Wednesday, July 8, 2015

France: Chapter 8

It's been a week since I last blogged. I figured now would be the perfect time since I have nothing to do and I am wide awake. It is currently almost midnight here in France and usually by this time I am getting ready for bed. But as I mentioned, I am wide awake. I am not really complaining though noting that I attribute my lack of tiredness to the cooler weather we had today (about 15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler). The canicule (heatwave) that France has been experiencing this last week has been taking a toll on a lot of people, I've noticed. The other researchers seem  to be more fatigued and require much more coffee than usual. My theory is that the heat hasn't allowed for quality sleep at night; therefore, everyone is more fatigued throughout the day. I must admit that the heat has really put a damper on a lot of things. I haven't gone out as much due to how uncomfortable it is outside so I've not had much to do but sit on my laptop and watch youtube videos (you are probably wondering at this point why I waited until now to blog but I haven't really had much to blog about). But now that I have acquired a few things to blog about here I am. Shall we begin?

This past weekend was very boring. One of the girls that I am living with travelled to Montpellier, France for the weekend to visit some of the other people in this program. Since she left, everyone kind of kept to themselves and didn't really interact. So, Saturday afternoon I decided to go to this thé (tea) place that one of the program assistants had recommended: O Thé Divin. I get there, walk in, and one of the ladies working there told me to have a seat outside. In English. I must add that I was very relieved to hear her speak English. There is something very relaxing about hearing a new voice speaking your native language (even if it was with a French accent). Of course, being at this thé place for the first time I felt inclined to get some thé plus a fraisoffee (pretty much strawberry cake), as you can see pictured below.
I immediately regretted the decision to order tea once I noticed that everyone else was drinking shakes or smoothies. Of course! Only someone crazy would order a hot drink when the temperature is in the high 90s. I guess that made me crazy. Anyways, besides the scorching heat continuing to put a damper on things, I was quite happy that I was able to enjoy an afternoon tea. It was very delicious and was complemented nicely by the fraisoffee.

The following morning, I continued my tradition of going to the St. Aubin marché. I have been searching everywhere for a new hat but I have not found the one that I must have. The first two times to the market I was with someone else, this time I was alone. It is always nice, because the route that I take to go into the market always take me past the spot where there is always something musical going. I always have to stop and listen. This time it was just own guy and his guitar. He sang his own rendition of "Hallelujah" and, even though he had a French accent, it didn't sound half bad. Walking through the market I stumbled upon someone from the program that was in Toulouse with her host family selling fresh jus de pomme (apple juice). It was a nice surprise to see her so I talked to her for a few minutes before buying apple juice and continuing on my way. I didn't buy anything else that day besides some lukewarm empanadas, but I wasn't complaining because the guy selling them spoke perfect English (didn't even have a French accent, but his French had an English accent to it). The market was the only thing interesting that I did on Sunday.

Monday was boring. I went to my internship and did the usual stuff. I wish I could tell you all what the "usual stuff" is but I cannot. My colleagues (I guess I can technically call them colleagues) are trying to throw together a wine and cheese night so we can try and get to know each other better. I'm hoping it actually happens. My tutor is a PhD student that actually speaks English pretty well. His name is Dr. Romain (insert last name here after I figure it out) but everyone just calls him Romain. I think he is awkwardly hilarious mainly because he just speaks whatever comes to his head. He has done a really good job in my opinion integrating me in with everyone else. I am very appreciative of that. He already trusts me to do a lot of the lab stuff by myself which makes me happy because that means I can do more of it. 

Tuesday was also boring and still incredibly hot.

Today wasn't so bad. It went by really fast, the weather was nice, and I finally got some postcards sent out (I've been trying for about a week now to send them out). I had to go to La Poste to get stamps and send the postcards out so while I was out in town I decided to go to O Thé Divin for a second time. Since it was much cooler, I did not hesitate, not did I regret, ordering a thé and a dessert. This time I ordered La Paradis Blanc, which is a white chocolate dessert thing that is just heaven in your mouth.
I started to get the feeling that I would also start this as a tradition because it is fairly cheap and really good. On my back to the metro, I stumbled upon these street performers that absolutely puzzled my mind.
They appeared to just be levitating to some degree and I just couldn't figure out how they were doing it. I definitely stood there for a bit trying to understand how they were pulling it off. But, I guess some mysteries are best unsolved. Earlier today at my internship, Romain was telling me about a movie that he watched last night and told me that I should watch it when I got the chance. It was called "About Time" and it is a British Romance Comedy, or something along those lines. I spent my evening watching the movie after I got back from having tea. I actually watched it right before I started this blog entry. It was a lot better than I expected and would definitely watch it again. I would explain what it is about but it would take way too much time and I am getting quite tired of typing. I apologize for the abrutpness but I think I am going to end this chapter right here. I hope I am still keeping it somewhat interesting for those reading. Au revoir et bonne nuit!

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