lundi, mars 31
The clouds in Normandie are beyond beautiful. I sat in silence during the entire drive and looked out my window; captivated by the ever-changing skyscape. We saw no less then 4 rainbows on the way there. 4! Having the luck of 4 rainbows on our side we arrived in the arms of our hostess (the ever sassy Monique, the apple of Ren's eye) to a warm reception and a neverending feast which featured such delights as homemade cakes & savory tarts, lavender kir, & violette ice cream. When we weren't eating there were lovely moments of silent indulgence as we read by the fire and drifted off in oversized chairs after a delicious meal. Something about the peace and solitude felt magic, felt like a small kind of accomplishment to escape my mind and thoughts and be still. There was a quality of surrealism to it all, being in the old farm house filled with faded photographs and piano books, a personable cat named after a French cookie (Calisson), little surprises and silly stories seemed to be hidden everywhere...after taking a shower Saturday morning I walked out the bathroom and almost screamed. Beside the window was a peacock cautiously eyeing me up. I stared back equally amazed.
vendredi, mars 28
I've got myself a whole grain baguette, sparkling water, fashion mag, and my rainboots and I am ready for a weekend away in the country. Off with the girls & Ren to visit Monique in Picardie. Enjoy your weekend m'dears.
(Hope you enjoy this fab video from the Go-Betweens...)
jeudi, mars 27
Last week I borrowed an old book entitled "Essential English" from my roommate to use with the student I tutor. Having only quickly glanced through the book I wasn't aware of how archaic and how very British it was until we came upon an exercise involving the negation of ought and shall. I laughed under my breath as my student said, "I shan't go to the pictures after this Test Paper." Of course "John oughtn't wash his neck" was as brilliant of a phrase as I've heard in a long time. The poor child thought I was laughing at her until I translated the sentence into French so that she could understand the absurdity. It reminded me of when I had conversation classes with a French speaker in Minneapolis to help improve his accent. I had him read articles aloud from the Onion...is it my fault that the Onion is extra hilarious when read in a heavy French accent? Oh my foreign fellows please do forgive me, I dearly love to laugh.
mardi, mars 25
Everyone is funny today. My teacher at the primaire wouldn't stop using the word impeccable to describe me...the fact that I had the kids draw animals to show during their performance of Old MacDonald was impeccable...as was the fact that they'd learned how to say the words for family members (mother, father, etc.). Actually, that was 'absolument impeccable'. On my bus ride home the driver kept stopping abruptly to let pedestrians cross the road. Each time the person would make some silly sign or nod to acknowledge the driver, one man even made a highly theatrical bow right in front of the bus as he was crossing...it was so funny I laughed out loud. I guess I've started to feel pretty good again and when I'm happy I find a lot of joy in random things; like people who bow before the bus. It's probably because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, my time here (in this town) is almost over. I'm slowly erasing the bars of my cage, where to next?
lundi, mars 24
Holy shit people, take a minute for that to sink in. Yesterday my brother was in India. I'm beyond jealous and joyful. Jealous because I always thought I'd make it there first, because I'm supposed to be the one in the family who does things that make my parents nervous. Joyful because my brother has never been anywhere besides Europe and America, because I can't wait to hear about his reaction to other cultures/customs/lifestyles. Rock on bro.
vendredi, mars 21
The French have this expression "une bonne poire " ...it means to be naive and a bit stupid (at least this is how the phrase was explained to me). I was asked by my silly French friends to choose a fruist as my nickname; they chose fruit from themselves as a sort of alter-ego. For example Kiwi. (Kiwi is my all time hands down most favorite French girl on the face of the planet.) She has and always will be Kiwi for me even if I do know her real name I will never call her by it...although incidentally enough her middle name is the same as my first name. Anyway, her cousin, dear friend to me as well, is Pamplemousse*. Upon entering into this mélange of fruit I was given the opportunity to pick my own fruit; for me it was no contest. Pear. I could think of about a zillion reasons why...I love pears, I have a pear figure, and I love pears. Kiwi and Pamplemousse tried to dissuade me from choosing such a 'bête' fruit...offering up Framboise** or Cerise*** as alternatives. Nope, my mind was made up. I was Poire. I found their explanation of the phrase almost a bit more intriguing to chose pear because I felt like I could be the new pear. I could make pear mean smart or charming or whatever else I wanted...I would become a whole new generation of Poire. So here I am, GenXPoire, ready to kick some ass and break down misconceptions and stereotypes. Poire takes on the world. But first, Poire takes on Paris. Peace!
mercredi, mars 19
Today I went to Emmaus (the French equivalent of a salvation army, but cheaper and dirtier) with the girls. I've picked up some great finds in the past...bracelets, dresses, scarves, etc...but today I really struck gold when I perused the handbag section and came across a Longchamp bag. Initially I was drawn to the bag because it was navy (my new favorite color, love it I do) and a sort of small-ish size. I'd been looking for something like it; the perfect sort of little bag to fit a camera and wallet in, adding to it's charm was how Sping-y and light it felt. Upon closer inspection I noticed that, unlike most second-hand/vintage bags, this one appeared to be in great condition and was extremely well-made. Ah yes, and then I noticed that trusty horseman logo and knew, just knew I had the golden ticket. Rejoice in my luck and thrifters alike to heart, it can happen to you!
mardi, mars 18
Today I decided to become an optimist. I've been living with a bit of a dark cloud over me for a couple of months and I feel like the change in weather has finally sent that cloud away to go rain somewhere else for a while. I know that I'm a bundle of nerves now that I'm searching for a way to stay; I spend most of my time wishing I was here or there or had this job or that job...but I feel like I can finally take joy in the unknown. I suppose there isn't much else I can do other then continue to hope and search for a way to be and live the life I want, so, in that spirit I may as well be happy and find beauty in the detours and setbacks (sometimes they turn into opportunities and adventures) and realize that my mind, like my future, is a malleable creature. I can choose to do with it whatever I will, and I will for myself happiness and joy and optimism. It's almost spring time, lovers, push the clouds from my eyes.
dimanche, mars 16
samedi, mars 15
I think it's been too long since I wrote something. But I also think that I don't have anything comprehensible to say. I've started to get a bit sick (again, again!) and have extremely blood-shot eyes despite getting more then enough sleep. I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been punched in the stomach and feeling like the only thing I wanted was to drink tea and mope around all day. (Sometimes I get this complex where I don't want to chew my food...not that I don't want to eat but that I'm too lazy to chew. It's completely nutty I know and doesn't happen that often but when it does I'm usually in some weird in between sort of mood. Read: confusion, fear, frustration. Psycho-analyze that!) I'm not sure if I mentioned before that I want to stay. In Paris, that is. It's a recent decision that I've come to and like most things that I want I want it pretty bad. I always have an amazing time in Paris, I've got lovely friends there, and it feels entirely possible. Rather, it felt possible. I practically had a place lined up to live in for the summer, had found several promising job opportunities, and well just a million other things felt right about it. I was ready to begin again. As I'm sure you remember it took me much longer then anticipated to get used to and feel comfortable with being here. And, well, I never did feel this way in St. Brieuc, but I do feel this way in France. But, not being a European Union citizen I am unable to stay. As of May 31st Mother France is officially pushing me out of the nest. It's tough love in France and you're only welcome as long as your visa stays current. This leaves me with 2 choices: find a husband or go home. Brilliant. Suggestions, ideas, and the phone numbers of single (French) men are welcome.
jeudi, mars 6
So I let you down. I promised stories and then didn't deliver and now I'm leaving town. It's Paris time again, lovers. Please accept my deepest apologies. I still feel like my feet haven't hit the ground yet and have been trying to recover & return to some form of normalcy since vacation. Here's a quickie to tide you over until then...the weekend before I left for Holland I was in Paris and staying with my sweet friend Annabella. I arrived in Paris Friday night and we went out for dinner at a very swank Pershing Hall (love love love this place) with her friends. Champagne was offered and didn't stop for the rest of the night. While having apero we were joined by 2 contestants from France's Next Top Model, wowza I felt like a country bumpkin and couldn't stop staring. We finally had dinner at midnight, left for the clubs at 2, club hopped for several hours, meeting new and fantastic friends, given a ride home sometime around 7. (I learned the next day that we were given a ride home by the owner of the last club we were in.) Needless to say the transition from St. Brieuc to Bright lights, Big city was abrupt...and I loved every minute of it.
lundi, mars 3
Yesterday I walked in the Alps, played in the snow, and had Swiss fondue...today I carted my suitcase through the rain and was followed by a construction worker on a bicycle shouting, "Were you on vacation? Were you on vacation? You're very pretty!" ...Hello St. Brieuc. You're a sobering slap in the face. Back to reality, I guess. (Vacation was great, more stories to come, but first dinner.)