Sunday, October 28, 2012

Everyday Life in France

Been a while since I last posted, sorry about that. It's one of those things where I kept thinking, 'oh but I just posted three in a row'. And now it's ten days later. Oopsie.

I still have a cough, but my cold is getting better. Otherwise I'm pretty good, getting settled in Caen. Last weekend while I was still very much feeling under the weather I forced myself outdoors to go get lunch (yay boulangeries!) and get some french reading material. I first tried a used bookstore. Now generally speaking, I like used bookstores. They're a great place to get cheap reading material. This particular bookstore overwhelmed me. It was physically tiny, and literally crammed with books. Floor to ceiling bookshelves double layered with books, with piles of books on tables (with boxes of books beneath) filling every square inch. You can then go up the world's tightest spiral staircase to another floor equally filled to the brim with books. I love books, but this was beginning to feel like an episode of "Hoarders: Buried Alive". I literally had to be careful where I stepped for fear of accidentally stepping on a book. Plus, there wasn't really any readily identifiable organisation system. I managed to find an Agatha Christie book before giving up entirely. It's a nice bookstore, but I don't think I can handle going back for a while.

To sooth the soul a little, I then went to Fnac. {I pronounce it fuh-nak, God only knows how you are supposed to say it}. Fnac is like a cross between Best Buy and Barnes and Noble, and happily for me their bookstore section is very well labeled and organized. I ended up choosing "Raison et sentiments" (Sense and Sensibility) by Jane Austen and "Le Seigneur des Anneaux: La Communaute de l'Anneau" (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring) by J. R. R. Tolkien. I read Sense and Sensibility in high school and hated it. It wasn't until I later saw the movie version that I felt the book was worth anything at all. By the way if you haven't seen that movie, with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman et al, go watch it now. So many great actors and an awesome movie. It's one of my favorite movies, and when I saw the book sitting on the shelf I decided to give it another go. I've started it and I now remember why I didn't like it the first time. Marianne is a moron, and Colonel Brandon deserves so much better. I'm a huge Tolkien fan and it just sort of jumped into my hands. They had a whole display of them. With the first Hobbit movie coming soon, I imagine they're hoping for a jump in sales. Side note: who else is super duper excited?

I love the people I work with. The other grad students are really nice and super chill. We all go to lunch together everyday, followed by coffee together everyday. While drinking their coffee they like to do the crossword together and I live in hope that one day I may be able to contribute. Anyway, we all went out wednesday night for a drink which was great. It was nice to hang out with everybody. My french was not super strong because I had a hard time hearing people, which only serves to make the language barrier worse, but it was fun all the same. Friday night one of the girls invited a few of us over. We watched tv, which was cool for me because I don't have one. They have this show called "Le Petit Journal" which is kind of like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, so that was fun. Then we played Just Dance 3 on her wii, which was especially fun because none of us are good dancers.

This weekend has largely been me bumming around in my apartment. It rains here a lot, and that makes me just want to curl up with a blanket. Hence the reading material. Yeah. So that's pretty much life here for me. Questions? Comments? Let me know.

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