I landed in Paris a week ago already but I've been so busy trying to become a real person here that for me it feels like I've been here a month already! Things are slowly coming together – I try to do one “big thing” every day to chip away at my to-do list. Yesterday I was able to do a few major things like pick up my debit card from the bank (perfect timing – it had just been delivered 2 minutes before I walked in the door), set up time to see a potential apartment, and finallllly I got my phone so I can stop going crazy over not having internet or the ability to text people (and by people I mean my one friend Libby). My list is becoming much more manageable every day...instead of “open bank account” things like “buy kleenex” are starting to show up – although I've been sick for a few days now so the kleenex is semi-urgent. Things are getting easier, my French is sucking less every day...life is good.
I'm usually out doing things during the day, but I do eat breakfast and dinner with Marie usually. Meals are weird and entertaining just as they were a few years ago when I was living here. Breakfast is usually at least an hour so I have to take that into account when planning my day out. It isn't a huge production like dinner, but Marie is easily distracted so it takes a while. She always has the tv on and then provides commentary on whatever we're watching – no specific show, usually whatever channel is on from the night before. I don't know why, but Days of Our Lives dubbed over in French (called Nos Jours et Nos Vies = Our Days and Our Lives...I could have come up with a better translation than that) is on every morning after the news and we always catch the first half. I don't so much enjoy the show, but Marie's comments make it fun. She watches everything (including commercials) like it's the most interesting thing she's ever seen and interjects her own commentary...“what a catastrophe...that girl is way too big for her pants, doesn't that guy talking there seem a little feminine?, Did she not run a comb through her hair this morning?”, etc....). She's very critical for a 75 year old French woman, but entertaining.
Dinner is a lot like breakfast but a lot longer (last night was 2.5 hours) and a lot more food. I won't get into all of the weird things I've been eating – good of course – but sometimes I wonder. She made a whole chicken the other night and gave me something from the inside and I didn't know what it was. I sucked it up and ate it and decided to ask what it was after I finished eating it...well when I did she was said “Oh you like it? Here, here take the rest”. So I don't ask questions anymore about what I'm eating – as for the mystery from inside of the chicken, I never learned what it was, but I ate a lot of it. We always have an appetizer with an aperitif, the main course with wine, followed by bread and a lot of cheese, and then dessert with coffee. Here's a couple of pictures from dinners this past week – a very fresh appetizer (with it's eyes in tact) and a delicious dessert. Finding an apartment where I can make my own meals will be good news for my caloric intake.
Also, a few people have asked about the drawing on my blog...my good friend Brian made this for me before I left – he's an amazing artist - you can check out his blog here and his stuff for sale here!