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O Fim duma Viagem

Pretending I'm a real adult

FRANCE | Wednesday, 2 September 2015 | Views [917]

On Monday, I woke up in my own apartment. Although waking up anywhere else would have been rather disturbing, it still felt like a surprising thing to do. I did not need to worry about Ruby already being in the shower, or tripping over Clara's bags and waking her up. I didn't even need to worry about tripping over my own bags, since I'd nicely put away all my belongings the evening before. I did, however, need to go downstairs to get to my clothes and the shower. While I was there, another alarm on my phone started going and did not stop. But there was no one except me for it to disturb. (I'm going to find out in another month that the walls don't block noise at all, but my neighbours are all really quiet, and they don't complain because they really love the sound of my music. Especially when my "music" is just the line "I don't wanna waaaake up" repeated for a solid 8 minutes.

I had gotten used to leaving for the office 10 minutes before I needed to be there. I knew that wouldn't work, and I didn't want to be late, (plus I'd kind of forgotten to do the reading for the discussion and needed internet for that) so I left at 9:00 and walked a familiar, but not familiar enough, route. I ended up taking the wrong street a couple of blocks from the office. But, since I'd taken that street several times to get to apartments, I was able to correct myself by reading street names and turning when I thought I should. No maps necessary.

I got to the office half an hour early. Stephanie and Erin were both there, and no one else was. They both wanted to talk to me about how I found my apartment, and the courses I would be taking soon, and I just wanted to get a coffee, eat my pain au chocolat, and do finish as much of the reading as I could before people arrived. But seeing as I couldn't exactly admit to the latter, (I mean, I could try the "désolé, il n'y a pas d'Internet dans mon studio, je ne peux pas," but I wasn't terribly optimistic about that working. In part because I had gotten and listened to an email from Stephanie telling me to bring in a form for Paris 6.) I was left explaining that we'd watched two episodes of Plus belle la vie in my French class last year, leaving out the part where it had only been two episodes because everyone had hated it and Isabel had taken pity on us and given us different homework.

The upshot of this was that I got a portable internet box. Because the price of internet was included in the lease, Erin was willing to let me use a Nomad Box until that got set up. She told me that it was easy to set up, and that I could have up to 10 devices, but she didn't see how that could be a problem. So I started listing potential devices that I might want to connect to internet. I was up to six when she interrupted me with a comment along the lines of "you young people and your technology" and walked away. (That list was in fact an exaggeration. I only had five devices that wanted wireless.)

Although I did have enough time to drink my coffee and eat my breakfast, I did not have enough time to finish the reading. Which detracted, but not significantly, from my ability to participate and learn from our discussion of cultural differences. Having a British landlady detracted more significantly, because it took away my ability to respond to questions like "does your landlord/host family tutoyer or vousvoyer?" But I could still learn what it would mean if she did, what it would mean if someone else did, salut vs. bonjour, ami/copain, how to greet people, (at least in theory) what to bring if you're invited to someone's house, (unless you're from a family of wine connoisseurs who taught you everything they know, probably best to avoid bringing a bottle of wine to a French person) and other practical information like that.

Once we were done, it was lunch time. I went with several other students to grab lunch from a Monoprix and then to the nearby park to eat it. "It's about half the price of food at (some name), and tastier too." Cambria commented. Everyone nodded and smiled. I might have understood even better if I was actually a Brown student, but being an American university student is sufficient to understand the general sentiment.

When it started raining, we headed back to the office. The day was hot and no one really wanted to do anything. Plus, our new housing had scattered us, so going back between classes was a whole excursion, not a 10 minute walk. I did make it to the bank and back (it was cooler outside than in the office, and I mostly avoided getting rained on. Which was good, because I'd left my umbrella in the office.)

The class with Christine dragged nearly as much as the hour and a half before that had. The heat was still draining everyone of their energy. We talked about our apartments, and our weekends. Then we looked at two songs (including singing one of them. Ah, nostalgia for enthusiastic French teachers and notably less enthusiastic classes) and one newspaper article and, after getting a 30 line homework assignment for tomorrow, we were ready to leave.

I returned to my apartment, strangely exhausted. The day before I'd been able to take the excuse of "I just moved on. I just saw this apartment and moved in. Besides, it's Sunday, so nothing's open anyway. I don't need to be a real adult yet." Monday, those excuses were gone. Around seven I managed to drag myself to a grocery store (I'd already eaten quiche from a boulanger, so there was no rush) to buy groceries. Like a grown-up. So, like a good, real adult, I started with the wine. Then I remembered that I needed non-travel sized toiletries, and by the time I'd chosen those I'd exhausted my short supply of energy, so I bought two kinds of cheese and one kind of Nutella and called it a day.

One of the kinds of cheese I bought was brie. (The other was goat cheese and cranberries.) The brie was on sale, and it was absolutely delicious. After that, I went to the patisserie at the end of the street and picked up dessert. (Still not a macaron. Really need to get one of those.) There are some real perks to this whole semester in Paris thing.

Tags: apartment, cheese, groceries

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