On Tuesday, I was at the lycée preparing for my assistantship when the proviseur, which is like the principal, came in and said she had locked the doors and no one was coming in or leaving. Turns out the students were protesting in the street right outside of the lycée, with police cars and everything… I guess that now that the gov’t is right wing, the educators are fearing changes, and the government has proposed a new law that will take away a position called peons, or something like that… which are older students who watch in the cafeterias, etc., and make money to pay for their own education. Well, they started protesting, and were followed by the students, who just didn’t want to go to class. The teachers just shrugged and went back to their work. Ah, France.It reminds me of my time in France, the strikes and protests for no apparent reason.
The rest of the week went quickly, and on Thursday night I made peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies for my Friday classes. That went over well. Very well. Even the peanut butter ones, which they swore they would hate. They ate them all. I knew they would.
Yesterday I went to Freiburg, Germany with Tara and Deanna. It was a very American day, but fun, and much needed. I spoke the most German out of all of us, which isn’t to say much… I know some basic phrases… how to count… how to ask what things are… (I should know more, considering my heritage, but…) It was neat to find that the language I fell back on was French, and that the people in the markets assumed that was my language. Actually, they were surprised when I didn’t speak German, and for once, I blended in completely. Then we went driving around, and you will never guess what we found. A Wal-mart. Right next door to a Burger King. I admit with chagrin that we stopped at both. We couldn’t help it. It was amazing. Wal-mart here stocks all of these American brands and things that I haven’t seen for months. Wow.
"What do you mean, il n'y a pas de bus aujourd'hui?"
"Un greve? Again?"
And peanut butter cookies, and the sudden joy of finding American brands of things. I remember that. And, in the eternal words of the French, Ça me manque. Il me manque so many things that you just don't see here in the U.S. Buying a dozen bottles of wine at the grocery store, putting them in my backpack and a duffel I brought with me and carrying them home. Bicycles and patisseries, and the time Juliette bought me a Baba au rhum, which is about two shots of good strong rum disguised as a cute little cake. My canne chinois, which is French for bamboo, and being teased about how I was going to need a tiny panda to go with it. So many things...Even, believe it or not, the French.
Thanks, Michelly. Now I'm all nostalgic.