penultimate?

Copenhagen was nice. It was probably the least exciting trip I’ve taken this semester, but I’m still very glad I went. It’s a sweet city, full of beautiful green parks and bicycles and friendly Danes who all (really – all) speak fluent English. And it was very good for me to get out of Paris for the weekend; it would have been more free time than I can handle these days if I’d stayed, what with the weather being uncooperative and me being completely antsy in anticipation of my friends’ arrivals.
I’m counting down the days on one hand now. There will be some things I’ll miss about being completely independent, but not much. I was thinking today that living alone is sort of like masturbation—you learn what you like, and then ideally you can apply that knowledge to situations where more than one person is involved. (I hope I didn’t just scar anyone; I don’t really remember who has the link to this thing…) For example, I have learned that I really like taking walks—or runs—by myself. It is incredibly calming, and it’s something that I want to keep doing. I would sort of like to become a more serious runner, too. Now that I have more patience for it and (I think) suck less at it, I am starting to really enjoy it. The thought even occurred to me today that I could use my free time this summer to train for a marathon…? Would that be totally insane? Anyway, I’ve also learned to appreciate cooking easy things for myself, and reading before I go to sleep, and other things that seem minor but really aren’t. I hope all these habits will stay with me forever.
I can’t believe that all these people I care about are going to be here so soon. I actually am having trouble believing it. I feel like two parallel universes are about to collide. I can’t wait.
I don’t know when I’ll next have a chance to write. I hope to update one more time before I come home, but that will probably be it for this blog—if you want to know about my trip through Central Europe (have I mentioned that I’m spending the first two weeks of June traveling through Central Europe?), you will just have to call and ask me.
À la prochaine…

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Published in: on May 12, 2009 at 9:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

jolie bruine

As annoying as it sometimes is to live in the Paris equivalent of Bumblefuck, there’s something nice about making the trip home in the afternoons after class. “Going home” when you live in a college dorm really doesn’t mean much. It gains slightly more significance if you live off campus, but it’s only when you have to take a half-hour trip back to your room (and your fridge and computer) that it really regains that sense of triumphant return it had back in high school. Coming home at 4:30 p.m. is also a totally different thing from coming home at 6 or 7 after a full day of work, completely drained of all energy and emotion. I’ve been figuring out how to furnish my room next year, and I was explaining to someone how I’m not buying a desk because I hate working at them, and she joked “I guess now you know that you can never get a desk job.” But this is true. I really don’t think I could deal with a desk job. A comfy chair job might be OK, but only if I could go home at 4:30 or 5 and eat a snack.

Anyway. What news from Paris, you ask. Let’s see… last night was either the last or the second-to-last time that I’ll ever go out with my friends from choir after rehearsal. I was very tired yesterday and originally planning not to go. But after we finished singing and everyone started congregating outside, I realized that despite never developing “real” friendships with anyone (the few times I hung out with Clemence and Moritz never really went anywhere), I am really attached to our little group. There are maybe 10 or 15 of us, a mix of French and foreigners, who go to this one dinky little bar behind the Sorbonne courtyard every week, and they are just all such pleasant people. I also realized last night how much better my French has gotten, even since our first concert in February. I could understand about 95% of what everyone said last night, and I participated (without sounding totally retarded) in conversations about topics including: the peculiarities of French libraries, the reasons why French people can’t speak English very well; scholarships and recruited athletes at American universities; and Estonian right-wing political leanings. It felt good.

I’ve generally been really enjoying myself since I got back from Italy. I have had a lot of free time and I’ve been doing pleasant things with it. I’ve gone running a few times in the park by my foyer, which is probably the best place imaginable to run; it’s beautiful, it’s really close by, and a lap around the park is just under a mile, uphill for the first half and downhill for the second. I went to the Alexander Calder exhibit at the Centre Pompidou. And I started going regularly to see old movies at this little movie theater in the Latin Quarter, which has been fantastic. So far I’ve seen La Dolce Vita, The Big Sleep and Klute, and sometime soon they’re going to do an Almodovar retrospective.

I think I understand now what everyone says regarding spending a semester abroad as opposed to a year—it’s just long enough to get adjusted, and then you have to leave. But the thing is that I’m still really excited to go home. There are a lot of people abroad who talk about how they really needed a break from their schools or their families, and I never felt that way at all (except for schoolwork I guess), which in some ways is kind of unfortunate because it made being here harder. But mostly I’m grateful that I can be happy here for a while and then happy again when I return.

Going to Copenhagen tomorrow – 7:30 flight aack – more news when I get back, probably.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

long time no blog, sorry

For some reason I have no desire to write about what I did over my April break. Fortunately, I can express myself through other media.

During the first week I went to Florence

During the first week I went to Florence

And Venice

And Venice

With my wonderful mom.

With my wonderful mom.

I spent the second week a farm in the mountains with my friend David and many kittens.

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Then I came back to Paris and had a remarkably good week involving drinking wine by the Seine with my friend Dylan who was visiting from Ireland, seeing La Dolce Vita at a movie theater in the Latin Quarter, and going to an art school party with my French teacher’s kids Anne and Olivier. I read a chapter of Umberto Eco on translation that I found online, and now I’m really into the whole translation thing again. And I cut my hair very short, but I am not posting pictures here.

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Instead, here is a picture of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever made, which I ate for brunch today: 1 chopped small sweet onion (I’ve become really obsessed with sweet onions and tend to overload my food with them, so maybe you’d want to modify this); 2 eggs beaten with a lot of salt and pepper; a handful of coarsely chopped rocket (bought on a whim in the grocery store today—in French it’s “roquette”); a handful of crumbled feta cheese (fresh from the market yum yum); a few leaves of torn up fresh basil. Soooooo delicious.

Published in: on May 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment