Tuesday, April 27, 2010

French people are depressing, but I sure have fun in Paris!

Today was a really, really good day. Even though I didn't have a second to breathe and kept using the excuse, "I'm sorry, I was up until 2:30 last night" (in French and English), I really enjoyed everything I did. Hopefully, tomorrow will be just as good, considering it's Emma's last day in Paris. At least I figured out the foolproof way for people to remember her name: "Emma comme Mme Bovary!" It's almost as catchy as "Natalie sans h."

So, this morning I woke up super early (for my flute lesson) and luckily decided to check my email before getting ready even though I figured I wouldn't have any emails since it had only been about five and a half hours since I had checked last. Well, I had an email from Justine. She decided that she didn't feel like going to school today (strange, huh? She doesn't want to go to school while she's on vacation?) and so she decided to change the plan at the absolute last second. Instead of meeting at ENS, she wanted to know if I wanted to meet at metro Porte des Lilas, which is where she lives, and take a walk around a part of Paris I probably hadn't seen before. I checked my handy dandy metro map on my iPod touch and noticed that Porte des Lilas was practically the dead end of ligne 11, all the way northeast of Paris. Worse, I've heard that the outskirts of Paris just aren't safe. So, suddenly, I think: "Hmm...I don't want to meet Justine in the ghetto." All while I should have been getting ready for my flute lesson, I emailed her back saying that I had to meet Alexandra and Emma at 4:00 at Hotel de Ville, so meeting at 2:00 might be cutting it a little close, but I could meet her tomorrow at ENS. Then, when I got up to start getting ready, she started sending me instant messages on gmail saying that the ligne 11 was fast enough and that I wouldn't have a problem. So, reluctantly, I typed back (with no accents because this computer is, in addition to being old and not working very well, is not French) sure.

I had my lesson, during which Emma got some much needed sleep (lucky), then met Alexandra at the supermarket, dropped my flute off at her dorm (so I wouldn't have to carry it with me to the ghetto), and we met Emma at Luxembourg to go to the Pantheon. I just love that building! Afterward, we tried to get into the Eglise Saint-Etienne du mont, but it was closed for an hour and a half randomly in the middle of the day. It was on special hours because of the vacations. Instead, we got crepes by La Sorbonne and Emma left for a Dali museum at Montmartre (because I certainly wasn't going to drag her to the ghetto with me) and I got onto ligne 11 to meet Justine.

When I got to Porte des Lilas, I called Justine to find out where to go and she told me to head toward the McDonald's and she'd meet me there. There was lots of construction going on, but luckily, I got out the right exit and the McDonald's was right across the street. Then, she and I walked to this absolutely gorgeous park called Buttes Chaumont, which is in the 19th arrondissement. It was so cool - it was really hilly, grassy, with fake rocks everywhere, and a waterfall, and I really liked it. So, I guess it wasn't the ghetto after all. It might have just been a little out of the way. Justine also gave me a present - it's a 2002 planner, released for the bicentennial of Victor Hugo's birth and it has tons of quotes and information about him in it. It's really neat - I wish I had known as much French in 2002 as I know now - it would have been much more convenient. It's strange to think that, in 2002, I had only been taking French for a few months.

After two hours with Justine (she liked my cake, by the way and so did my flute teacher - Mme De La Taille told me to give some of it away because it's too good and she doesn't "want to get fat"), I made it back to Hotel de Ville to meet Alexandra and Emma for a photo exhibition about how Paris inspires dreams. I'll agree with that. Afterwards, we went to Le Marais to get some falafel and baklava, then Emma and I went to teach English. Tomorrow, we're going to have lunch with him at Breakfast in America. We got home, skyped a little, then went to a party with Pierre and his friends. It was the most bizarre thing ever - all American music, and the way French people dance is weird. At least it was better than that ENS party, but the way they danced was just spinning around over and over. It didn't look at all modern. I suppose it was amusing, though, and I kind of got used to spinning that much. Emma was just upset she hadn't worn a skirt.

So, overall, yesterday kind of seems like an epic fail after today. I mean, how can a picnic stand up against a flute lesson, the Pantheon, an awesome park with Justine, a Victor Hugo book, a photo exposition, falafel, and crazy dancing? And once again, here I am past two in the morning not asleep yet. Tomorrow morning, we're meeting at the catacombs at 10:00, so I really should go to bed now. Good night.

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