lundi 28 juillet 2008
lundi 21 juillet 2008
dimanche 20 juillet 2008
vendredi 18 juillet 2008
Bonsoir, mes amis.
I hope all is well on the other side of the pond.
I had a first today: I went whitewater rafting in the Pyrenees. You may wonder, "Was it as cool as it sounds?" The response is a resounding yes. Not only did I go whitewater rafting, I also jumped down a waterfall (it was only about three meters~no, I can't convert to yards~high, but it was cool just the same).
Remember how I said that my new dream summer job is to be a journalist who follows the Tour de France? Scratch that. I want to be a whitewater rafting guide. They just whitewater raft all day, get a great tan, and meet lot of cool people (like our group, obviously). It also helps that the guides we had were really cute french boys, which made the job seem extra-appealling.
The only downside to the day was that we all had to wear ridiculous outfits: wetsuits, watershoes, enormous lifevests, and helmets. Wetsuits flatter no one (I repeat, no one), watershoes are squelchy and ugly, these particular lifevests were red and absolutely enormous (we all looked like the Pilsbury dough boy's lobster cousins), and the helmets were plastic (they looked like those helmets you put on kids who are, you know, special) and came in pale pink, pale blue, or florescent yellow). Rafting outfits are definitely bonding and equalizing apparel.
jeudi 17 juillet 2008
mardi 15 juillet 2008
Before I launch into my saga, I just had the most mortifying experience. I attempted to order pizza (for delivery) for dinner (salmon pizza and Spanish chorizo pizza~le saumon et l'espagnole), and I had my little speech all prepared. I called, and the guy who answered acted like I was a complete idiot. It doesn't seem like ordering pizza should be difficult, but you have to give an address, phone number, town, and what you would like (in my case, I needed both of the pizzas without olives). Luckily, the pizza arrived. It's the same thing when you call for taxis~I've simply concluded that communication in a foreign language is more difficult when it's not face-to-face.
Alors, ce lundi, c'etait la Fete de la Nationale (Mondaywas Bastille Day). We were at the starting line for le Tour de France in the morning, c'etait super (it was great). We were so close to the cyclists that we had to be careful not to accidentally touch them. I was with three friends and all of us kept saying (like giddy children), "Guys, we're at the Tour de France!" We didn't stick out as tourists at all. This was the 62nd time the Tour de France has gone through Pau, and this "etape" (chapter, or 'leg') of the route is one of the most challenging in all of the 21 etapes in the race. There was a huge parade preceding the departure of the cyclists, and tons of media coverage. I've decided that my new dream job for a summer is to be a journalist who follows the Tour. There were journalists from all over the world, and camera men were everywhere, climbing trees and lampposts to get a good angle.
One observation: I always thought of the French as quite patriotic, but other than the flags on the castle, no one even said "Happy Fete de la Nationale" or burst out into the national anthem. Everyone was excited for the Tour de France, but no one seemed to care that it was Bastille Day. C'etait un peu bizarre (it was a bit strange).
Metta and I went back to my house after lunch for a small afternoon nap, which turned into a two-hour long nap. The Wednesday before, we had been followed to my house by a strange cat, and when we returned to the bus stop later in the afternoon, the same cat followed us back and sat at the bus stop with us. We thought it was a bit strange, but forgot about it. Sunday night, Metta and I were walking back from the train station late (after our trip to the coast), and the same cat jumped out from nowhere and followed us home. It looked like it wanted to come into the house, so we closed the door behind us and made sure all of the windows and doors were locked (mind you, my host family was still out of town at this point. They had said they would be home on Friday night, but no one arrived until Monday morning, when my host dad showed up and simply said that the rest of the family has decided to stay for an extra week at the coast). Metta went into the restroom, and I was in my room. All of sudden, I heard Metta shreak. I rushed to the restroom, and she simply pointed at the window: the cat was staring in at her through it. A bit later, Metta was brushing her teeth in the bathroom (not the same room as the room with the toilet. In France, there is usually one room with a toilet, and another room with a shower and sink). I heard a loud "Thunk" on the bathroom window and Metta shreaked again. The cat had literally thrown itself against the window, in a vain attempt to get into the house. It then proceeded to spend the night mewing outside of my bedroom window.
Monday, when we returned for our afternoon nap, my host dad had opened up the house, and we saw the same cat roaming around indoors. I asked, "Pascal, that's not our cat, is it?" He simply said, "No, I've never seen it before." The French are so strange. But not half as strange as their cats.
For my french class, Metta and I have to give a thirty-minute presentation on the topic of our choice. I chose Asterix et Obelix, a french comic book. It's really funny, with typically french humor (for example, they make fun of other countries and their languages, comme ca).
That's all for now, but I hope to write more soon,