The Halfway Point

Despite going to bed so late last night, Sheila and I still managed to get up at a halfway decent hour. My alarm was set for 11, but I got up at 10:20 or so on my own. We had a quick breakfast shortly before 11, and Charlotte shot me a text that said she had been “kicked out” of her hostel (this happened every day 11), and she had nowhere to go, so I told her to get on the metro toward Porte Maillot and I’d meet her there so she could come to our place for a little while before we met up with Joan at the Luxembourg Gardens to have a picnic. Joan was going to go with Charlotte to the airport so Charlotte could catch her flight to Nice. The next time we’ll see her is when we’re all back together on the group flight back to Dulles… which is exactly two months from today. Putain de merde. I’ve been in France for two months, and I’ve been in Paris for a month and a half. Fancy that…

We stopped by Marché Franprix since Carrefour was closed to pick up our picnic fixings. I got a rice salad and some Orangina. The Luxembourg Gardens are gorgeous… and huge! There are even tennis courts! We all chatted and had a great time. Joan had a small bottle of Côtes du Rhônes wine that she needed help finishing, so I poured some of it into my can of Orangina since that was basically the recipe for a French Monkey cocktail. That one definitely gets better when you use a better red wine… When it was time for Charlotte and Joan to leave for the airport, Sheila and I walked around for all of five minutes before we headed home. We’d done so much this weekend, how tired we were finally caught up with us, so we wanted to go home and take a nap before we straightened up the kitchen (I had to clean up my room a bit as well).

Charlotte and Me right before she left… 😦

After I edited all of the pictures I took from yesterday (they’re all on Flickr now, the color selection ones are pretty fun), I took a nap for about an hour and a half before I went out to the kitchen to wipe down the counter, wash up some dishes that wouldn’t fit in the dishwasher, and round up the empty wine bottles. I put up yesterday’s blog post, then I cleaned my room, then Sheila and I got to have dinner together. Madame had a couple of Picard meals for us again, a pair of coriander chicken with sweet potato purée microwave meals that were actually really good. We talked a lot, then we went back to our rooms to do our own things. Madame came home around 10:45 while I was in the middle of Skyping my big sister to tell us a little bit about her trip, including the fact that it rained for most of the time that she was there, and that she’d bought a GIANT 1.6 kilo portion of REAL Ossau-Iraty cheese that was made on a farm (not the industrialized stuff we’ve been eating) along with the REAL dark cherry jam that it’s supposed to go with! From what I could gather, she was able to bring the cheese home on the plane, but not the jam because it was more than 3 oz, but her daughter’s fiancé will be bringing that to her later this week, so we can have the vrai (real/true) cheese later this week. MEGA SCORE. Host mom really DOES like us! Sheila and I about came unglued (along with my cheesemonger of a big sister who has a decent understanding of French who overheard the entire conversation), needless to say!

Tomorrow’s a new day. I haven’t practiced my schlinguer-ing monologue at all since last week, and I doubt I’ll need to do it again tomorrow, but I can’t help but be a little worried. Tant pis. I’ll roll with the punches. I definitely feel like my French has improved so much since I’ve been here these past two months, and I know the next two will fly by… all I know is that I’m not ready to go home, and I know I’m probably going to go home kicking and screaming when the time comes… did I not come here kicking and screaming two months ago? I’ve come to love so many things about this country, and I’ve made so many close friends that are going to be ripped away from me… I don’t want to think about it… I’m thinking it’s time for another Top Ten soon, probably about things that I’m going to miss when I’m back in America…

Le combat cessa faute de combattants. Corneille: Le Cid

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