Saturday, June 28, 2008

Epilogue

Alright, I got home yesterday. The flight was good and all that. I'm glad to be home, really. I've missed American food and language quite a bit in my absence from the country. I had an amazing time in Paris, of course. I know that I won't trade that experience for anything in the world. I might end up posting some more pictures every now and then, but unless there is some sort of revolt, I guess that this blog has served its purpose. I'm glad that I kept this sort of open diary. It helps me remember things that have happened and of course I don't have to tell all my friends everything that I did, they can just read it in excruciating detail.


I think I'll have easy mac for lunch.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

C'est fin

It's like a dream come true! At least for a bio-nerd.
Baleeeeeeeeeeeeen
Looks like a frickin' Pokemon or something. Silly ancient form of armadillo.
From the RER window. The RER is like the Metro, but on steroids.


Well, today was my last day here. We leave tommorow and I'm all packed and set to go. I have my passport and ticket and all that cool jazz. As much as I do want to go home now, I am going to miss it here. I had a great time living with the Ketrons for 6 weeks and I know that I'll miss them. They're pretty much like extended family. I mean, Marsh and Nathan are sort of like my other little brothers or something. Anyway, enough of the much, I'll tell you what I did today.


We went to Jardin des Plantes, which has a ton of museums in it. Kristen and Marsh went to the newer natural history museum while Nathan and I went to the old one. The place looked like a storehouse for a university comparative anatomy department from the 1800's or something. Half the skeletons all had handwritten labels and there were so many specimens that there is no way anyone who works there knows where everything is. They had everything from frogs to whales and even a few malformed things in jars. Cyclops kittens and two headed pig babies, that sort of thing. The place was almost deserted too, which made it better. Creepier, I guess, but easier to see what I was looking at. I'm pretty sure I probably could have swiped something because the one guard wasn't paying attention at all. Getting it past customs would be another matter entirely, though...

They also had dinosaurs and other fossils upstairs! I think that the scariest part was going up those stairs. They really didn't look safe. I'm sure that they haven't been inspected for safety since the 1920's. I ended up taking about 70 pictures of bones and dead things in jars. Mr. Poster would be proud.

Let's see, we took the RER back, which was much better than the 3 buses it took to get us there in the first place. Had dinner in Periere. I had snails again. I would have had my staple of soup de poisson, but they were out. Then we went to the Monoprix nearby and did some last minute shopping. I got some nutella and sirop de menthe, and some sweets for friends and family. I'm really bad at buying souvenirs. Really bad.

At any rate, ta-ta! I might post something tommorow for an epilogue. We'll see how I do with the 8 hour plane ride and all that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pizza night

Pretty day
It's a Kiwi!


Not too much happening today, though I probably should have started getting packed or something. Yeah, that probably would have been a good idea. Oh well. Marsh and Nathan finished school today and I went to pick up Marsh from the bus stop, which led to a bit of a freak out because I miscalculated where the bus stop was but everything was cool because the bus waited until I got there to pick him up. Hung out at the park for a little while and then came home. The toy store down the street changed its display again (the third time since I've been here) and they have a stuffed kiwi in the window. It's cute, I sort of want it.

I have a sunburn on my right arm from sitting in the sun. I also wore a shirt with short (as in no) sleeves so that contributed. I also wore a skirt all day, which doesn't happen often. It does seem to be a slightly more common occurance though, I admit. Maybe bimonthly at this point, up quite a bit from my old average of never. Not sure what the plans for tommorow are, but packing is certainly on my list.

It's the final countdown!

Do do dooo, dododododo, do do do dooo....
I hate that song.
Crow, one of many.
It's like Medieval Times, but with utensils and less jousting.
I swear my Grandmother has this plate in her house.
Sort of hard to see, but there is a giant ball of garlic in the background. Delicious garlic... mmm...


Sorry for not posting last night, we got in a bit late and were very tired. Ok, so I picked up Marsh from school and we went to a different park, one that's pretty much right by the school because we had to stay around and wait for Nathan's 8th grade graduation. The park was interesting, they had this giant wall of rocks for climbing on. Not a rock wall but more like...uh, je ne sais qua. At any rate, there was a murder of crows living in the park. They seemed to act more like pigeons, they weren't all that afraid of people and they were just as likely to eat stale bread as the next bird.

We went back to the school after a little while for Nathan's graduation. One of the students wrote a speech and presented it in English, and Nathan gave the French version. The class was pretty small in size since it's a private school so the ceremony was short, but it was nice.

We then took the very hot and sweaty bus to the Ile St. Louis for dinner. For those of you unfamiliar with Parisian geography, Notre Dame is on an island (Ile de la Cite) in the middle of the Seine river. Right next to that island, is another island. We went to the other island. We had dinner at this awesome medieval themed place. Exposed wooden rafters and stone walls and all that. The cool thing though is that those were probably all actually medieval rafters and stone walls. Anyway, the appetizers were a basket of sausage and a basket of raw vegetables and a bowl of soup. They just give them to you like that and you get to pick and choose and slice for yourself. I had a Bourgandy beef stew for my main course, and I'm not entirely sure that they cooked off all the wine. It was delicious, though. Then there was a cheese course, which I found out is sort of like olde tyme Tums. The calcium makes you want to eat dessert, which most of us had in the form of the best chocolate mousse I've ever eaten. All in all, it took us about 3 hours to eat dinner. That's normal here. But we didn't get home until about 11:30. Then we started watching YouTube videos and I didn't get to bed til about 1am. It was a very fun day.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hummus

Luxembourg!
EU flags!
Bald Jokes and Lens Flare!
I don't know what this is, but I'm guessing something to do with theatre!
Pigeons!



Sorry for not posting a blog yesterday. We finished watching season 4 of Lost last night so it was about 2am before I got to sleep. I think I'm a Lost addict now. That show is so frustrating to watch because you always get about 4 times as many questions as answers every episode. And yet, it drags you in relentlessly.


Other than the Lost marathon, all I did yesterday was go to the park. I looked it up on wiki and it turns out that Parc Monceau was used for a while during the time of the Paris Commune, and during the bloody week, they were all slaughtered on its grounds. That was sort of the reason I went to the park yesterday, really. I walked around and tried to imagine what it must have looked like as a battleground, but it's almost impossible. It's just too pretty and vibrant there. Then I ended up getting distracted and taking pictures of fish and pigeons for about half an hour. Yeaahh...


Today I went to pick up Marsh from school. Neither of us really wanted to take the 10 minute walk back to the metro so we took the bus instead and ended up going to Jardin du Luxembourg. It's one of the biggest parks in the city and is crawling with statuary. Luckily the modern sculpture is kept to a minimum there. I took a picture of what's probably the most famous sculpture in the park which is of course the first one. For some reason the French find it fitting to charge you money to let your kid play on a swing set or a jungle gym. But the sandbox was free at least.


We had Lebonese for dinner, which was quite awesome. And last night we went to San Remo again, an Italian restaurant in Paris run by Pakistani chefs. This is such a great city.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

shuffle

I'm currently in the middle of trying to make some more space on my SD card because today was Fete de la Music. Every summer solstice (the longest day of the year) the city of Paris has a giant music festival. Basically that means that anyone from pop-stars to vagrants are welcome to pull up a street corner and start jamming for the entire day. In fact, as I write this, it's almost 1 am and I can still hear drums coming from Periere. Anyway, since it's hard to capture sounds with images, unless you have synaesthesia or something, I took films of quite a few of the acts that we saw during the day. That said, it's eaten up all the data on my SD card and I don't have much space on my flash drives because I've already stored a boatload of pictures on them already. Oy, at this rate I'll need a new hard drive to store all these pictures when I get home. Which is next week.


On a side note, before the fete, we had lunch at KFC. We were going to go to Mumble Crepe, which has the best Philly Cheese Crepe you'll eat in your life, but it turns out they're Jewish. And it's Saturday. So that didn't work. The chicken at KFC here is... weird. It's much more lightly breaded and the sauce choices were BBQ, Curry, and Sweet and Sour. That was it. And the only side they had was french fries. Something you all should know right now, never get french fries in France. You WILL be disappointed. They just don't know how to fry things here, I guess. Too used to fresh and fancy gourmet food or something.

video

A clarinet player from one of the bands. He was entertaining, to say the least.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sake is pretty gross

Marshall and Nathan both had end of the year school plays today. Marshall's group (all the primary students) went first, with an Olympics theme merged with animals. There isn't anything much cuter than a bunch of first graders dressed up like marsupials singing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport". Then we went to a small going away party for one of Marshall's classmates, and I found that I would really like to have a gerbil for a pet. They're like rats, but have furry tails, thus boosting their cute quotient by quite a bit.


Then it was time for the older students to give their plays. The first group performed and abbreviated version of Electra (the Greek tragedy, not the super hero). The second group did an amazing rendition of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, Nathan playing the role of the Monster. The best part was when the Monster gave a heartfelt monologue and the background music was another student playing blues guitar (and very well, might I add.) The last play was a modern and comic version of Faust that was written by the students themselves. Each of the plays was very ambitious, and like all good shows didn't come together until the last minute, apparently. But they were all great, considering that it was performed by 7th, 8th, and 9th graders.


After the plays we went to the Mandarin Courcelles for dinner. I had a duck, mushroom, and bamboo dish that was delicious. I've never had mushrooms like the ones that I had tonight and I have no idea where they came from, but I want more. We had complementary sake shots (Rob, Kristen, and I, that is) after the meal. I've never ingested something so disgusting. At least not to my knowledge, and not willingly. I've never tasted kerosene, but that does seem like the best description. I think I'll stick to the occasional glass of wine with dinner.