Well, I hit the 100 day mark a few days ago...it sounds like a really long time when I think about it but it's been going by pretty fast. I'm one month away from finishing off my first semester and remembering what it's like to manage my time between research papers and final exams again . It's a different sentiment now that I'm knee deep in various projects from when I was sitting back at my desk at Target thinking about how fun it would be to go back to school. I have about 12 hours of actual class time every week...what have I been doing with the other 156 hours? I don't know. Any way you count it up, I've been enjoying school and my time here so I guess that's what really matters!
I do know where some of those hours are wasted...food cravings. For the past couple of weeks, I've been getting involved in various conversations with Americans where we just sit and talk about what foods we are craving the most. I'm craving things I didn't even eat that much of back home, but just knowing that it is unattainable until I go home in December makes it worse. As of today, I would give my right arm for:
a Chipotle burrito bowl
some nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips
chocolate chip cookies
hint of lime tortilla chips
mac 'n cheese*
crunchy peanut butter
*the saddest mac n' cheese story: I currently have mac 'n cheese being held hostage by the French post office. I hope to get it tomorrow. Jaime visited in February and brought me three ziploc bags of m-n-c that I had actually brought to her when I visited Germany in November. She was kind enough to bring me three of the aforementioned packs that I have been rationing since February, only using them for the most severest of cravings. Skyping with her one night (for those of you who don't know skype - it's video chatting), she said she was going to make some for dinner and it sounded so good that I decided that I was also going to crack open the last m-n-c I had and eat it. I've never been so excited for this delicious .50¢ meal. Unfortunately, Jaime has a habit of using half of the noodles and all of the cheese packet for a more robust m-n-c. Unfortunately, my last packet was a victim of this habit, with half of the noodles and no cheese packet in sight. Word on the street is Jaime felt bad and convinced my mom to send me some replenishment, but like I said, it is currently sitting in the French post office. I thought I was picking it up last week when I went to get a package, and although the contents of said package were lovely, I couldn't eat it. So with any luck, I will be noshing on m-n-c tomorrow.
And no, I'm not pregant. Girl just needs some American food.
Anyways, April turned out to be a pretty busy month for me between school, work and traveling...or as it turned out towards the end of the month, not traveling - the volcano situation in Europe quickly put an end to a trip to Istanbul, Turkey that I was planning to take with a couple of friends. I was pretty bummed when our flight got canceled, but with two years in Europe I think I'll make it there eventually.
I did make it out of Paris, however, to do some sightseeing around the Loire Valley in France. Pictures are up if you want to check out some crazy big castles! We took the train to a city called Blois (about an hour and a half away from Paris) and stayed there for two nights. Saturday we got up and set off for the castles...at the end of the day we had biked about 40 miles! It was pretty exhausting to say the least mostly due to the terrain...it was hilly and we were riding our bikes around on gravel paths through the woods. Sunday was short and sweet...we picnicked outside, walked around the city and caught the train back to Paris.
As for the apartment I looked at, I signed the lease and will move in on July 11th! I got blacklisted from one rental agency in the process but in the end everything worked out. Agency fees here are beyond ridiculous, but it's hard to find apartments in Paris so you almost have to work with an agency find anything. Two different agencies had been working with me, but I was able to talk one into giving me 40% off of the fees whereas the other one wouldn't budge...so I figured saving 900 euros was worth having the other agency hate me. They had some choice words for me in an e-mail written in poor English...something to the effect of "Please never contact us again. We prefer to work with someone who is serious and polite." But alas, I do have an apartment lined up. I will, however, be homeless for a week between when I move out of my current place and when I can move into the next place, so I'll be escaping Paris between apartments and visiting Jaime in Germany. I have a feeling we'll be eating mac 'n cheese.