Wednesday, October 15, 2008


*****CAUTION: While in France, Wendy has given us a daily assignment to record our experiences, observations, feelings, and etcetera into handwritten journals. We were also instructed to put ticket stubs, performance programs, and other paper thin mementos in amongst the pages of this journal in order to better trigger our memories of that particular day and those particular occurrences. This week, she instructed us to spend one hour sitting in a café while writing in our journals. Therefore, I just felt it necessary to inform you that THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATION WAS TAKEN WORD-FOR-WORD OUT OF MY HANDWRITTEN, MANDATORY JOURNAL AND IS ENTIRELY STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS. Beware of the craziness, but enjoy it nonetheless, okay?

Well here I am. I just arrived at 2:30PM, and I only have to sit here until 3:30PM. I didn’t come alone, mind you. Lisa came along, so I figured we’ll end up talking some of the time… which is okay because Wendy told us we could, but I’d probably write a lot more and be able to analyze more occurrences if I was on my own.
Anyway, I’m eating a Panini (chicken, cheese, curry, possibly other ingredients, but I don’t know what they are) and drinking a Coca-Cola Light. The Panini is SO good. I’m going to miss French bread when I finally leave. We go home in about seven weeks, I think… no, I know that fact is true… I’ve been counting down the days.

So, I am sitting at one of four metals tables on the corner of a pretty busy intersection. There are a lot of people out and about today. Mostly college-aged students because Bellecour is having some kind of an event right now aimed at us. I’m pretty close to Bellecour, but I believe I’m closer to Cordiliers. There are a lot of cars too on the road. We’re right next to a bus stop to boot. The buses can even turn at this corner. I find myself watching that a lot. I like to watch them turn because they’re connected to wires on the top (so strange… like those ones that are featured in the opening of Full House that DJ Tanner jumps on… I don’t really understand why they need those… to keep them on track? Does it help so that they don’t tip over? Are they run on gas or electricity? Is it actually the wire pulling them along?). Not to mention, they’re turning into HEAVY pedestrian traffic. People cross the street right there (There’s a crosswalk), and the buses never fully stop. They only slow down until they can go. It’s like they have the right-of-way (maybe they do here).

I wonder stuff like that a lot. About if laws are different. One time I saw a woman holding her baby in her lap in the passenger seat of a car while it was moving, and I wondered if that was legal here. It’s definitely not safe, and illegal in the US (didn’t Brittney get arrested for something like that???). And is it okay to bring dogs/animals on the metro and stuff because people do it ALL the time, and granted the animals don’t go crazy or run up and down the aisles and the dogs are usually little (most dogs seem to be little around here… I’ve probably seen about a dozen just sitting here too). And I wonder culture stuff too. Like, a lot of people seem to have no problem with breastfeeding on the metro and all, but the girls HATE it. I don’t care. I don’t think that’s illegal in US, but it is probably more controversial than here. Granted, nudity doesn’t seem to be much of an issue here. It’s all over billboards and movies and such.

(PS: Me and Lisa are chitchatting this WHOLE time… we’re too good at that to avoid it. Haha! Good thing Wendy said it’s okay.)

So, yeah, a lot of people out today… a lot of couples (holding hands, being flirty, kissing/hugging/making out because PDA apparently isn’t an issue here at all) and groups of friends, but it’s super warm (thank GOD); like 80°F I think. I hope it stays like this. I like warmer better. I picked a great day to come out and do this, I think.

WHOA! An old lady just fell in the middle of the crosswalk where the buses turn. I didn’t see her fall over, but now there is a bit of commotion. She dropped her bag with all her bread in it (Wendy says people buy their bread fresh around her everyday from bakeries). Wow. Five people have stopped to help her. They seem really concerned and are helping her stand up and brushing her off. One man is picking up her bread and rearranging it in her bag to hand back to her. She seems really gracious for the help, but embarrassed. I think they’re telling her she fell because she wasn’t picking her feet up when she was walking and she tripped on the uneven cobblestones. Aww… the man with her bread just walked her to the other side of the street to make sure she made it (and he’s going in the opposite direction). SO cute.

Okay, so the French are nice. That wasn’t what I heard, but that’s what I’ve experienced. They always want to help us out and guide us places if we ask and tell us what is going on if we can’t understand it. It’s good. France would totally suck if the people sucked.

Ooo… a kid (college-aged) on rollerblades just went by in the street rollerblading backwards! He was going super fast too. Totally show-off-ish, but I was impressed, I can’t deny it.

Ick! French men will hit on you WHENEVER/WHEREVER. I’m not looking for your attention, homme, I’m enjoying my café experience, thank you very much. Leave me alone… and I’m not getting into details here. Neither will Lisa, I’m sure. What is there to say? It’s not a new experience or one worth observing (Ha! Take that Mr. Flirtatious).

Whoa! We’ve totally been here WAY longer than an hour. Who knew that was going to happen? I thought I’d be itching to go by 3:30PM. I guess it’s because we have nothing else to really do today, so we’re not being forced to keep track of time. That’s kinda cool. It’s like soothing in a way… to just sit and be totally unaware but content. No wonder people stay forever at cafés. It’s fun. Relaxing. I could do this everyday (even at the same café)… if only I had the money to buy food from cafés everyday.

We’re leaving… we were here way over two hours… we’re gonna go back to the residence so that we can get ready to go to the movies tonight! I’m pretty psyched.

Avec l'Amour,

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