Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Je débrouiller en Francais

It's been a while since I have added a new entry because the internet access at my studio is unreliable.
However, this last weekend was quite a wonderful, laid back second weekend in Paris that contributed to allowing me to get to know new acquaintances better.

Saturday started with a visit to my tenant's place who is almost 70 years old. She told me that she stays this healthy from eating an apple a day. She even invited me to a slice. It was wonderful chatting with her for a little bit in her ancient little apartment right across from the Louvre. Her antique furniture and the painting on the wall of her great great grandmother allowed me to imagine how it would've been like 100 to 150 years ago in Paris.

I took the subway after that visit to meet up with a friend who has been kind enough to give me lessons in French. I learned to say the phrase that makes up the title of this post. I hope I used it correctly!

A picture of the tube station as I wait for the tube. (I hope I said that correctly!)

Finally, I joined a bunch of new friends for a fun night of Crépes, fooseball, singing, and dancing. I was reacquainted with the Lebanese vivacious and quite contagious love of life since it was a gathering of several masters/phd students and young professionals from Lebanon and other Arabic, Mediterranean countries.
This took place at the Cité Universitaire; the residence compound for foreign students in Paris. It's great because the houses are arranged by country and there's even a Maison du Liban (Lebanese House) for students of Lebanese Origin.

This first picture is the grand entrance of the Cité Universitaire and the second is the map.

I was accompanies by two friends on my way home. I am glad that they came with me because the subway train on the way back carried along a bald man with a very short stature that had a major attitude problem possibly ignited by an excessive amount of alcohol. He seemed around 40 years and he yelled at several passengers on the train for being too loud, for eating near him, and laughing/ talking about him. Such a short man, yet he still proceeded to slap the guy eating because the guy refused to move to another location. With one blow, the guys he attacked could have knocked him out, but they all refrained from doing that because this short and very tough man could have pulled out a knife. When he got off the train, the passengers all clapped with joy and that angered him even more so he got back on to threaten them before the train departed. I guess it's one of those situations where I have to say you would have to be there to understand the lunacy of the whole occurrence. I hope I never see him again!

Sunday was more of a chore day for me as I cleaned my studio and did the laundry at the local laudromat.
 I was worried someone would come in and steal my precious clothes so I stayed in the laudromat until my clothes were done. It cost me 6 euros to do the whole deed and my clothes came out smelling wonderful as a result.

Monday was back to work for me. But has it ever happened to you that you see a recurring thing that makes you think that there may be some practical joke being played on you? Well, Monday morning, as I walked to work, all I kept seeing were these workers pushing carts full of mail. I saw about 6 or 7 on my short 15 minute walk to the office. It was quite amusing considering I hadn't even known they existed before those 15 minutes!
I had to take a picture! From far they look like men pushing baby carriages, but I guess for the average Parisian, they are just another characteristic of Paris that doesn't usually take notice, along with the mini cars and the small portioned but delightful meals.

On my way home yesterday, I was quite saddened when I saw graffiti on the fountain monument that sits in the square outside my building. The Fontaine des Innocents is a structure built in the 16th century and now it has graffiti on it!!! It says 'Ston' on either side and it even glows in the dark!

Till the next,


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