Sunday, October 11, 2009

Misc. #1

Because stream-of-consciousness is easier to read in lists:

New things I’ve learned:

  • How a radiator works (sort of).
  • What an “electric kettle” is. It’s like a teapot with it’s own built-in stove. Do people own these in the US? Because it was total news to me.
  • French children point their fingers in the air instead of raising their hands. Kind of adorable. They also use wheely-booksacks way more than American kids.
  • Bises. The little kisses the French do on either cheek? Yeah, well they do that alot. I saw a newspaper article on how people should stop doing the bises to prevent the spread of the flu (la grippe!) and I’d totally be on board. I know I’m here is to learn and acclimate myself in a new culture, but there are some things about which I am decidedly American. Plus the cheek-to-cheek contact can’t be good for your complexion.
  • Sephora’s “Beauty Insider” card cannot be used internationally.
  • The weather’s been nice (sunny and cool), but it’s not all that less humid that back home. My smooth hair dreams have been crushed.
  • I like hand-washing clothes. It’s kind of satisfying in a look-how-productive-I’ve-been kind of way. And machine-washing costs 4 a load, which I’ll have to do eventually because it’s kind of hard to hand-wash towels and jeans.
  • Turns out I don’t miss ice at all.
  • Television however, whole other story. Hulu and Netflix don’t work in Europe and I haven’t really tapped into my collection of corny movies and SATC yet (want to make it last the whole seven months) so out of desperation, I have replaced television with websites that post funny pictures. THIS one is a favorite, as well as THIS, and oh, ONE MORE. Please don’t think less of me. Some other assistants watched French TV and though it sounds interesting, “Friends” in French just wouldn’t be the same.

This weekend Besançon hosted the Sonorama music festival. Some assistants came in from out of town and we made a little party out of it. The performance Friday night, a British brass band, with quite the varied repertoire, first playing “Thriller” and then “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.” The conductor was dancing and trying to rile up the crowd like, I don’t know, David Bowie or someone… It was kind of funny considering they were just a glorified seated marching band, but everyone loved them and started dancing. I just kept thinking that this could only happen in Europe…

Saturday night was another huge dance party in the one of the big squares in centreville. They hung a giant disco ball from a crane and had a DJ playing some interesting music, some sort of techno/electronic/”drum and bass”/euro whatever, but it was still fun. Another “only in Europe” moment. Plus I got a plastic souvenir cup that I’m going to use to hold my toothbrush. Exciting!

Other than the festival, I’ve had a few lazy days… guess I’m storing up my energy for teaching? I’ll be observing at the beginning of this week and then start teaching Thursday. Should have more interesting things to talk about then.

P.S. New site for posting all my pictures:

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