Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My First French Test

I guess that title's misleading. I've had French tests before, mostly just grammar ones for my language classes, but this was my first test in French that wasn't about French. This is exactly why I wanted to come here - in everything I do here, the language is only secondary. All these professors expect that I speak French and can write an essay in three hours about the topic or document they assign. The important part is what I write. At least, ideally, that's what it should be. At the beginning of the test, he announced that for every ten spelling mistakes we make, he's taking a point off our grade. Since there are only 20 points and we pretty much start at an 18 (because 20 is for God and 19 is for the professor), I hope I didn't make a ton of spelling mistakes. At least he didn't say stylistic mistakes, because I'm sure what I write in French is full of those. I'm just surprised that he expects the students to make spelling mistakes. I mean, they're French! I expect myself to make spelling mistakes when I'm writing in a foreign language, but when I'm writing an English essay by hand in an exam, I'm never concerned about spelling! If I'm not sure how to spell a word, I'll just use another one. It's as easy as that. But that doesn't work in French, and I don't want it to. For me, I'd rather make a spelling error in an attempt to use a more complicated word or phrase because making mistakes is how you learn. But, I played this essay safe. Hopefully he doesn't give it back with a note saying my vocabulary was way too simple. The first document was a Mazarinade, or anti-Mazarin pamphlet. The second was an intendant's report about taxes. I chose the first. It seemed more interesting. And I was a perfect French student the entire time - I spent the first half hour diligently reading and taking notes, choosing the document I wanted, and reading some more; then, I spent the second half hour writing the plan and choosing the order I was going to say everything; then, I spent another half hour on the introduction. The rest of the time was the other four pages. I have to say, there's something to the French method - my essay was very clear and concise and I enjoyed working on the plan.

Then, tonight, I went to the Opera Bastille (the other opera house here in Paris) to see what I thought was an opera. Turns out, it was a ballet. It was called Siddharta and it was about the founder of Buddhism. Strange topic for a ballet. Anyway, it was cool to watch, but I honestly don't understand ballet because I've never studied it. So, I'll leave the review to a critic. Anyway, the Opera Bastille is really ugly from the outside (maybe to reflect the messy stuff that happened there way back in 1789?), but the seats are much more comfortable than the cheap ones at Garnier. I was much more comfortable, which was good since there wasn't an intermission.

I'm going to make sure my interactive story is good before tomorrow. I still need to stop by CUPA and print it out - being without my own printer is very inconvenient. Good thing French universities assign much less homework than American ones. I don't know how I'd survive at Hopkins if every time I wanted to print something, I had to travel 30 minutes by subway. That might just be impossible. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This is my third post today. And it's not like I even had a boring day. What's worse - now, whoever is reading this is going to expect more from me! Starting tomorrow, I'm going back to one post per day, and I doubt many of my posts will include pictures like the ones today.

After my matzah adventure, I went to Père-Lachaise cemetery for my class. Just a reminder, we talk about how Paris affects literature and collective memory in general, so the professor told us that this cemetery was a good place to visit. Not only has it been mentioned in great French literature (and by that, of course I'm referring to that minimal Romeo and Juliette copycat scene in The Count of Monte Cristo!), but it also houses some great dead authors including, but not limited to: Oscar Wilde (British gay playwright, and author of The Picture of Dorian Gray), Molière (French comic playwright who wrote in French classical, "alexandrin" verse, and was recently portrayed on the big screen by Romain Duris who was also Alex in L'Arnacoeur!), La Fontaine (a French Aesop - he wrote Fables), and more. There are also other famous people dispersed throughout the cemetery. Abelard and Heloise are there. For those who don't know, they're the Romeo and Juliette of the French middle ages, but a little different. Abelard was Heloise's teacher, but obviously didn't pay attention to what her uncle told him to teach her. He ended up getting her pregnant, marrying her secretly, she had a baby named Astrolabe (how romantic?) and then the angry uncle paid some people to castrate Abelard while he was sleeping. Each lover then ended up in a religious institution studying and writing letters to each other because that was all they could possibly do. I read the letters last year in my history class. It's too bad that all the really intelligent people in Europe at that time (or at least the educated people) were all Christian - the brainwashing they got from the church tainted their brilliance, I think. It was the same with Saint Augustin - his confessions were okay until the conversion. Anyway, before I go on, here are some pictures.

Abelard and Heloise, in a pre-neogothic tomb


La Fontaine


Why are La Fonaine and Molière next to each other when they basically have nothing in common except the year of their birth? You got me. But here's a picture of some flowers! Spring has sprung!

So, then, we walked around some more and came across some Holocaust memorials, obelisks, and Oscar Wilde. We didn't find Proust, though. You know what that means - I absolutely have to go back!

A Holocaust memorial - disturbing, huh?

The inscription said "Famille Riche" (Rich Family). No duh! Anyone who can afford to be buried in this cemetery is obviously rich - or famous or something. 

Another Holocaust one

And another one.

Last Holocaust one, I promise

Oscar Wilde. The professor made a point of asking all of us Americans if we brought our lipstick. I'm guessing it's not French people who come to kiss this grave? Anyway, it's pretty disgusting...he's just another gay British writer. The Picture of Dorian Gray wasn't even that good. 

That's it for Père-Lachaise and pictures. But, afterward, I went to Porte de Versailles because there was an exposition on books! That's one thing I really really love about French people - not only do some of them write the best literature in the world, but people in this country really like to read. Everyone on the subway has books! They have iPod's too, but not as a substitute for the books. They even have their own Kindle-type thing they sell in the Gibert Jeune bookstores (it's called a Cybook). It's not as good as a Kindle, but you can buy way more foreign language books on it. They even sell a Nintendo DS game here that isn't really a game - it's just 100 classic books that you can read on the system. I think I'm going to buy it! I don't know how it is to read on a Nintendo DS, but why not? French people also really seem to enjoy theater, classical music, operas - they're very cultured. Now, I'm sure it's not everyone and that the people I've been spending time with aren't representative of the entire population of Paris, let alone the entire country, but it sure seems like there are a lot more French people who read than Americans. I don't feel like I'm being unfair making that statement. Anyway, back to the exhibition - it was just an entire exhibition hall (basically the size of a few football fields) filled with publishers, authors, editors, pen-sellers, and books books books! I got in for free because I'm a student. But, I didn't leave without paying anything - the books were so cheap, I bought W ou le souvenir d'enfance by Georges Perec (W or the memory of childhood) and The Death of Tragedy (George Steiner's doctoral thesis), but translated into French because they didn't have it in English. I just love that, instead of filling that convention center with baseball cards or some other stupid fad, they had books! And while I was there, I saw that my l'OuLiPo writing workshop professor, Christine Montalbetti, had given a talk there earlier today. I can't believe I missed it! Apparently, she's an author! Well, I supposed I could have assumed that. 

For dinner, I had an artichoke and some cheese. Passover in France really does stink. Today, I ate a piece of matzah, a salad (minus the croutons) that I overpaid for at a cafe - salads here are so expensive, which is why I always opt for a crepe instead, and that artichoke and cheese. I'm going to starve to death this week. And my pants are going to keep falling down. 

Okay, that's enough for tonight. Wish me luck on my history exam tomorrow! Louis XIV reigned from 1643 to 1715, born in 1638, had the longest reign of any European monarch. Known as the Sun King, he never actually said the famous "L'etat, c'est moi." His actions as king were profoundly influenced by the rebellion known as the Fronde (1648-52) that went on during his childhood during the technical beginning of his reign but really the regency of his mother, Anne d'Autriche with the help of Mazarin, an Italian. Louis XIV was the grandson of Henri IV (who really did say that Paris was well worth the mass) and Catherine de Medici, and was also a descendant of Saint Louis (the only French monarch who was canonized, and also the person for whom Saint Louis, Missouri was named). Louis-le-Grand, the famous high school here, was named after him. Louis was also important in the artistic careers of Molière (he allowed Le Tartuffe to be performed, even though it had been banned for insulting the church) and La Fontaine (I guess that's something else they had in common). His reign was filled with religious and political wars, which increased taxes exponentially. Those combined with the construction of Versailles (though, the construction of Versailles was only the equivalent of one year of all those wars) put France into such a state of bankruptcy that the French Revolution can be blamed on Louis XIV. So, despite the fact that he pacified the nobles with ritualistic traditions in his incredibly pretty castle, I think Louis XIV was not that great a king...Not bad for just off the top of my head, right? The test is going to be like a DBQ about the childhood of Louis XIV. Three hours of writing a history dissertation in French - I'm not as excited for this as I am for literature or philosophy. 

Pictures from Normandy/Brittany for real

Mont Saint Michel

The only restaurant in the world that thinks it's acceptable to charge 30 euros for a stupid omelette. I don't care how they cook it - nothing's that good! 

A nice ocean view (unless the ocean is the English Channel...)

The abbey

A very Cartesian garden in the middle, protected from all the wind

Me scaling a wall

Alexandra and me with our new Italian friend Mirka

Our guide who looked just like my cousin Peter, only his name was Eugene

Saint Malo

The dancing cat street named after the one casualty of the British naval attack

These are meant to break the waves before they hit the walls. That way, this little city won't get waterlogged.

More Saint Malo

Me in front of a nice view

A colorful parade! 

September 4th, 1768 was born, in this house, Chateaubriand! 
Good thing I read Atala last summer, or else this wouldn't have been too interesting...

Eblouissant! Breathtaking!

An important French writer wanted to rest here so he could only here the ocean and the wind. In passing, respect his last wish. 

His other last wish was to be buried standing up. I don't think the good people of Saint Malo respected that wish!

Cool, huh?

My Quest for Matzah

This morning, I woke up and realized I couldn't eat breakfast. Even though I'm obviously not going to observe Passover (in French, Jewish Easter) this weekend in Italy (because I am not going to go to Italy and starve - that's not the point of Passover), I figured I'd keep it during the week. So, les cornflakes are out, as well as bread, toast, cookies, the rest of my pain d'épice. It feels like there's been a death in the family. So, I got dressed - I decided to wear a skirt, since the fact that my pants are continually falling down is starting to annoy me - and Mme De La Taille told me she was going to the grocery store, so I volunteered to go with her. She took her little caddy to roll to the grocery store and back, we got in the elevator, and when we got to floor 0 (rez-de-chaussée), there was a guy washing the floor. Nice timing Monsieur! So, we had to go to the basement, then climb the stairs to get out. Okay, c'est pas grave. We got to the Franprix (supermarket, kind of like a small Wegmans) and I asked everyone where to get "the flat bread for the Jewish Easter." Eventually, I found le pain azyme. If it looks like matzah, is packaged like matzah, and tastes like matzah, I assume it's probably matzah. Besides, I don't really feel like looking any more. We bought a ton of food and walked back, carried the very heavy caddy into the basement, then waited for the elevator, only to realize that the guy was cleaning the elevator! Mme De La Taille went up to yell at him and he told her to take the stairs. What stairs? The stairs are right where you're cleaning! Eventually, he decided to let us use those stairs and Pierre came down to help us carry the caddy up what was now three flights of stairs since we were in the basement. Way to go cleaning staff...and now, Mme De La Taille is concerned about not getting the mail. All that for some lousy flat bread. And by the way, you'd think that, since French people are so into bread, they'd have found a way by now to make matzah taste good. Well, think again!

I just figured I'd write that now before I forgot it all. Now, I'm going to get ready for my trip to Pere Lachaise cemetery for my literature class!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Normandy Pictures

Just kidding...I tried to upload them this morning, but my computer fizzed out on me. I'll try to upload them tomorrow morning when I'm less annoyed at this computer. Anyway, my day was pretty boring. In my ENS class, we talked about Plato's Republic (good thing I've read that) and how he said that artists and poets were just imitators. He said that they only had an idea of everything, whereas philosophers really understand everything. There go philosophers again, tooting their own horn. He goes on to say (we didn't discuss this in class, but I remember it anyway) that, in his perfect republic, the ruling class should be philosophers because they're naturally the most capable of ruling. Anyway, in class, Guido talked about how we (all the wonderful people in the class) actually do care about Plato's "imitators" because they're the ones who are the best at representing life - man in an environment. It was an interesting discussion. And at the end, some of the students actually talked and they are so smart! Man are they smart! Part of it might be just because they were so good at speaking French, and that might have thrown me off a little bit because obviously, that's not a big deal for them. But, they asked very interesting and specific questions, and each one elaborated on his/her question with at least three or four classic novels. One mentioned Anna Karenina and Middlemarch! The best part of the class was when Guido handed out a sheet with a quote in English on it. This excerpt included the expression: "Get the whole hog" and M. Murat (one of the actual professors) goes: "But what does this hog part mean?" It was pretty funny!

And that was pretty much my day today. Tomorrow we're going to Pere Lachaise cemetery. I'll get to see Marcel Proust and Oscar Wilde, among others. I am seeing so many dead authors here - it's pretty cool. Oh, and I forgot to mention a pretty funny expression I learned in Saint Malo. There was a little book in a gift shop with love proverbs from all over the world in it. I flipped to a random page and found a really funny Brazilian one: "L'amour est aveugle, il faut donc toucher" or "Love is blind so you need to touch!" Just figured I'd share that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo

I've reached a certain point due to lack of sleep - now, I am so tired that I don't realize I'm tired. It's currently 12:12 and I'm not asleep yet, despite the fact that I woke up at 5:30 on Saturday morning and 6:45 this morning (technically yesterday morning) (oh, and I need to include another parenthetical statement - this morning was daylight savings time here, so I lost an hour of sleep) and couldn't manage to sleep on the bus. But, Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo are adorable - Mont Saint Michel is an abbey on top of a granite rock (sometimes an island, sometimes not - depending on the tide) and Saint Malo is a walled city from the middle ages where Chateaubriand was born! Both have very high tides (according to the Saint Michel tour guide, they're the highest in the world, but the Saint Malo tour guide knew better and acknowledged that the Bay of Fundi in Canada has higher tides) and very old buildings to see.

Due to the late hour, I'm going to speed through stories and skip the pictures until tomorrow. Saturday morning: woke up at 5:30, departed from the place in front of the Opera Garnier at 6:30, and got to Mont Saint Michel about four hours later, if I remember correctly. On the way, I finished Zazie dans le metro by Raymond Queneau (pre-oulipo) and it was incredible. You can see remnants of the war in the book, in the loss of innocence of Zazie at the end, and also in the type of society Queneau describes. For example, there are bits and pieces of American culture throughout the novel - Zazie initially wants a "cacocalo," is obsessed with "bloudjinzes," and then her uncle, Gabriel, becomes a "guidenapper" and accidentally ends up showing a group of tourists around Paris. The only problem with that is, just like at the beginning of the book when Gabriel can't tell Les Invalides from the Pantheon, he ends up showing the tourists Sainte Chapelle, which isn't really Sainte Chapelle. Anyway, we got to Mont Saint Michel, I actually considered paying 30 euros for an omelet (my dad told me to...) and ended up going to a similar place and getting a salad and an omelet for 24 euros. Much better deal - plus, that restaurant had a view. The salad was great. It had goat cheese in it.

We then had a guided tour of the abbey on top of the rock. During the tour, I learned that the archangel, Saint Michel, represents the air, so they decided to build the church exactly on the point of the rock. Of course, that is very precariously perched, so they built tons of buildings underneath it to provide a flat foundation. The whole building is pretty much original, except the center part, which is Gothic whereas the rest of the actual church part is Roman style. Apparently, the original center part fell down because of all the wind, water, and the fact that the stones were just really heavy. The abbey is still functional, and not all parts are open to tourists. For example, they uncovered an original church from the 8th century (if I remember correctly) that used to be toward the top, and apparently, when they build the new one (in the 11th century?), they used the first one as part of the foundation. But, it was crumbling away underneath the weight of the new building, so they ended up removing it and supporting the new church in another way. Anyway, Mont Saint Michel was cute, but very tourist oriented. There wasn't really much to do there beside the visit and looking around in shops. I can't believe there were hotels there - who would want to spend the night on that rock?

We left after a few hours there and drove to Saint Malo. Saint Malo is a city enclosed in medieval walls that protect the city from tides and invaders. In fact, the walls date to Louis XIV, but the city is older than that. The residents were initially British and French and they fought over it. It's very well protected - fortresses on little islands surrounding it are positioned so the crossfire is deadly. Once, the British navy tried to attack, but ended up ruining their ships on the rocks in the harbor then crashing into a tower that held spare gun powder. Probably not their shining moment - they didn't kill any of the residents, but they did hurt a cat who, in his pain, looked like he was dancing. So, now there's a street called "La rue du chat qui danse" or "The street of the cat that dances." There was also a famous captain, Surcouf, who was from Saint Malo. They told us this story about his encounter with a British captain who told him that he only fought for money, but the British naval officers only fight for honor, to which Surcouf responded: "We all fight for what we don't have." Jacques Cartier (one of the founders of the New World, aka us) was also from Saint Malo, in addition to Chateaubriand, who wrote about the New World in some of his books. I read "Atala" last summer, and that took place in America. The end took place at Niagara Falls! The tour guide told me, though, that there are some doubts that Chateaubriand ever saw America. Not that it really matters, though - "Atala" was a good book whether or not Chateaubriand had ever seen Niagara Falls. Chateaubriand is also buried there, on a little "sometimes island" near the city so he can hear nothing but the wind and the sea. The atmosphere there is really nice - I really liked it.

Anyway, Saturday night, we just had free time in Saint Malo. I had pesto pasta with scallops for 9 euros! Then, we went to bed. Funny story - there were four of us in our room: Alexandra, Lidia (a Russian girl who speaks a million languages fluently), Mirka (an Italian girl from Venice) and me. But, when we went in, there were only two beds. So, we told the guides, and they switched us into a room with six beds. I suppose that was acceptable!

Now that it's 12:45, I think I'm going to go to bed. Hopefully, I don't realize I'm tired tomorrow - I have my ENS class and I also really need to study for my first history exam on Wednesday. Ciao! (that's Italian! Next weekend, I'm going to Italy!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm in the ENS video of George Steiner!!

This morning, my philosophy class was at 8:00 instead of the usual 9:00. It was a great class - we talked about Pascal and his thoughts and how he was a great writer. Apparently we should always beware of philosophers who are good writers. That comment really brought me back to George Steiner's discussion on philosophy and the poetics of thought. Anyway, Alexandra's friend from the BU program who has been dying to go to some real French classes decided to come since I told her no one would notice in such a huge lecture. She came late, but so did almost everyone else since I suppose. The most horrible part was when this girl walked in at nine and the professor said: "Okay, see you next week." I felt so bad for her.

Afterwards, Paola (Alexandra's friend) and I went to get some Berthillon ice cream (she hadn't had it before) and walked around the Saint-Michel area where I showed her all the stuff from the last visit of my literature class. She loved the stories and everything and decided that I would make a great tour guide. Good to know my education is useful for something. I guess I'll be able to get a job!

Nothing else interesting happened today. I wrote my interactive story for my writing workshop. If you pick the interesting choices, you could end up saving a guy trying to commit suicide on top of Notre-Dame, have all your money stolen by gypsies, steal a dog from a homeless person, or get arrested stealing all the computers from the library - and all that before you get your test grade! But, since it's a "conte à votre façon," there are also boring choices that will lead you to a perfect grade. I didn't plan it like that, but I think that if it's the reader's choice, there should be a way to get boring endings. That makes sense. Oh, and I saw l'Arnacoeur again. It is just the most adorable movie ever. It's like the other Nathalie (with an H) at CUPA said: "It's an American romantic comedy à la française." If it were in English, I probably wouldn't have liked it so much. I think this time I caught a few more of the really quick parts. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels reference (not sure if they knew it was, but it definitely was) where he said he had no feeling in his left leg (because Vanessa Paradis' character had that problem with her shoulder) and the best friend said: "So, if I plant this fork in your leg, you won't feel anything?" and Vanessa Paradis said: "Nope, he won't." and she planted the fork right in his leg twice!

And finally, the best part - in the videos of George Steiner on the ENS website, I'm in the last one at the very end! It's during the question and answer where this kid asked what Steiner's answer to the question he had posed the first lecture was: "Can music lie?" Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! It's the kind of question that they'd ask on a philosophy dissertation. Not mine - maybe one of the seven hour l'ENS concours ones. How would one come up with a problématique for that? Anyway, here's me in the video and I'll post the links to the videos too. For any of my blog readers who speak French (not sure who's reading this, let alone who speaks French...), it's a great lecture!

<=I'm right there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Je pense, donc je suis"

This morning, I woke up early for my philosophy class in which we discussed Descartes. I think I'm his reincarnation or something - everyone says the combination of math and writing makes no sense, but I'm sure he'd agree with it. Plus, look at that nose! He's like Cyrano de Bergerac. I wonder if he studied at Louis-le-Grand. By the way, I suppose she meant to say "collection" of the homework and not "correction" because she just collected them and said she'd try to have them back by next week. That makes much more sense.

After class, I had my flute lesson. But first I got a Lebanese sandwich! That guy who works there just loves me. He asked when my exams were and then told me that if I ate there, I'd definitely get good grades. 20/20! He gave me two glasses of the mint tea today too because I'm his best customer! My flute lesson was great. It rained, and I had to use my new stupid tourist umbrella, but my flute teacher thought my story about that was hilarious. Then, while I was playing Syrinx, the sun came out, and he said it was because of my color change at this one part!

Then, I had my l'OuLiPo writing workshop. We did a boring, useless constraint today. It was called homosyntaxisme: homo meaning the same, syntax meaning structure. So, she gave us a structure using code letters (S for substansif - nouns; V for verbe; A for adjectif or adverbe) and we had to write sentences with that structure. So, SAVS would be A cat quickly climbed a tree. It's a little different in French because adjectives and adverbs are placed differently in relation to the subjects and verbs, but the basic concept is simple and useless enough. Oh, Descartes would have loved l'OuLiPo too!

Dinner tonight was pasta with pesto sauce! Hopefully, Mme De La Taille will talk to her pharmacist soon and decide that baking soda isn't poison so I can make a chocolate drop cake. I can't believe French people only use baking soda for medicine and brushing their teeth! Oh, and it's going to rain some more...lucky me with my new purple Paris parapluie (I had to use the French word for umbrella because of the alliteration. You understand, don't you?)...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I didn't have to go to an opera tonight after all...

I wrote the date down wrong, so I spent the night in my dress. The De La Taille's went out to a concert tonight, which would have been great if I had really had the opera, but since I didn't, I was stuck home alone with nothing to eat. They told me I could have whatever I wanted from the fridge, but there wasn't much in the fridge, so I went to the pizza place next door and bought a salmon and artichoke pizza. I considered seeing l'Arnacoeur again (since, when I went to CUPA today, Nathalie the director, Laura, and I had a long discussion about how cute it was), but then decided I should probably wait at least a whole day before seeing that movie again.

Other than that, nothing much happened today. I don't think I got a 10 or higher on my history quiz, but I got another 10 last week! My professor said I'm one of the best in the class! Hopefully he still feels that way next Wednesday when I'm done with the exam. It's going to be a dissertation, 3 hours, where he gives us a document and we have to analyze it. This, of course, includes a problematique and a plan. He said it will be on Louis XIV's early life, so I should probably study that this weekend while I'm in Normandy. Also next week, I have my synthese for philosophy. Basically, there are too many people for everyone to do an expose, so I'm doing a synthese after the expose, in which I'll just sum up, I suppose. I'm going to ask about it tomorrow morning. Tomorrow in class, we're doing a "correction" of the homework. I'm not sure what that means - if it just means we're turning in our homework so she can correct it or if we're going to go over everyone's assignment individually. I really hope she just collects them and grades them. French universities, aside from being literally "public" are a lot more public. By that I mean, they post everyone's grades at the end of each semester on a wall with names, they have to do exposes and speak in front of classes on a regular basis, and in my writing class, we write short assignments in twenty minutes then read them out loud to everyone. The exposes I can understand - public speaking is important, I suppose; the posting of the grades - while they could learn about the internet, I guess it doesn't matter if grades are public or private since that might actually make kids try harder so they don't have a 2/20 posted amongst 18's; but correcting homework in the middle of class seems like a waste of time. I'm not there to learn from other people's mistakes and my mistakes won't necessarily help the person next to me. If the professor wants to correct my homework so I can learn from my own mistakes, that can be done individually. I just really hope that tomorrow we don't waste an entire day of class talking about everyone's approaches. Maybe she'll just tell us her approach.

Anyway, I'm going to go to bed so I'll be wide awake for the "correction," my flute lesson, and my writing class. No l'OuLiPo meeting tomorrow, the way, Daddy, the next one is on your birthday!

Pictures from Strasbourg

Okay, here are the pictures from Strasbourg. Sorry for the delay! These two weeks are busy...the French professors finally decided to give me some work.

A first class chair...nice, huh? Not worth it!

Cute little church

Big imposing Pantheon-like church

My adorable meringue!

A river view

They have both French and German names for their streets

The cathedral - Notre-Dame (de Strasbourg) - see how it's missing a tower?

Gutenberg. He invented a printing press and killed architecture (according to Victor Hugo)

Cute building

Very Cabaret

1 for French, 2 for German, 3 for English, the list goes on. 
Where is Spanish? You know, #7!

Another cute building

Beer Academy. We ate there - but didn't get beer. 

Me and my wine! Yup, I drank all of that...okay fine, you caught me!

I lit a candle in the cathedral!

My morning after - after eating escargot, that is!

My new favorite advertisement. I just thought it was hilarious! In case it's hard to read, it says "Sex Sells. Unfortunately we sell jeans." I should have bought some jeans there. 

Me on top of the cathedral

Strasbourg from above

Tarte flambee (I don't remember the German name) - this wasn't traditional, though, since I don't like ham. This one is with salmon, cream, and onions. Yum! It was my lunch at the beer academy!