Unnecessary Adventures

Sheila and I got up at 10:30 this morning to have breakfast, and watch the season opener of Grey’s Anatomy, which loaded without any trouble. We did have one little interruption, though… someone called me, and I didn’t recognize the number… it turned out to be a good thing I answered. It was Mme. Grée calling to tell me that the secretary of the theatre department at Paris III had called her to tell her that there was a problem with my inscription yesterday. Vie de merde. I wasn’t entirely comprehending the problem over the phone, but I managed to “schedule a meeting” with Mme. Grée at one in the afternoon to fix whatever the problem was… which resulted in me changing out of my pajamas in a corner while trying to watch the last ten minutes of the episode. I guess that’s one way to stop yourself from bursting into tears at what writers can do to your favorite characters… attempt to watch the show and not flash your roommate at the same time…

I rushed out the door, and headed off to Sweet Briar. When I got there, one of the handles on my bag broke. I was able to temporarily fix it with the Sweet Briar luggage tag that I still had on the bag, but I’m probably going to need to buy a new bag for school if I can’t get a hold of some glue… From what I could understand from the phone call, there was a chance that I needed to pick one or two different theatre courses to take at Paris III. I found two that looked interesting enough that worked in my schedule… but they’re both two courses at the same time. They both have some kind of methodology course attached to another, one is Atelier du spectateur (I’m thinking this is a class about how to be an effective spectator), the other is Dramaturgie du texte (playwriting). When I talked to Mme. Grée, she told me that the problem appeared to be that I wasn’t supposed to be taking two ateliers at the same time, which makes no sense because the two classes I’m taking (while both have atelier in the name) are completely different, even to the point of being in two different years of difficulty. She told me that she talked to the secretary, explained to her that I’m not an ERASMUS (Paris University’s foreign student program) student, my level of French comprehension is superb, I’m studying theatre as a major back home, so I should be allowed to take both classes. She also said that once I actually go to the classes and give the professors my letter from Sweet Briar that basically asks them to accept me into the course, and they do, I’m set. There really shouldn’t be any trouble. Regardless, she asked me to pick a course or two as a backup should I actually have trouble with the professors (or if this secretary keeps riding Mme. Grée), go back to Paris III, and register in those other classes ahead of time. Mme. Hervier was already at Paris III for the literature inscription, so she could help me fix the inscription problem, and Mme. Grée called her to tell her I was coming. Both of them were so surprised and shocked that I was the one that had the problem, since I was the other student that showed up for the actual inscription!

I’d taken that bus to get to Sweet Briar from Paris III yesterday, so I figured I’d take it to get from Sweet Briar to Paris III today. I didn’t have much time to take a look at the bus route before the bus arrived, so I knew the name of the stop I needed to get off at, but I wasn’t sure of the stops on either side of it (to tell if I’d missed it or not). For whatever reason, there was no bus route on the bus itself… so I’m on the bus for about 20 minutes… and my stop never comes up. I know I got on the right bus, because we’d passed a whole bunch of stops I recognized earlier… So we get within five minutes of the final destination of the bus, and I decide that I’ve missed my stop, so I get off of the bus and look at the map of the bus route on the wall of the bus stop. The bus from Sweet Briar to Paris III… never actually goes by Paris III… it’s a one-way route. I could take the bus going the other way, and go by Paris III, however, and I’d be able to take the same bus from Paris III back to Sweet Briar. So I cross the street to catch the bus going in the opposite direction, and I realize that I’ve ended up in the 13th arrondissement. GREAT. JUST WHAT I NEEDED ON TOP OF ALL OF THIS OTHER MALARKY. I get on this other bus, and make it Paris III… ten minutes after the literature inscription starts… and I can’t find Mme. Hervier anywhere. I go up to where she said she’d be for the literature inscription, she’s not there. I go down to the floor where the theatre office is, and I saw the secretary putting a sign on the door, and I thought about talking to her myself, but decided against it since I figured I’d be better off having Mme. Hervier with me. I went back up to the literature floor and decided that if I couldn’t find her, I’d call Mme. Grée and ask her for Mme. Hervier’s number. I found some Sweet Briar people, and eventually found Mme. Hervier… who told me to go down to the theatre floor and talk to the secretary myself to see if I could sort out the problem and sign up for my backup courses ahead of time. Merde. So I go back down to the theatre office, and there’s a sign on the door that says the office is pretty much closed because they’re sorting out all of the inscriptions… so I knock, since I was told to go talk to them… and no one answers… so I go back up to Mme. Hervier, and tell her that the office is closed. She tells me that I can email her the back up courses, and she’ll do the inscription for me on Monday, but reiterates the same thing Mme. Grée told me; that I’m probably not going to have an issue with the professors, and that’s what it really comes down to, and it’s terrible that I’m the one that had the problem, when I’m the only one that actually showed up to do the inscription. She told me “don’t worry” about four different ways. I told her “I can’t help but worry” four different ways as a response. So I left. All this trouble… basically for nothing.

I headed back to Sweet Briar to download some music from iCloud for a while (and I told Mme. Grée what happened), then headed off to Opéra Bastille for the excursion. I stopped by that patisserie with the macarons I like and bought two (pistachio and caramel) to have for lunch since I hadn’t had lunch yet… The pistachio one was much better than the caramel, in my opinion. After all of the garbage I endured with the inscription situation, I wasn’t in the best mood by the time I got to Opéra Bastille, but I cheered up once the tour started… half an hour after we were supposed to be there… The tour itself was absolutely amazing! Our tour guide Patrick was wonderful. We actually got to go into the scene shop of the opera (which is large enough to hold five entire sets at the same time), as well as backstage! Krystal (another theatre student at my university back home) and I were theatre-nerding out the entire time.

Scene shop complete with festive graffiti!

Set of Carmen in progress

One technician needed some sky to look at while he worked, so he put in a “window.”

Set for a play that takes place in a theatre. Looks real, doesn’t it?

View from the highest balcony of the Opera.

We all went home after the tour. I was very tired, and still not in the greatest of moods after all I’d been through at Paris III. Madame was home when Sheila and I got there, so we told her about our days briefly. Dinner managed to cheer me up quite a bit… we had the galette du sarrasin with ham, eggs and cheese! There was a salad along with it. Madame let us know that she was going to leave us tomorrow afternoon and be back on Sunday morning, she was going to be out for something with friends for the weekend. We made plans with friends to go out to the Eiffel Tower to drink out on the grassy area later that night. After dinner, and making simple plans like that, I started to feel a bit better. Sheila and I met up with Kyle to stop by Carrefour and buy some wine. We didn’t have the opportunity to borrow a corkscrew from the kitchen, and we couldn’t find one at Carrefour, but we happened to find a couple bottles of wine that looked like you only had to twist them open and they didn’t have corks, so that was kind of lucky. We met up with Joan at a metro stop near the Eiffel Tower, and headed over. A random man came up to us, handed each one of the girls in our group a rose without saying a word, then looked at Kyle for payment. Evidently, the roses were two euro a piece. We handed them back. How ridiculous… The rest of the group had been to the Eiffel Tower before (since we’ve been in Paris, I’ve been here on another trip), so Joan filled me in. Some of these “vendors” will come up to you, and do something like tie a bracelet on your wrist (one that has to be cut off) before you have a chance to stop them, and tell you it costs five euro, so you have to pay them. Once we got to the grassy area, she bought a bottle of champagne from people that were selling them, then we drank. Joan heard from Thomas (one of the guys we met from last weekend’s high school party) that he was hanging out with friends not far from where we were, and he wanted us to come stop by. We finished our wine, and headed over. Kyle, Sheila and I were only there for about 15 minutes, then we headed home. Kyle and Sheila were hungry, so we stopped at the McDo that was by Kyle’s metro stop to get them a bite to eat first. We got home at about 1:30. I’d call it a successful day, despite all of the Paris III garbage I had to go through.

Someone needs to start paying me to put my pictures on postcards.

Obligatory roommate photo! I’m on the left, Sheila’s on the right.

Joan opening her bottle of champagne with Tour Eiffel in the background.

Tour Eiffel all sparkling (it does this for the last five minutes of every hour of the night until midnight).

C’est un parleur étrange, et qui trouve toujours

L’art de ne vous rien dire avec de grands discours. -Molière: Le Misanthrope

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