Okay, now that I’m done with exams, let me start to fill you in on all my non-travel stories since I got back from spring break.
It was weird being back in France and speaking French again, because although I heard other people speaking French while I was gone, Emily and I took a break from speaking it.
We’ve been constantly talking about politics in our classes since they just had their election for the new president. I asked a couple of French people when the inauguration would be because I knew the elections were May 7th, but I didn’t know if the new president would be inaugurated before I left France. They didn’t understand at first and told me they would know their new president the night of the 7th, but eventually they explained that they don’t have an inauguration day; the new president takes office a few days after election day. That seems super fast to me, but somehow they manage to transition that quickly.
On Friday (the 28th), I met Edmée (the retired French professor) and Yanhong (another international student) again and Yanhong and I talked about our breaks. She also went to Italy and Greece, but none of the same places.
Saturday afternoon, I went to a park to interview French people about politics for one of my classes. There were a lot of people at the park for a festival, probably since it was their Labor Day weekend. I wandered around for almost two hours and only got four responses. A lot of people refused to do the survey or refused once they asked what the survey was about, but the people who were willing to do the survey were all really nice and asked me where I was from and what I was studying.
Saturday night, Emily and I went to our classmate’s apartment to hang out and then go bowling with some other people from our language class.
On Wednesday, May 10th, we were eating dinner with our host parents and Emily was explaining her allergy symptoms and asked me what the word for sneeze was. We both sat there trying to remember it and I was like “é….” but I couldn’t remember the rest of the word. Then finally, at the same time, we both had the idea to fake sneeze and then we looked at them for the word and Catherine said “éternuer.”
The next day, I went to get groceries. I forgot to weigh the tomatoes, so I had to run to the back of the store to weigh them. I just remembered as I wrote this that in the US, you weigh produce at the cash register instead of in the produce section. Anyway, I went to class and learned about the French healthcare system.
On Friday after class, Emily and I went downtown to the bank. We finally decided to go inside the Angers Cathedral. They were doing construction inside, but we still got to see most of it.
On Saturday, I went for a walk around Angers.
On Sunday, Emily and I finally went to the art museum in Angers. They had some Greek-looking sculptures and pots and then some rooms with Italian art, so I felt like I was back on spring break. They had everything from 17th century art to abstract art. We got to see two of the pieces we studied in our art class, which was cool, and some other pieces from the artists we studied.
I met Edmée and Yanhong again on Thursday and we exchanged recipes and Yanhong brought us homemade Korean sushi to try.
After class on Friday, I went to the train station to meet some friends in Paris. They have a piano for people to play at the station and I heard a few people play while I was waiting. When I got off the train, my friend texted me that they were at a crepe place, so I walked there and found out they were at the one by the Eiffel Tower and I was at the one by the Louvre. So, they walked 40 minutes to the Louvre, but before they got there, I walked over to the Jardin des Tuileries.
We met and took pictures outside of the Louvre.
After, we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
We stopped in a souvenir shop and then had crepes since they didn’t get them earlier. We walked through the Jardin du Luxembourg and then I walked them to the Metro station.
It was quick, but nice to see my friends again. I had an hour and a half until I had to be at the train station, so I walked back to the Jardin du Luxembourg to see some more of it. I walked past a group of men playing pétanque (a French game similar to bocce balls that I heard about in one of my classes). I walked around the city and bought a sandwich from a bakery for dinner and then took the train back to Angers.