Vraiment Gelé

The world should not be allowed to function at 6:30 AM in Paris when it’s freezing outside on a Wednesday, but alas, it does, and I’m supposed to be up and getting ready… so I do… Sheila and I had our usual breakfast, then I left the house at my usual time, bundled up in my usual absurd amount of layers in my futile attempts to keep warm in the biting Parisian winter air… If I exhale through my mouth, I look like a smoker, and if I look at myself in a reflection anywhere, I look like Rudolph. Class today was pretty normal. Professor Clavier showed us some little clips of some movies of how Russian actors… act. That took up about an hour, then we broke up into our groups. Melissa taught me a new vocabulary term. Whenever a man will do anything for his woman in a relationship, buys her anything and everything she wants, always says “yes, dear,” things like that, we say he’s “whipped” and we crack the whip as a gesture. In France, this is called faire le canard and you flap duck wings as the gesture. We managed to work the larger part of our Trois Soeurs piece today, so that was good. When we brought it back to the group, Professor Clavier had nothing but good things say about it, especially about some of the choices I’d made. When we were all packing up to leave, I happened to be over by Professor Clavier. He commented that he noticed I was starting to understand everything he said a bit better. I said I thought I was too.

Joan was still sick, so Sheila met up with me after my class, and we went back to Champs-Élysées to hit up the market together without Joan. Our first stop was the food booth that had chili so I could get lunch. Much to my surprise, the chili was really good! It reminded me of the recipe that I make when I’m home, but mine’s better… and it has more of a kick to it (but that went without saying). Sheila and I had some vin chaud to help us warm up a bit more. We did a loop around the market, and I bought some ornaments and something for my boyfriend’s parents, then I wanted to head home to defrost because I was absolutely frozen to the core. Sheila had to go to Sweet Briar to make some copies for a presentation she had to give during her class later tonight, so we split up. When I took my gloves off in the metro, my hands were bright red.

I rested, attempted to warm up, and packed for my trip to Tours tomorrow for the afternoon. Sheila was so happy when she came home. She got a really cool stole that all of us will get from Sweet Briar that we’re supposed to wear at our graduations (it’s red, white, and blue like the French flag), she got to chat up Laura and Mme. Grée like buddies, and her presentation went really really well to the point that no one in the class could believe she’d only been studying French for two years! Madame made roast chicken, potatoes, and green beans for dinner. We chatted about all sorts of things, including sports. I tried to explain how I considered theatre a sport because I have to stay fit for it (Madame’s sarcastic response was “So you do gymnastics too?”) and that I put in just as much time at the theatre as someone who plays a sport would put into that… but Madame and Sheila weren’t buying it… some people just don’t understand…

I’m headed back to Tours for a long weekend tomorrow, and I’ve been looking forward to this since I left the small town way back in September! I’m planning on going by Helmut Newcake before my train leaves to pick up a couple pastries to take to Mme. Remion to show her what gluten-free goodies taste like since I told her about the pastry shop already… I can’t wait to see her! If I had my way, I’d visit her every year in the summer until… well… the woman is 84… If you don’t see any posts from me in the next few days, Mme. Remion still hasn’t figured out WiFi, so there’ll be one big giant post on Sunday to look forward to.

Also, this is why my college is better than your college.

Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté,
Luxe, calme et volupté
Baudelaire
L’Invitation au Voyage

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