Friday, January 28, 2011

"wait, WHAT time is it??"

hello again!
let me just begin by saying that i love french. and i know that you all know that, because i’m sure it’s pretty obnoxiously obvious. but seriously, i still get a little giddy when i walk around the city centre and see signs in french. duh, jill, you live in france, of course the signs are in french. i know it sounds ridiculous, but i just can’t get over how great it is to be here and be immersed in it. it’s awesome.
anyway, since i was out pretty late on tuesday, wednesday morning was a slow one for me. but still, i got up around 9:15 and made it to my 10am with time to spare.. living on campus is such a blessing. i don’t have to worry about taking the bus every morning to a different side of town like the tourism students or the medical students. i just have to walk about 200 yards. win! i had a translation class (version – english to french) which was pretty fun (and harder for me!). i went to the caf with djamel (decent lunch again, it’s growing on me!) and afterwards, we hit up the library for some homework time. i got a decent amount of translation done, thankfully. then i went to a class called “techniques d’expression orale” – which is essentially a speech class with a focus. this semester’s focus is “words and images” – which means we’re giving little exposés and talks on different works of art! the professor is SO nice, and really integrates the foreign students into the class. it’s going to be a fun semester in there for sure. i came back to my room for a little siesta and then we all started to make dinner... and that is where things went wrong.
so, the kitchen here consists of a stove top, a sink, a microwave, and lots of counterspace. no oven. which means that all the stuff i like to cook (manicotti, baked goods, etc) is a no-go here. and i’m the first to admit, i’m not the greatest stovetop cook. i can pretty much do pasta dishes and quesadillas. so by wednesday night, i’d gotten kind of sick of just making pasta nearly every night. but it’s so easy! and cheap! and quick! i decided i’d look up some more interesting pasta recipes to spice up my life. i found one that was this cheesy tuna noodle dish.. sounded great. i went to the super U to pick up tuna and stuff for a salad. problem. i bought my stuff (including bowtie pasta!), came back, and started cooking – which involved opening the tuna. it was DISGUSTING. i had (thoughtlessly) purchased tuna in OIL instead of in water.. and the tuna itself was this dark brown colour, all ground up and mushy. i’m not kidding, i almost gagged when i popped the lid off. it was straight-up cat food. but, i was brave (and hungry) so i tried to drain the oil and add a little mayonnaise. wrong choice. not only did the oil not drain well, the mayo just made it this pasty, slimy, smelly mess. i abandoned the tuna and decided to just do cheesy noodles. except the cheese i had was NOT adequate. it just made this runny cream solution. so i added some red sauce to get a sort of rosé cheesy tomato sauce and stirred in the pasta. it was looking pretty bland. so i added my salad to the pan – spinach, tomato, and raisins. that was the saving grace – the meal actually ended up being pretty good once it had some colour and flavour variety! dinner was alright after all.
that evening, i watched the classic animated film “an americal tail” – about the little russian mouse fievel mousekewitz – my friend shane’s favourite movie. he’d been wanting to watch it for about a week, so last night we decided to make a little party of it. it was me, shane, danielle, and (halfway through the movie) emma. we sat in shane’s room and ate vienetta ice cream cake and ferrero duplo bars – great fun. after the movie, i went to emma’s and we had girl talk until the wee hours of the morning. wonderful. :)
thursday was another earlyish morning, with two translation classes back to back and 10 and 11. they were both thème classes, french to english. the first was a level one course, slightly easier. the second was level two, in which we translated a passage with a little more literary value. there were some seriously nice french people in that class! we had a good time comparing translations and vocabulary. after class, i came back to do some homework and nap (again – love the siesta). a bunch of us had made plans to go to a film screening in town that evening. this week, the film festival “premiers plans” is going on. it’s actually a pretty big deal in france – some famous directors were discovered at it in previous years. we all met up at the bus stop around 6 and headed into town for the 7:15 movie. when we got there, rachel informed me that one of the judges of the festival was clémence poésy – the actress who played fleur delacour in the harry potter movies!!! i was overjoyed. the feature we’d picked didn’t really have a title – it was just a double showing of a short film and then a longer one. they were official entries, though, so we figured they’d be good. or at least good examples of artsy, indy french cinema. we were right, but in the second sense. both the short and long films were SO MESSED UP. like, stories about depressed suicidal german hipster teenagers and paranoid homicidal swedish medical students. if i had known what either movie was about, i would have never gone to see them. but oh well.. now i can at least cross “artsy, indy film festival” off my list. check. AND clémence walked literally within 2 feet of me after the film. so that was cool.
after the film, a couple people of our group broke off to go to a party in town, and the rest of us went to the casa de cuba. i got my chocolat viennois (delish) and ended up eating half of jessie’s whipped cream. but i did walk like 2 miles yesterday. so that’s not too bad, right?? right. we stopped by another bar called “les varietes” to listen to karaoke for a while and then caught the 12:50 bus back to campus. emma had a pretty tough night, so she, shane and i hung out in her room once we got back. we talked and talked and watched youtube videos and talked, until all of the sudden.. it was like 6:30 am. oops. bedtime for me.
i ended up not sleeping TOO late.. just until like 12:30. but i did make myself get up and shower, and then do a bunch of homework (and write this blog) so that i don’t feel TOTALLY lazy. later tonight, i’m going to a farewell party for one of the british students. he’s headed to spain for the semester! should be a fun night.
miss you all!