Monday, June 16, 2008

Several days in review

I gave an oral presentation in class. Unlike my classmates, who talked about their families, favorite colors, dog, attending a concert, eating lunch and what they are studying in college--I gave a mini-dissertation on Public Housing. What is wrong with me?

As you may recall, about two weeks ago, I met Greg at a concert. We exchanged some emails and talked on the phone once. We discussed getting together on Friday. I last spoke to him last Wednesday (a week and a half ago). I had given up. Sitting in class on Friday, around 9:15am, the phone rings (forgot to silence the ringer). Guess who? After some comical missed calls and message leaving, involving my exiting from the classroom on three occasions (yikes), we planned to meet for lunch.

He showed up on roller blades (he did remove them, making him still tall but not oppressively so). We had sushi for lunch (his choice, my first sushi in Paris, not bad). He made me practice my French and he practiced his English.

After lunch, he had to run an errand, and we went together--by bike! He seemed impressed that I actually had a Velib pass (I'd just gotten the week-long one in the morning) and that I knew my way around pretty well (I directed him to the branch of the store near my house). We got along well, though the language issue made it rather tiring to do (basically) nothing together. He's a super sweet nice guy. He kind of reminds me of Piet--and it's not just the European thing. Greg is also an engineer, likes out of the way quirky places and is full of interesting random information.

When I told Pele about hearing from Greg, she said she wasn't surprised. I was. When I talked to my dad on Sunday (Father's Day!) he also asked about Greg. I told him we had a good time and that I liked Greg. Dad wanted to know if I was going to call him. I said, "He can call me. If he calls me, I'll see him. But I'm not doing anything about it." Should I?

Also, one of my classmates invited me to dinner at her house on Friday AND I'd made plans to have drinks with a woman I met from craig's list (I responded to her). Whew--three different events in one day!

I skipped dinner. I emailed my regrets. I went for drinks with the chick in my neighborhood. We had a good time and some of the locals talked to us--I totally credit her with this. She was cute and attracted some attention. It was a good time but after our new friends, she and I settled into a longer chat, which turned into me ranting about…work! Oh dear. I got kinda worked up. Seems like leaving for a while was the right call.

I'd committed myself to go to a "meetin" event: a movie. I was moving slowly in the morning, after my late night of two beers and one cigarette. I lazed around, avoided homework and did some blog writing.

The movie outing was canceled. I went on my own outing later on…a bike ride to Ile St Louis, walking around, eating a real French meal--and conducting the entire transaction in French and mostly understanding everything the waiter said. Then I went to a different movie, Zabriskie Point. Released in 1970. Frankly, I didn't get it. I didn't get home until after midnight.

Since I slept well, I got up early. A large community "yard" sale was planned for the streets around my neighborhood and I planned to take a look and visit the farmers' market and pick up some food. Maybe I'll cook someday.

On the way to the market, I stopped for my noisette (espresso with a little bit of milk). I'd stopped at the same place on Saturday, when I sat at the bar and stared off into space for a good five minutes. The proprietor asked, "Mademoiselle, que pensez-vous?" [Miss, what are you thinking?] I said, "…je ne sais pas!" and it was sort of true. He said something else and somehow I managed a response. Then I moved on to my errands.

So, Sunday, I went back and he was friendly, clearly remembering me. I think that may be my coffee spot.

I have to admit, I'm ambivalent about becoming a regular anywhere. I was surprised to realize this. I always thought it would be a good idea to be a regular. Now, I feel like I don't want to be known. That's not news, actually. Also, I like variety, so I won't always order the same thing each visit. But the noisette is definitely my drink, so if it were presented to me, I'd never be unhappy.

My landlord (husband version) was scheduled to come over mid-morning to repair my broken curtain rod. (Update on sofa bed: landlords have agreed to replace it but now have requested that I split Ikea's 50 euro delivery fee. What do you think? I'm inclined to pay 'cause I don't want to argue with them and I want a fully functioning sofa bed. 50 euros is excessive by any standard, but what can you do? None of us have cars.)

Anyway, mid-morning came and went, and still no landlord. The wife called after noon and let me know the husband was running late. He did finally arrive around 1:20 (French version of mid-morning?), making me late for my appointment at 2pm (see post below). However, the repair was quick and I was only 15 minutes late for my meeting.

[I also talked to another guy who responded to the ad and we're supposed to meet on Tuesday. He (unlike Greg!) called tonight to confirm.]

Anyway, I met the old guy, we walked and talked, etc.

At 6:30, I met two of my classmates to study. One, Issy, brought a French acquaintance, Pat, along as a tutor. He was sweet and helpful and, when we were done, mentioned that he wanted to go to movies. In fact, he wanted to see the very same movie I was supposed to go to on Saturday (The Happening: gruesome nonsense). I told him I wanted to go. One classmate already had plans. Issy made it all the way to the theater with us before changing her mind and going home to study. Pat and I went anyway and later he gave me a ride home. Driving in Paris: scary. Glad I'm not doing it. I liked Pat and we exchanged info at the end of evening. Who knows, maybe we'll go to the movies again.

Another quiz! I was pretty well prepared and may actually have passed this time (though it's not very likely). What I wasn't prepared for was the essay we were supposed to answer. Um, yes, the teacher told us about an essay, but I'd completely misunderstood the nature of the assignment. Oh well. I did write something but it was terrible. That's ok. I'm not working for a grade, I'm just trying to learn, and I am.

Oh, and I "discovered" one of the student cafeterias (I should say restaurant, a cafeteria in France is just a place to pick up sandwiches). A full meal: steak hache (hamburger/Salisbury steak), fries, little salad, and dessert for 3.80 euros!!! Wow. Best deal in town. They didn't check id, so I guess I can eat there anytime I like. It wasn't great but it wasn't terrible. Also, there are many more options than the "burger and fries" and a second cafeteria upstairs to try. I'm excited because this place is only a mile or so from my place. I'm hardly running out of money, but this will be a great way to get a hot, decent meal for a bargain price whenever I want (unless they close in August--but I'm planning to travel then, so it won't matter).

The other mundane but exciting news is that I FINALLY have the PIN for my CapOne credit card. The last piece of my financial plan in place: I no longer have to pay to access my money. Ah, bliss! ☺

And, now, we're all up-to-date. Any questions?

Grateful for: activity.

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