Something I've learned over the past few weeks that I didn't know beforehand and that I didn't really want to know is that France has HUGE SPIDERS.
Lise and Anne and I took a walk to Anne's aunt Josy's house my very first day here, and while Lise and I were exploring outside, Lise found the biggest spider I have ever seen in my ENTIRE life hiding in an old stone oven in their yard. It was the fleshy brown kind, and it was the kind of spider that I previously imagined I would only ever run into while in South America (and only then if I searched for a long time). This was Not Good. I seriously do not know how a spider like that even found itself in the northern hemisphere.
Also, last night I got back much later than I meant to (due to an extra drink that was ordered for me and the fact that I missed the train back to Clamart by exactly one minute and so had to sit around Montparnasse for 30 minutes, which, by the way, closes its bathrooms at 11PM, so I recommend not waiting until you get there if it's an emergency. Now I know). Anyway, the LAST thing that I wanted to see when I got into my room was a HUGE spider perched atop the door that leads from my kitchen to the yard. This one wasn't as big as the first spider, but it was about ten times as big as the normal brown spiders you see all the time. I tried to convince him to go outside for a long time, but he refused to budge, plus I could see how big his teeth were (or whatever they were), so I finally had to do away with him. I felt bad, but I wanted to be able to sleep without wondering if he would be hiding in my shoe the next morning.
Not what I expected to keep coming across in my little French suburb.