02 October, 2006

Life in France thus far

Things are going really well here. We stay up way too late and get up the same way. David hasn't realized i am an old woman yet..this won't last long for me. But it's fun for now anyway.

My french continues to improve but it is pretty hard i have to admit. Sometimes i get a little homesick for you all who i can so easily express myself with. Most conversations with the people i've met are pretty superficial because that's all my knowledge of the language will permit so far. I'm so excited to even be able to do that. It's a tad frustrating though when you don't understand what the heck is happening around you. Anyway, David is totally uderstanding and supportive of my frustrations. So that makes it a lot easier.

I am feeling a bit culture shocked too. Wierd because on the surface, things aren't really all that different. We have an apartment, transportation, food, water, bathrooms. It's the subtle differences though. They are actually really nice subtle differences but adjustments all the same.

And i know some of you are reading this going...ok we don't feel bad for you, you're a traveling fool and have been on vacation for so many months we can't even count so just be quiet. So I will.

We've been climbing a crapload. I have pictures up from the Alps. Incredible climbing. The pictures speak for themselves.

Oooh, but the new people I have met. I guess I'll give profiles of those who have pictures so far.

So the two boys in the bed...Jay and Chupette. Ah, just good friends...things are quite different here.

Jay: Jay was amazing in Paris...he is completely fluent in English. He grew up on the an island off the southeast coast of africa called Mauritius where all the schooling is in English and the language of the country is french. After David left for Lyon, he saved me when no one could understand me and i couldn't understand them. He went to the same college as David and Chupette and they all do computer stuff. He is working in Paris right now and is staying at Chupette's until he finds an apartment.

Chupette aka Julien: But no one calls him Julien...his nickname means lollipop and i'm still not quite sure why they call him that. The last nights i stayed in paris were usually spent trying to sleep but dying of laughter because of the conversations he and jay would have late at night sleeping next to eachother...mildly amusing on its own. He was also wonderful trying to speak english with me. We spent a whole day together climbing at Fontainbleu...communicating was pretty entertaining.

Nini: Oh wonderful Nini (Nicolas)...another climbing/table tennis friend of David's. Nini is buying a house with his girlfriend and is taking classes and the french version of Home Depot every week on carpentry/electric stuff/plumbing etc to get ready for the new house. I'm going to the wallpaper class next week! Ha...that'll make a good story. Nini also really loves soccer...i mean really really loves soccer, so he's also going to take me to a soccer game.

Isabel: No pics of Isabel yet but she's been very present in our social scene so i can't leave her out. She is the girlfriend of Nini. During long dinners when i have no idea what is going on she is always the one to make conversation with me. So patient...she speaks really slowly and clearly and constantly complements me on my french even if it's horrid :) She has also started climbing with us and led her first route the other day. I think she's probably been climbing 5 times total...the girl isn't afraid of anything.

Xavier: Xavier has two kids and a wife and is still having as much fun as anyone of us around him. In fact, I think he's having more fun. He is one of the most lively and inspiring that i've met so far...his children are amazing, his wife, Cecile, and his relationship with her are dumbfounding. Heloise is probably 4 or 5 and Emerick is probably 3. The funniest thing is how they reacted to my speech...they couldn't stop staring at me and everytime i opened my mouth and spoke french they kept looking at their parents like who the heck is this lady? why can't she speak correctly??? Yeah that was funny. Cecile does some kind of accounting and Xavier works in an ER lab. They have a gorgeous apartment that they completely built from the ground up. They have a little photo album with the pictures of the progress over time...at the beginning it looked like an unfinished basement, just a big open space, i don't even know how they had the hope to envision what they were able to do. It looks hopeless at the beginning. I'll have to get a hold of some before and after pics and post them.

So that's the crew thus far that you can see. There are some more but i'll save them for later.


Anonymous Mom said...

Sounds like a great group and a lot of fun. As for the soccer game...did you bring your helmut and knee pads?? :) Love you and miss you, Mom and Dad

4:50 PM  

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