eat. I told her no thanks, I had only eaten about an hour before. I grabbed my drink and went back here to my room and ate that chocolate and am now about to do some research.

Oh, so the research. I'm going to Lyon in two weeks for a week. Surprise! We have a winter break at the end of Fevrier, and I'm going with Julia and Mark. And maybe some other people, we're not really sure. But a ton of people are going to Barcelona, and I really wanted to not so much be in a herd, so I'm doing this. So if anyone has ideas for things to do in or around Lyon, please let me know really really really soon. Julia really wants to see the Alps, so we'll be doing that, not really heading down to the coast. Maybe go to Chamonix and/or Annecy....

That's all.

No comments: