Thursday, October 23, 2008

Biding Time

I have been persuaded to write a new blog post, despite the fact that absolutely nothing has happened since my last one. I suppose that some (mostly just Chelsea) really enjoy reading the banalities of my daily life in France, though, so this one goes out to you!

One of my friends from Bellingham/Western came to visit over the weekend (Sarah). Her train was supposed to get in around 4:30 at the station, but I waited until around 7:30 before leaving. We couldn’t find her anywhere, I didn’t have a cell phone, and even if I did I didn’t know if Sarah did or not. Walking into the city center, we stopped at an internet cafĂ© and found out that Sarah for some reason thought she should take the train to Montpellier (two and a half hours away by train) and meet me at that station. When she finally figured it out and took a train to Perpignan, it was about 9:30, so we walked back to my apartment and basically went to bed.

The next day we went to Collioure again, and attempted to hike to the castle on the next hill over (you can see it in some of the Collioure pictures on Picasa). We spent about two hours finding our way over there and making it up the hill, and reached the top around 1 pm. The castle was fenced and gated and didn’t open until 3, so we trudged back down the hill and explored a little more of the city, including an old church out on a rock jetty, and some of the little shops in town. Highlights: The creepy crucifix with dying Jesus, made creepier by the fact that it was metal, old, and rusty, and therefore looked bloody and gory; the little jewelry store where Emma accidentally dropped a plastic ring stand (keeping the 50 euro ring securely in hand), and the shopkeeper rushed over, tutting, and took the ring from Emma’s hand. We decided it was time to go.

On Sunday we took the bus to Canet to play mini-golf in a small park that we had seen a few times. The bus stops didn’t really match up to the mini-golf park, so we had to backtrack about 15 minutes to get to the place. When we did, it was this weird restaurant/mini-golf place, and one family was having their mid-day meal there. The old couple who ran the place provided us with golf clubs and golf balls hidden behind the restaurant’s bar. We had to walk through the restaurant to get to the mini-golf park area outside. After the first hole, we had already decided that it just wasn’t worth keeping score. The mini-golf trip was probably the most surreal experience I have had since coming to France (in fact, I have come to the conclusion that mini-golf trips are always surreal…Miniature world, anyone?). The course was impossible, rundown, and the flat putting planes were bumpy and warped. Some of the obstacles were not just difficult, but actually impossible. We tried putting our putters through. They wouldn’t go through.

Sunday night, Sarah and I watched a pirated version of The Royal Tenenbaums on my laptop before she took a taxi to the station. In all, the weekend was kind of an epic fail, but in a funny, quaint kind of way.

This week has been pretty uneventful, too. I had my phone line installed on Monday, so I have a phone! Until I get my internet/telephone service, I can only receive calls, though, not make them. I will be getting internet service between Wednesday and Friday of next week. Yay! I am going to stay up all night reading Wikipedia articles and watching Youtube videos of little children saying “Bu-lood!”. It’s gonna be awesome!

Tuesday I had a doctor’s appointment for my immigration papers, basically. Even though I am only going to be a French citizen for about 6 months, they want to make sure I’m not carrying any American communicable diseases. Like conservatism or something. My appointment was at 10 am, and I left the doctor’s at 12:15. I was probably with a doctor for about 20 minutes total in that time. Waiting. Oh well. I got out of classes for that day! They checked my height, weight, vaccination history, blood pressure, and eyes (oh my god I need new, much stronger glasses. Also, I had to read the letters in French. Bwahahahahahaha!). Then they took an X-ray of my lungs, for some reason. Maybe to see if I had tuberculosis. Anyway, after taking the X-ray, the doctor told me to sit in his office next door. He came in a few minutes later with a giant orange envelope, asked me if I smoked (a habit that I have managed to not take up while in France), then handed me the envelope and told me to have a good day. After I left his office, I opened the envelope and it was my X-ray. I got to keep my lung X-ray! It’s hanging on the wall in my studio.

The rest of my week was spent (and still is being spent) in classes, waiting for vacation to start this weekend. I am leaving Saturday morning with four other assistants. We are renting a car, and an apartment, for a week. The apartment is near Arles, which is centrally located to all of the places we want to visit, so we are just going to drive each day to a nearby city and explore. The accommodation is soooo much cheaper this way—we’d be spending a ridiculous amount of money on hostels otherwise—and it kind of makes up for the car rental being a bit more expensive. On the list of cities to visit: Marseille, Cassis, Orange, Avignon, Arles, Aix-en-Provence, and probably more.

On Friday night, I am going to watch High School Musical 3 with another assistant who loves it almost as much as I do. I am so excited! I also found out, on the topic of movies, that Quantum of Solace comes out on Halloween in Perpignan, a full two weeks before it comes out at home. I am so excited my skin is crawling.

Anyway, after vacation I will have exciting news and beautiful pictures to share, but before then I don’t think I will be blogging. There’s no Wifi in the apartment rental, so I will feel right at home. J

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

You know me too well...I think it's glorious that my life revolves around obsessively checking your blog. I can't believe that you mini-golfed in France when you would NEVER go to the sweet place in the mall with Ian and I. I'd be hurt, but you did offer to translate my not-French document today so I can't complain. Soon, I'll find something that is actually IN French and then you can help me out :)