france is a funny place.
here, you eat dinner for two hours and wear your shoes inside and become accustomed to sunny days once or twice a week. here, you greet people with “salut, ça va?” and two kisses on each cheek and you don’t put your eggs in the refrigerator. all things i am still getting used to.
these are all small but important differences i have quickly stumbled upon over the past several weeks. this past weekend, when visiting the coast to stay with my host mother’s parents, i learned experientially that “je suis calée” is a response more appropriate to say to your friends, rather than to an elderly couple you are meeting for the first time, when asked if you have had enough to eat. with this family i also ate for the first time raw oysters, sardines, and some other bizarre, terrifying beast of a sea creature (whose name escapes me currently) that was indeed quite tasty. they eat a lot of seafood here in bretagne.
our classes have finally begun at the university. we are amongst the italien, chinese, japanese, polish, and various other nationalities at Rennes II, all attempting to better grasp the french language during our two-hour literature or phonetics course. though it can’t be true, i fear my speaking abilities are dwindling. i struggle each day to ask my family what we are to do next? or where might i find the detergent to faire la lessive? it is a tiring truth to spend each day interacting in a world in which your speaking and comprehension abilities are quite limited.
despite my all-too-often fruitless efforts to conquer the french language, i am, in fact, having a lovely time here in the future. this weekend was full of cheese and wine, of course, gathering seashells on the shore, warming up by the fireplace, and playing an old, creaky, beautiful piano. while the adults were dining on the appéritifs, i played the piano in the adjoining room, singing quietly to myself. quite soon, however, it was requested that i play louder, and before i knew it had been singing for over an hour. at some point, my host mother began video-taping me so that she could ‘post it on e-bay and sell for millions when i became famous.’ all said in french, of course.
la rue de la soif has proven to be a success, as has the ‘demi-fraise’ i ordered last thursday night. we are lucky to have such nice french boys to take us on the town. becca and i invited one of them on an adventure to find crème brûlée next week, parfaite. rennes is a nice little town to be spending some months in. i would be lying, however, if i said i didn’t miss home every now and again. luckily, i have thus far avoided any strong homesickness pangs, but i do await dreamsboro this summer, yes indeed. thank goodness for skype. where in the world would we be without it. lonely and aching, that is for sure. additionally, i am growing increasingly jealous of the north carolina snowfall that has yet to fall in rennes. oh, wait. it snowed here this weekend, when i was two hours away at the beach.
i really do seem to have the worst timing.
hurry now, it’s getting late. i don’t know if this is a happy ending but here we are let loose in open fields.