lundi 2 novembre 2009

2 Novembre 2009 - Montpellier

I decided to have a blog. Pourquoi pas? Also, I feel like Mom will like it because I can never remember anything to tell the parents when I Skype them car j'oublie toujours ce que je fais. (I also think it will be beneficial for those attendees of DFCF [Delcher Family Christmas in France] to try to read the franglais I will be using.)

I just got back from Paris with Rachael. She came to visit me in Montpellier on Thursday evening. Thursday all we did was roam around Montpellier in the evening to look at the important Montpellier sites--Place de la Comedie, l'Esplanade, la Tour de Pine (could be Pin?), la Cathedral St. Pierre, la Faculte de Medicine, l'Arc de Triomphe, Peyrou, and the Aqueduc. Also, we went to look at my favorite store window which contains a series of decorated, bejeweled dress-forms, one of which has Madonna-esque cone shaped "seins" with the phrase " suis...confuse" bejeweled above them. It is funny.
Then we had dinner a la maison with Mme Audigier (Mme Pommes Frites to Meg) which was essentially an exercise in translation for me as Mme does not speak English and Rachael ne parle pas francais. ("Pas du tout?" asks Mme. "Pas du tout," I answer. "Pas du tout, du tout, du tout?" she responds.) But, it was actually less difficult and awkward then it sounds like it'd be. And we concluded the night by going to sleep early, as I had class the next morning and am at heart an old man who goes to bed before 10 and wakes up at 6.

Friday, I went to my history class while Rachael posted up in an empty classroom to finish some papers for her classes. I really like my history class. The prof is awesome and he told me on Friday that I take really good notes.
Then, Friday afternoon, we borrowed William's ATC and harness for Rachael and went climbing at the gym where we sort of made friends with these two french brothers who are there all the time and climb like 7a or 7b (5.12b ish?) even though the younger one is like 12 years old. By sort of made friends, I mean they laughed at us and tried to help Rachael by giving her beta in French which was fairly unhelpful until I translated it.
Then, we went to the Geant Casino--the biggest, newest, most absurd grocery store/everything store I have ever seen--where we discovered in the internation aisle wherein we were seeking peanut butter in the Angleterre section DR. PEPPER! Ninety-six centimes per can which is imported from some germanophone country, but it was heavenly!
We spent our evening after dinner in the parc de Payrou, savoring the Dr. Pepper, until we got cold and so went to the bar I go to for football on Sundays in order to get warm and experience the majesty that is chicken chips--or I should really say "Lays saveur poulet roti et thym" which are the most accurately flavored chips in the world. It is like actually eating chicken.

On Saturday, we went shopping because Rachael wanted to and we needed a few small things--namely leggings--to make costumes for Halloween. I am a strong proponent of dressing up for holidays (all of them) and when we were told in leaving the pub on Friday that there was to be a Halloween soiree complete with costume contest, how could we not partake? So after acquiring leggings, tape, and aluminum foil, we returned to do work. We crafted eyes and eyebrows from the cardboard boxes and as Rachael was working on her trash can lid hat (I had already finished my cookie and eyeball headband) I picked up a spare ring of cardboard, tried it on and said, "Rachael, why don't we use this to make your can instead of just wrapping you in aluminum (the original plan)?" From there it got really intensely crafty, but the end result was FORMIDABLE! And Rachael even won us free drinks, tying for first with seven others in the costume contest, though being referred to as "the American chick in the back in the tin foil skirt." All in all, it was an awesome Halloween with Rachael and William (who came out with us as well) and the Monster Mash and Time Warp which were both played near the end of the night.

Sunday, we got on a train to Paris ridiculously early, 6:52am. After napping and watching Bolt on Rachael's computer (I highly recommend this film solely because of the hamster, Rhino), we arrived in CDG where we were going to get the bus to Parc Asterix. But, because it was raining, the bus stop was hard to find, we wanted to put our stuff in the hotel, and Rachael had never been to Paris, we decided to just go to the hotel and spend the day roaming Paris. We did a pretty substantial trek from our hotel by gare du nord to the main part of the city, and then a solid tour of the outsides of the important things in Paris (outsides and insides of churches only because these things are free). As a result I got completely soaked through, but had fun quand meme.
A note about our hotel: our room had a bathroom--tiny bathroom of course because the hotel was super cheap--with a toilet that we did not use because there was no mechanism to flush it. There was water in it and it was clean and we searched thoroughly, pressing and jiggling and twisting things, but nothing was the flusher. The only possibility left untried was either of two valves attached near to the ceiling on pipes. I was not willing to accidentally shut the water off for the entirety of the hotel.
After a very delicious, very french, two hour dinner in the evening, we crashed.

This morning we had traditional French breakfast (as I normally do anyway chez Mme Audigier [Mme PF - Meg])--coffee, bread, butter, jam, and juice. Then, we walked once more to the Seine after which I said goodbye and started heading back home.

Things to think about for DFCF: Long lines at the train ticket offices can be avoided if one possesses either a Visa/European Credit Card or large amounts of money in coinage so one can use the automatic ticket machines.

A la prochaine fois!

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