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  

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