I have all these things that I mean to blog about, and I write the blogs in my head as I'm walking home, but then I just don't get around to blogging about them, so I'm trying to be better about blogging more often because if I don't blog immediately after something happens, I won't feel like blogging about it later. Like, for example, I had a whole blog planned about how I was supposed to pick up Lise from school, but I accidentally got on the wrong train home from the city, and it ended up being a direct train to the station closest to Versailles instead, and once I got there the next train back in the reverse direction went past Clamart and wasn't for another thirty minutes, at the exact time that I was supposed to be getting Lise, but then I realized that there was another train that actually stopped in Clamart that left in two minutes (which I guess the monitor just didn't want to list?), so I took that train and got to school just in time. It was very harrowing at the time.
This week I've been hanging out with my friend Rachael a lot, who's really great -- we were sitting next to each other on the flight from Chicago to Paris, and we're the same age and we both just graduated and we are both members of sororities, so that's cool. She's a language assistant but she's also a babysitter, so we have much in common to discuss, and we'll both be here for the same amount of time. On Friday we went to the Musee Carnavalet, which is a free museum on the history of Paris. It's not very big, but worth going to, especially for its room full of "popular" artwork -- signs and advertisements from the 18th Century, etc. That was my first time in the Marais, which was very charming and I can't wait to explore more. You can see Notre Dame from there, so we walked in that direction and got more Berthillion, and then split pizza in the Latin Quarter, which was served the way it's served in Rome, and was reallly good. Rachael and I came to the joint conclusion that for the most part, our plan is to eat dessert for meals because its cheaper and tastes better anyway (and, let's face it, is very easy to find in Paris). I really liked seeing more of the Latin Quarter than I did last time -- its hidden alleyways, etc. Everything is better this time around because Paris is less overwhelming, and sunny, and I actually have time to find the little things that make it charming, instead of every other time when I could only see the big famous sites. I'm so much happier.
Last night was Nuit Blanche, where the city was open all night long, including the metro and other things that are usually closed. I met up with Rachael and her friends, and we didn't end up going to any of the specific Nuit Blanche exhibits, but it was my first time leaving the house at night and it was so wonderful. We started at a jazz club near Notre Dame that was fun but the music was too loud, so we left and got wine and joined the thousands of other people sitting on the banks of the Seine. It's things like these that remind me how lucky I am to be abroad right now. I am so happy that I have ten months to have this kind of fun (and I've barely started to explore the city, so who knows what else I'll find?).
Today was Clamart's Vide Grenier, also called a Brocante, depending on the connotation. Anne had been talking about it all week (Joana had been really excited about Bordeaux's, but this one was better, though that might have had something to do with the fact that I had been handed 90 fresh euros the night before). Basically, it's like a HUGE garage sale that happens twice a year in the downtown area. And when I say huge, I'm talking about maybe a thousand tables, of all good quality stuff directly from people's houses, at really low prices. It's as if you have a thousand garage sales right next to each other, minus the overpriced collectables of a flea market. I did really well too -- I got a cute pink Ikea-esque box because I need more storage, really excellent sunglasses, a postcard from Bordeaux, and a really expensive and heavy and fancy picture frame -- all for under 5 euros. Vide Greniers happen in different neighborhoods all the time, so this is definitely where I'm going to look for directions for my room from now on! It was seriously too great. The only thing I was looking for that I couldn't find was a French copy of any of the Harry Potter books, but I only found he UK versions, so I guess people are still hoarding the French copies.
On another note, it is WAY too hot here. It's supposed to rain on Wednesday, and that day cannot come soon enough.