06 April 2008

Le Grêle et la grêve

Hail. That's what grêle is. Hail. I met some this morning, while I was running. I woke up and was like, "Oh, it's sunny and the skies are blue. I will go running and be happy."

It felt like I was at a Denver Christian game. In high school, whenever my soccer team went to DC for an away game, we would end up playing in rain, snain, sleet, hail, snow, and a teeeeeeeny tiny bit of sunshine. Eight times out of ten we would end up getting pulled off the fields for a while to let the weather improve before we started playing again. So while I was running along the canal in my stretchy un-French capris and short sleeve t-shirt, being pelted with little hard packed pieces of snow and ice, of course all I could think of was my coach Lind yelling instructions at us, warning that if we didn't pick up the pace we werer going to be doing the same exercise another time. Haha...I actually loved it. I miss being pushed like that.

This weekend has been pretty normal. On Friday we...uh...did nothing. On Saturday there was a manifestation about Tibet in front of the Mairie (government building thing...a mayor is "maire"). It was supposed to start at 11 but I got there a little late cause it wasn't super important, and the French are always late anyway (actually that's not true). It was lame.

You'd think that of all people, the French would be able to come up with an interesting manif. But noooooo...all their grêve (strike) practice does nothing. There was a group of maybe 200 people, if even, surrounding the maire, a dalai llammmalalma (uh...spellcheck?) rep, and some other people who are probably important. There were Tibet flags everywhere, and banners talking about how Bretagne supports the boycott and all. It probably would have been really interesting had the rep guy who spoke used an actual speaker system, instead of a megaphone.

Haha...all I really caught during his entire speach was "Mumph à la lonphmelk contre mumble mubble crackle voilà!" Sad. Everybody was really quiet, too, no yelling or screaming or violence. Made for a really boring protest thing. Although I guess technically manifestations are just for showing up and showing what you think...At noon the speaker finished and the crowd went marching through the streets chanting a French rhyme about Tibet needing to be freed from the Communist control of China.

The funny thing is that usually you gather like this to make the government listen to you- because it hasn't been. But in this case, the French government is actually in agreement with many of its citizens. Maybe that's why they didn't feel there was a need for yelling...

After the manif I ate lunch with Collin and Mark and then we went and bought some new French music. I'm pretty proud of myself. I feel so ÜBER cool now. Also proud of myself cause I found the dots for the U. I'm not enough of a nerd to be patient enough to remember the real name for the accent mark. But hey. At least I know it goes there.

Last night I almost went out. Again. But my friends were eating dinner late with their families, whereas I had finished early, and the last bus left at 21h22, and of course no one texted me until 22h00ish....which meant that if I wanted to go out I'd have to walk 20 minutes to the stop, wait for the bus, and then get to centre ville, where I would be for an hour and a half, since the last bus to go up by me is at 0h30.....man....I whine a lot, don't I?

I just need to get over this thing. I'll think of it this way: I'm saving money. By not buying a cidre with my friends at a bar every Saturday night, I'm saving about 3 euros each weekend. Yeah! Three euros in my pocket! Woot! Plus it means I get to stay home and read.

Mes parents are sick. Haha...so sad, I can actually hear them hacking from here in the living room. It's just rhume-level stuff (colds) so that's good, but it's miserable to be sick all week, and to be coughing and blowing snot into tissues half the time you're awake. Last night while I was reading (you thought I was joking about the reading, I wasn't) Michel came into the living room and was watching a series about the Challenger shuttle. It was like, 1 am. He just couldn't sleep. I wonder what time they'll be able to get unconscious tonight? I know I didn't go back to my room until almost 3, and I remember hearing him go back to their room after. I just don't know how long after.

It's bad that he's sick too cause we were going to go to a wine tasting event at the aéroport today. But being sick means that you don't have tastebuds...bummer. Oh well. I wonder if he's going to be able to get painting done this week? His art manager is organizing a show for him in juin and he needs to pop out at least 12 great paintings of birdness. Mostly roosters, since it's France's emblem, but also ducks and turkeys. They're good, but...you know. Interesting choice of subject. He'll get them done though. He has some really good work.

Do you know why the rooster is the emblem of France?
"Parce que c'est le seul animal qui marche dans le merde en chantant"
"Because it's the only animal who walks through shit while singing"

Really. It's true. I won totally awesome brownie points for knowing that.

This is the last week before vacances. I'm pretty sure that everything is together, except for those tickets from Bremen to Berlin. I told Mark what was up and he didn't seem too concerned (which really got me cause I've been FREAKING OUT all week), so we'll just leave this in the hands of Someone Else, shall we? I'm all for that.
I'm gonna ask Andrew tomorrow if he'll print all my reservation papers and confirmation emails so that I don't feel bad using my famille's printer. Then we'll get everyone's finances squared off, and my American family will get those tickets and FedEx will send them to me here for free, and then next weekend when I'm in Berlin we're all just going to laugh at how worried I was about everything flowing together alright. Alright? yeah. Totally.

ps. I still really miss the word "creepy." But seriously. "it gives me goosebumps" takes way to long to say.

à plus!

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