Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Act II, in which I dance with a Priest

The first week back after vacation was nothing exciting...I spent a lot of time daydreaming about Thailand; planning my trip to Normandy (12/3-14/3); and not really productive in any way, shape, or form. But hey, I'm still in France and continually getting better at speaking, so I got that going for me. I've also spent an inordinate amount of time on my computer, organizing my iTunes (having been motivated by a facebook update by Micaela indicating that she was doing the same thing), looking at pretty things I can't have (specifically the shoes from Sonia Rykiel's spring/summer 2010 ready-to-wear line* that would literally break my bank account into a thousand tiny pieces), waiting around on gchat for my friends and family to wake up and chat with me, learning about English grammar (thanks to: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon ) and hey, I finally made a decision about graduate school!

*not that this is a fashion blog; I leave that to the professionals: http://designskeleton.blogspot.com

After much deliberation, I've decided that I'm headed to University College London's Institute of Archaeology, to commence Fall 2010. Start saving your pennies and come visit me!

Last Thursday, I had the chance to go to the grammar school of Lea (the 8 year old daughter of the family I'm currently staying with) to teach them childrens how to talk good. Her school is very small, and goes from Pre-K - 5th grade. I arrived at school during recess, in which I had the opportunity to do something I am rarely able to do: observe toddlers at play in their natural environment. For some reason, I had never really appreciated how hilarious children are when left to their own devices... it's like watching a 60 Minutes episode on the dangers of hallucinogenic drugs. The kids stumble around and  trip in their untied shoes; they weave in an out of the older kids' legs; they growl and scream at each other incoherently as if they're deep in a 'Nam flashback; they start playing games but get distracted by bits of dust flying around in the air; they fall at random intervals and start crying before realizing there's nothing wrong and then they get up and walk away as if nothing happened. All of this is happening while their coats are only half on, their winter hats and gloves have been abandoned to the asphalt, and most of them have some sort of liquid (be it snot, spit, or some sort of melange) on or around their noses/mouths. 

When I did get into the classrooms with the children, they had the best questions about America I have ever heard. I don't know what the French are teaching these kids about life in the states, but I sincerely hope they never change their curriculum:
1. How do people walk in the USA?
2. Do you have electricity?
3. How many famous people do you live with?
4. Do computers exist where you live?
5. How do people get from place to place in America?
...and of course, the inevitable:
1. How many children do you have?
2. Oh, well then what is your husband's name?
3. OK but what's your boyfriend's name?
4. Do you have a horrible disease that prevents people from wanting to be near you? 
(ok that last one I just inferred from their confused and pitying faces) ...Yet again, pwned by France's youth. Thanks for reminding me to feed my 35 cats. 

Newest use for a scarf: cheese-catcher. As in, "I'm glad I had my cheese-catcher on today, cause I found that piece of Camembert from earlier and boy was it delicious."

Saturday: I made a Texas Chocolate Cake for Lea's school party ("Soiree DISCO"). It was OK, but rather dry due to the fact that French people have never heard of buttermilk so I had to substitute it for regular milk and lemon juice (yeah, that's a valid substitution so lay off me!), and I think I could've added a bit more butter. Which is just downright ironic seeing as how Bretons (people from La Bretagne) put salted butter on everything (that, and eggs. We had pizza last night with cheese, anchovies, and eggs as toppings. Also known as taking something that Katie loves and turning it into a weird hybrid of tastes that shouldn't be combined. Ever).
Above "beurre de Bretagne sale": the reason my pants are too tight. Woof.

So, yes, on Saturday night I did indeed go to the "Soiree Disco" with the fam. It reminded me a lot of when I was younger and we had functions at our primary schools, except this time there was alcohol. Something you should know: French people drink constantly during the weekend. Saturday morning I woke up to the doorbell - the neighbors were coming over (11 a.m.) for drinks. Saturday afternoon: repeat. Saturday night: Disco party where the Kir (creme de cassis + white wine) was a-flowin' like beer and I was standing awkwardly trying to understand slightly drunk French conversations. It was sort of like Aspen.

Lloyd Christmas: I'm talkin about a place where the beer flows like wine, where the women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I'm talkin about Aspen.

Harry: I don't know Lloyd, the French are assholes.
(photo taken of me and Julia on her motorbike in Pai)

The children apparently decided to say "screw you" to the "disco" theme, cause every child under the age of 10 was wearing some sort of randomly selected halloween costume. I saw an indian, a Cleopatra, several princes/princesses, fairies, a dragon (awesome), ninjas, a chef, some soccer players and even some vampires (even more awesome). I guess that "soiree" means "dress up as what you want to be when you grow up, and yes mom I'm going to be a dragon so take your dreams of me becoming a doctor and spread that on your toast and eat it."

Also in attendance at the disco was the new priest in town. This young gun is in Hillion (the small town outside of St Brieuc where I currently reside with my new fam) to help the old priest phase into retirement and then take over for him - I guess that's how things work in the Church. So, being the token "jew" in St Brieuc/Hillion, I was of course introduced to the priest as such and was then berated with questions about judaism. I felt like an awful person, parading around as a chosen one when in fact I am only half chosen, but I answered his questions nonetheless. The priest then asked me to dance. To the song "YMCA". I shit you not. But what was I going to say? "No" to a holy man? So there I was, living a double life, dancing with a priest, to the Village People. 

Currently listening to: Grizzly Bear Veckatimest
Currently reading: Old Goriot by HonorĂ© de Balzac (as in, "it's hot as", right Rachel?). I finished Satori in Paris, and absolutely loved it. Although I have to admit that reading about the drunken exploits of Jack Kerouac in Brittany couldn't really turn out any other way... 
Currently craving: an anecdote for Nutella- addiction


= delish-tastic. 

Peace, Love, and Hazelnutty-goodness
- Blowfish.


  1. dude. we're a quarter Jew. and its not even maternal which is the only legit way to pass on said Judaism. Religion FAIL.

    P.S. so funny. i laughed at many things. love youuuu.