10.05.2011 - 11.05.2011 23 °C
I apologize for not writing for a while, but as you know, I've been in finals mode! Thank G-d it's over!! The easiest ones were French, French Politics and Society, and the aforementioned International Marketing at Negocia. I studied a bit more for Business French, and I stressed a lot over Finance. The Business French final wasn't hard, and the Finance one was easier than the Midterm (I think the Prof got the point that it was too vague and difficult), so I'm hoping for at least a B+ in the class, which would be super nice (if not an A- :-) ).
Tuesday, after the Finance final, which was the last one, Daniela, Sam, and I went out with my French girlfriend (from Negocia), Laura. Monty, our other Negocia girlfriend, was supposed to come, but she had a last minute thing come up with school. Laura took us to a little cupcake place hidden in the Institute Catholique area (off of metro4 St. Placide), walking distance from Montparnasse, where we met up. Very cute place with cupcakes that were almost American, with yummy icing on top. Daniela and I got rose flavor, Laura got violet, and Sam got pistachio with rose cream. Mmm! Laura and I also tried a super mini cupcake "salee," meaning "salty" instead of "sucree" which is sweet. It was piment (chili pepper) with tree nut. Mmm encore!
Then, Daniela, Sam, and I went to the Canal St. Martin (I believe that's the name) off of Republique on Laura's recommendation. Sam wanted to see a Parisian canal, having heard that it's a nice place to sit, and that this is where REAL Parisians go, instead of the Seine in front of the Notre Dame, haha! It's true, it was pretty nice, and there definitely were real Parisians, almost all of them tipsy or drunk (it was near 5pm - Happy Hour had started!) Daniela, having been in the Marais while I was taking my final, was sweet enough to buy kosher wine and wafers. So we joined the happy Parisians in their beginning of the soiree.
After this, I went home to pack my suitcases, since I would be leaving Thursday morning, early, for the Basque Country with Daniela. I will be coming back the evening of the 17th with my US flight the 18th in the morning, so no time to pack. Thus, yesterday it was. It was SO sad! My walls are now bare, there are two suitcases smack dab in the middle of my floor, there is nothing on my nighttable, my closet is empty, and my fridge has a couple apples and a yogurt. I gave everthing extra to Danielle - food, paper towels, toilet paper, nail polish remover, aluminum foil...you name it, she got it! I'm happy at least, because she won't have to do shopping for a while :-) And all the better now, because Richard got sick, which she's supremely worried about, since he can't say what's bothering him, though the doctor is almost sure it's an infection :-(
Today was extreme tourist day for me. I had to do the few things left on my list. Raphael (who went to Giverny with me) and Daniela joined me on this, Raphael even taking a day off of work because I'm leaving! First stop: Musee d'Orsay. I got there at 8:15am, thinking it opened at 9am. Nope, 9:30am. And it was chilly outside...There was a temporary Manet exhibition that we got to see, which was very nice. We also saw some Van Gogh, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, and many others! We saw the whole museum in 3 hours. I'm very happy I went. Au contraire, the Louvre gives me the shivers because I feel stressed out just thinking about everything that is in there and that I won't be able to see!
After the Orsay, we walked to the Champes Elysees, (past the Concorde!) shared a pizza at a restaurant, and went to Laduree, which is the most famous macaron place in France. It is truly beautiful. Macarons there cost 2.20 euro! But wow, are they amazing. No other ones compare. I got 4 flavors: muguet (lilly of the valley!), cassis-chocolat (blackcurrent-chocolate), chocolat de Madagascar, and framboise (raspberry). This last one I kept for Danielle, because the only time she ever breaks kashrut (kosher) is for a Laduree macaron, and especially a framboise :-) Daniela got a muguet and we treated Raphael to two pistachio because he got lunch. Mmm!
Daniela left to run some errands and rest up, and Raphael and I went to the Marais to the Jewish museum of art and history to see the Chagall and the Bible exposition. It was quite impressionant. He had 40 drawings of scenes from the bible and some supplementary paintings and glass oeuvres depicting the 12 tribes. We were very happy that we went, too! Raphael definitely appreciates art, which is nice to see in a guy (hint hint to all the men reading this!). He took his time looking and contemplating the paintings, sometimes making me self-conscious about my own speed haha!
After, we went to rue de Roisiers so that I could buy challah for this Shabbat and French cheese for my Dad, which I will have to stelthily import into the US (most French cheese is not allowed because it's not pasteurized). I was told that wrapping it in aluminum foil helps, so that's what I did. I'm going to arrange the cheeses in my two suitcases, so that if they find one, hopefully they won't find the other! Hahaha, beating the system!
I flew back to my apartment, said good-bye to my wonderful neighbor, Madame Marsily, who always said hello and gave me magazines to take to Danielle. I took the rest of my unneeded stuff to Danielle's, and sped off to the Eiffel Tower, where all of IES was going to have a dinner boat cruise. Yes, I said it, dinner boat cruise. La vie est belle! It was truly magnificent. All the students, staff, and most of the teachers were there, but we didn't have the boat all to ourselves - there were still some tourists and Parisians on it. Now, if someone wants to propose, instead of doing it on the Eiffel Tower, it would be super beautiful to do it on the boat deck after a delicious dinner, WHILE passing the Eiffel Tower :-) Now that's more original!
Dinner was very good, with a cocktail for an aperitif, 4 amuses-gueles (hors d'oeuvres, two of which I couldn't eat - fois gras and swordfish), fish and sweet potato entree (or veal as another option), and a chocolate brownie, vanilla cream dessert, and pear/hibiscus macaron. Now this is called a sophisticated dinner! Topped off with red wine, of course.
We all went up to the deck at some point to take beautiful photos, but some of us got pretty cold and went downstairs, only to see the Eiffel Tower sparkling some 5 minutes later. Oh well, I have plenty of those photos. We said our A bientot's (see you later) and A La Prochaines (until next time) to everyone, the teachers, and the staff. Most of the girls went to a bar and then a club, but I went home because I have to get up at 6:30am tomorrow and I can't sleep on the train. So I said my good-byes, and Genia said that she'd see me at my wedding! That's right, everyone's going to be invited to my wedding, so unless I see them beforehand, they have no choice but to see me on that special day haha! Oh, what a wonderful group of friends I made. Truly, I'm so blessed. I really do hope to see them. Audrey already told me she is going to have an internship at the Art Institute of Chicago summer of 2012 (yep, this program likes to do things in advance), so we know we're going to see each other then at least (I'll be doing my Masters, B'H). Before everyone left, the Eiffel Tower sparkled again, and we all took group photos. Paris, je t'aime. Et je pense que tu m'aimes, aussi :-)
Tomorrow, Daniela and I are heading off to the Basque Country to see my wonderful host family from four years ago, the Laborde family. I can't wait! Unfortunately, instead of spending two weeks with them like last time, it will be 4 days. But better than nothing! Imagine, after 4 years of not seeing them but exchanging emails, especially for each birthday...We are going to have a wonderful time!
So, I probably will not write about the Basque Country until I come back to the States on the 18th, so until then!! Oh, and by the way, the adventures aren't over! I will be in Israel for 2.5 months, and you bet that I'll be keeping a blog for that experience of my life as well! I will keep you posted about whether I will stay with this blogging website or find another, because I would love to have your comments, and this one is not so comment-friendly.