Friday, December 25, 2009

last of lasts


Watch le placard
Spectacle and jo family
Dinner with girls at foy du roy
Last walk around old town, son et lumiere
Masques with alineke


Check out, move, clean thing
Gave things
Last byes in le mans, deb in gare
Paris arrive, café, pascal
White Bordeaux wine and vinegar Pringles
Chai 33


Espresso and last bad shower for a while
Pleasant 3.5 hour bump up, no problems
Guy on third metro playing fiddle holiday tunes
Angels with bags

last saturday

I officially finished all my shopping! I went into my first fancy schmancy wine store and bought my first bottles of not the least expensive wine I could find, which was a bit intimidating. I found a copy of Les Miserables by Hugo, 9 separately published parts from an old journal bound together- super cool! I tried Chichis, which is a specific type of fried bread with mass amounts of sugar dumped on top (I think are actually Spanish-Mexican ).

Tonight was my last to go to a club or bar in Le Mans, and the first time I took the tram and was the only person on it (eerie… everyone is gone). It was also the last time I can legally purchase alcohol for myself until February 23, and went for a spot of gin. Deb and I wound up at Café Pop, where we have had tons of great times with friends dancing to superb music. As soon as we walked in, our favorite dj recognized us and sat us down by his turntables. I met a CouchSurfer from Le Mans there, finally and as I’m leaving, named Gregory. He’s really cool, and as Deb noted looks like Justin Timberlake but cuter. He stayed a bit, and then the ambiance shifted into an Arabic dance party which was great. We decided to dance to a famous salsa song, which turned out to be the last one of the night. We walked back home in a new wave of flurries 

last friday

Much of the same today- Christmas movie, shopping and last drink with fewer and fewer friends. Deb and I busted out laughing during Elf, I wandered around the old town and downtown several hours buying cadeux for Texans and we had a drink at the beloved Mulligan’s.

last thursday

In the theme of Christmas, nostalgia and the lack of holiday spirit compared to back home, I found another new-old Christmas movie to experience. A Christmas Story is pretty cute!

Our group of 30-40 swarmed a kitchen for the official last student party, before everyone started leaving the next day. It was a pretty somber crowd, and the mood was more like one of a wake than anything. With snow still everywhere, a group of girls and I changed our plan of going out to playing in the not so fluffy white stuff, and didn’t stop until we had left tracks over the entire 2 basketball courts.

last wednesday

I studied hard for my last test in contemporary French history today, taught by an inconsiderate and egotistical man, and the whole thing is not pleasant to remember. I don’t know when I’ll find out my grades- c’est la vie en France.

Tonight was an Erasmus Christmas party at Café Berlin, where I tried my first hot wine (which I learned is more than just wine heated up) and several delicious regional treats for free (free is not as often in France- universities never give things away, clubs don’t receive much funding, and my university is so in the whole that last winter the heating wasn’t turned on for a month to save money). All the internationals, and some truly lovely Frenchies I wish I had met earlier, gathered round and attempted to sing O Christmas Tree (Le Beau Sapin), Jingle Bells (Vive le Vent, which literally means live the wind, I don’t get it…) and Le Divin Enfant.

I gave my first tearful au revoir tonight to Michelle, a truly lovely Czech girl, and she gave me little forget-me-not colorful coaster.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


So today I slept in, and as I was about to leave my room for the day I opened my windows and was shocked to discover a true winter wonderland! It had snowed starting the night before, and everything was blanketed in white, like a dream. Absolutely marvelous, and a perfect goodbye to Le Mans, France and Europe- just in time for the first round of international students leaving today. I learned my cowgirl boots are not the best approach to walking on ice- I fell and almost sprained my ankle twice walking around campus, but la neige was still new and exciting so not too painful.

And so starts my series of “lasts,” or some last for a long time things. I got in the Christmas mood and made cards for my closest friends here. I did my last shopping at the 24 hours race store, where I chatted with the woman about the snowfall and she gave me a parting chocolate  I checked out National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the first time, and I don’t know how all the Lampoons got so famous and are so well loved.

Alineke and I heard about a free buffet on campus, Christmas themed, and finally found the university lounge-hangout area. It’s separate from everything, only opens on Tuesday nights to students, and the buffet was just chips- so not terribly eventful, but good to see how the French campus life goes down.
I said bye to Mathilde. I went through my last batch of genuine French groceries: sparkling Perrier, tiramisu, caramel rice pudding, sliced cold sausage-ham, olives and two whole brioches pain au chocolates.

Friday, December 18, 2009


today i did various responsible things. and i've been home-hunting online for a place to stay in denton- lots of exciting people and place prospects, within all my needs and some desires, which is pretty cool. praying my way through it, i'll see what god helps me work out!
after tea with deb, i met french-country-friend rafael and his fellow CS friend arya from california. he's a cool guy, and the 3 of us had fun doing all things country: looking at rafael's taylor swift london concert pictures, teaching them how to dance, taking george strait christmas tunes, and trying whiskey a new way (scottish blend with oj).
we met his female friend for dinner at buffalo grill! i love that place, man; and for christmas, their kid headbands had santa riding a bucking reindeer. i ordered a "mix tapas" of 4 fried things, including chicken served 2 different ways, onion rings and some sort of french take on jalepeno popper-cheese sticks-hashbrown-pizza bites looking things. by the time we were ready, the next tram was 31 minutes away; so if our evening wasn't american enough, we went to the closest place for warmth in the -2 degree celsius weather: mcdonald's.
eventually, i made it back to campus and spent 3 more hours finishing up pride and prejudice with the ladies. i attempted to repay their food kindness by making creme brulee; turns out, my third time to make it was not the charm. the stuff never formed thickness even after 2 hours, and was just a putrid yellow goo. with my refusal to waste things and the girls' politeness, we tried it anyways; we made it a couple slurps in before the caramel mixed in made it look like human waste. then melissa and i began to have tummyaches, and she was able to bathroom up the toxic sludge while i curled into the fetal position in bed for the night. maybe not the best way to repay kindness after all...