Technically, day one was when I arrived at a train station at 8 in the evening, a last minute switch, for fear of not arriving because of trains of strike. I showed up a day early, and was received to their home by a meal Thomas and Christophe prepared. We watched a french comedy, and then I settled into Mathieus room (I’m told it was quite the escapade, an original endeavor, a three hour task; to clean), and fell asleep to the sound of the youngest two brothers laughing and cracking jokes through the wall. Is it possible that I missed the rowdiness of having brothers? We’ll see. That was day minus One.
I woke up at 8, since the night before Mathieu make a joke about seeing me at lunchtime I wake up so late at home (mom wakes me at 10:30), and the boys proclaimed it story time! All the times they dunk the last one under, the time with the ice cubes, oh joy! Turns out, my cell phone has a built in alarm clock, and it only took me 20 minutes to work it out!
Up, breakfast, and making sure Thomas is up; I was in my room working on my lesson by 10. Yeesh! Everyone in the house works quietly until, maybe noon? Either way, I got half of my prépas course finished, started tweaking a poem I wrote on the train (depending on how much sense I manage to extract from the rambling, I may post it later), got all of Mathieu’s english assignment for the vacation done with him. I was laughing at Thomas, who apologizes when he kills people in his grand theft auto style video game, when we sat down for lunch.
Would you like to see a view of marseilles? Of course I would! ... What kind of shoes did you bring?
Two hours later found me with (multiple blisters and) my french men atop a mountain: the wrong mountain. Christophe cut me two branches of Provincial flowers! They’re pretty :) Anyway, I saw half of the view Marseille has to offer. From there, the boys were able to plan this week, one day I’ll go to see these ruins, another, knowing I’m a female they proposed to take me shopping, one day I definitely have to go downtown (How unfortunate I'm not 18, Christophe would have taken me dancing), et cetera! But, we had to scurry on our way down so as not to make Mathieu late: He got braces!! Some people really can’t pull off braces, but he can!
Wanna know how much I miss having guys around like the ones from back home? I watched a soccer game. On TV. All the way through. With french commentary on British players. And I actually watched! Snuggled into the corner of a leather couch, I was even contemplating enduring a basketball game with Thomas when everyone else got home; so we watched some whacked out comedy called Samantha Oups instead.
Failing at following the crude humor didn’t last too long, and I had only been suffering briefly when the Chamouleaus asked if we wanted to go out for supper, so off we went (after Christophe and Mathieu had finished wrestling/boxing for the front seat, naturally). Entrée? Pesto and feta baked muscles. YUM. Main course? Italian sausage Gnocchi s in tomato paste (I’d say *om nom nom*, but everyone here eats really quickly, so it was more like *gulp*). Piece de resistance (ie. Desert): Creme brulée. T'was excellent, but I’m still convinced I’m going to track down the little restaurant in Paris where I had it first... Someday :)
These days are flying by. I missed blogging on the day I had been away from home for two months, and yesterday marked my two months in France. About 20 percent of my trip is over (much to my fathers glee as you can imagine). Where did that time go? I still don’t feel like I have my feet on the ground most days.
So let’s recap:
Ride a motorcycle: Check. Go to the Opera: Check. Visit Italy and eat pizza (and ice cream, and pasta, and....): Check. Learn to do a cartwheel: Check. Walk the Promenade des Anglais: Check. Visit Mathieu in Marseille: Check. Buy black lace gloves: Check. Weekend at Adélie, Eva and Gretas: Check. Set into my schedule: work in progress. Finish Christmas shopping: also a work in progress.
Realize how much home means to me every morning that I wake up and don’t know where I am today: big check. Reality check that is.
It’s exhausting to be so behind in almost everything I do over here. In ear training for example, I’m about ten years behind. It feels like everyday, I’m learning more things about the complicated systems that I’m only temporarily part of. The idea of laying roots that I’m going to tear back up in what in all fairness is very soon, seems self destructive.
We’re on vacation right now. A very vague sketch so far has been: Friday after school shopping with Adélie, then to school (with bags) for spanish course, then to College Matisse to get luggage and sax, then being disappointed when my bus passed Auréliens going in opposite directions (This is going to the the first time I've been away from him for more than two days at a time since the day I met him) then to the Conservatory, then to Eva’s! There until sunday late afternoon, then to Mémère and Pépère s! Crammed practice, haircut, a great Ella Fitzgerald video, time to pick out three gifts and 6k in one day, 2 of which were in heels, and organizing a travel switch between Sunday and Wednesday evening.
Today is friday. I have to go now, we leave for the movies in a bit, and then Thomas and one of his buddies are getting an english lesson!
So, again I have to go. But I know it’s halloween at home, and the leaves here aren’t going to turn, I have to put on a sweater when it’s under 15 degrees, and it seems that everyone points out the snow on mountain peaks an eternity away. I fantasize about home, but I wouldn’t come back. Not yet. Too much left to check off. <3