Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Excerpts from my letters home

Hey, so I feel like you asked me how France was a long time ago and I never replied. It's been a little crazy here. Not so much crazy as just exhausting. I'm tired all the time, even though I don't really do much, and I think it's just being exposed to different culture and a different language all the time. And when people ask me how I am I don't really know how to reply. The first things that come to mind are the complaints: things that are different, things that I wish were better, but I tend to skip over all of the really awesome things that I am beginning to take for granted, like casually walking by architecture every day that is older than the United States, and feeling like I improve every day with my French, even as I am getting more frustrated by my lack of fluency. So...Paris is an emotional roller coaster. But I am doing my best to deal with it proactively. I write as much as possible (though a lot of times I skip writing to watch American television). But now I'm doing this journalism project in French, so I am being forced to write, to think about journalism and my writing, and to try to build a bridge between this weird new place the life that I know that I love...

Le week-end dernier, j’ai dormi beaucoup pour que je puisse me rattraper les heures de dormi perdu le week-end avant. Mais la dernière semaine, j’ai aussi commencé les cours actuels. Les premières trois semaines (après de l’orientation) étaient plein d’un cours intensif de la grammaire. C’était horrible, mais c’était la même chose tous les jours. Quand les cours actuels ont commencé, tout est devenu un peu plus difficile parce que maintenant mon horaire est différent chaque jour, j’ai les lectures, les devoirs plus compliqués, et l’anxiété de trouver un cours à l’université, ce qui est un procès fou et désorganisé. Nous pouvons choisir un cours d’une de trois universités différents dans le système universitaire de Paris, et toutes la trois commencent les semaines différentes. Et le cours que je pense que je voudrais m’inscrire ne commence pas jusqu’à qu’après le jour à fixer l’inscription de tous les cours pour Reid Hall/Columbia. C’est fou.

So, how's life? Life here is a little crazy. It's basically the complete opposite of life in New York. I live in a house, and we have TWO whole bathrooms (and a washing machine!), and school kind of sucks so I don't really pay too much attention to it. There are a lot of grammar nazi's running around. But the wine is good, and so is the cheese. I went to a wine tasting class the other night, and learned how to talk about wine in French, which is just about the most pretentious thing one could ever know how to do, so of course I will be doing it often.

How is your life? Any good classes this semester? Have you eaten anywhere interesting lately? I miss knowing the restaurant scene. I also miss variety. Salad, beef, and chocolate mousse/creme brulee is getting old. As are sandwiches for lunch. But I really can't complain...

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