Saturday, September 06, 2008

Odds and ends

I have watched more coverage of American politics in Paris than I ever would have back in the States. I think it's because the only English-language TV stations I have are the BBC and CNN and it's a way to feel connected to life back home. CNN-International had full, live coverage of the Democratic convention. Something I surely would not have watched at home, even if it were still broadcast on network TV (it isn't, is it?).

Sweet tea
One of my lonely days last week, I stopped for a sandwich at a kebob place--but not my usual place. At the end of the meal, one of the proprietors gave me a tiny glass of hot, sweet mint tea. I was touched. They also retreated to the back room while I ate so I had to draw their attention to pay. Guess they trusted me.

Movies with Dara on Wednesday

Dara called me on Wednesday in a response to an email I sent on Monday and we went to the movies. I am relieved that we're still friends. I was wondering if it were me or her--I think it's her. That is, I think she doesn't call because of what's going on with her not because she doesn't like me. I already know I'll miss her when I go home--and I'm not even sure I'd say that about A.! (I haven't seen A. since Sunday. He actually thought I left this Tuesday and not next Tuesday. whatever.)

Apero/Picnic on Thursday

I took Dara with me. It wasn't quite as much fun as the first time I went but it's such an interesting group--I'm glad I connected with them. Oh, and the woman who asked me to call her? I still need to call her. I did see my other new friend, Yuki, who I was surprised to learn was (only) 22-years-old. It's one of the great things about this group: it's diverse in terms of age, race and gender. I think the range of people participating would be quite unlikely to find in one group in the US.

Do-nothing day on Friday

On Friday, I really wanted to do nothing. So, I did nothing. I watched TV on the computer and I knit a hat (from a pattern from Vogue Knitting, which is forwarded to me here at no extra charge--it was my b-day present from Dad--thanks Dad!). I also ate, eventually bathed, straightened up a little, and did the dishes. I felt guilty all day about doing nothing. I want to start getting up in the morning and writing. I have things to write. I did write a blog entry. I wrote some email. I chatted via IM with Spesh. It was rainy and gloomy outside, though, so that was part of the reason. I should do laundry. That will have to wait until Sunday. I left the house to go to a happy hour. I walked there.

(Un)happy hour

Went to meet some meetin folks for a "soiree" on Friday. I arrived late (9:40pm) and about six people were gathered--all speaking French! I did get a little English conversation but not much. I tried to buy a drink but gave up after two bartenders ignored me. Later, we moved indoors and I managed to get a drink. A couple of native English speakers arrived. Then the DJ started and I was positioned directly in front of the speakers. The music was good but so loud that I couldn't think. I left at 11:30pm and walked half way home. Ok, so maybe it was more like a so-so happy hour.

Phone date
On Friday, someone called asking for my landlord (this happens with some frequency). Quickly, the caller realized that I didn't speak French. When I said that, yes, I spoke English, he chatted with me and asked me out for coffee. Seriously? I asked why he was calling but he wouldn't tell me and wouldn't leave a message for the landlord. He said he'd call back in five minutes so I'd have his number. He did and said, "I'm calling back now. I leave you my number. Bye." Um, okaaay. I didn't say yes to coffee and I won't.

Metro pick up
Innocently riding the metro on Saturday evening, a couple of young men sat by me. I was listening to my ipod and ignoring them. (I've become proficient at ignoring men and not making eye contact.) As we approached my stop, they started talking to me. Specifically, the one sitting across from me tried to encourage me to talk to the one sitting next to me. He said, "He wants to talk to you." Several times. When I didn't respond, he said, "Do you want to talk to me?" I said no. I shook my head but they persisted. I said I had a "petit ami" (a boyfriend) but they said "Quoi? Quoi?" (What, what?). We all got off at the same stop and they walked along with me (even though I left the train by a different door). One of them said I was "très, très mignonne" (very, very cute). They kept asking where I lived. I didn't answer. Oy. Finally, they picked up that French wasn't my first language. (Go me!) They seemed delighted to learn that I spoke English and tried out a few words on me. When we got to the street, I said, (in English), "I'm sorry, I appreciate it, but I am not interested." And then they went away. Whew.

Final blow
I got a letter today from the "Republique Francaise" informing me that in order to get my "titre de sejour" I'll have to pay 275 euros, due when I go to get my medical exam. Good gravy.

Grateful for: getting out of the house.

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