I stayed with my American friend Carmen, whom I studied there with last time and who now works there as an English Language Assistant in a local high school. It was so weird and delightful to travel to a foreign city and feel at home...because it was my home for 4.5 months last year. Basically, I feel lucky that I'm only 22 and after this year I will be able to call 2 French cities home, sigh.
We didn't have specific plans, but we did try and do a lot of things that we liked doing last year, including a visit to our favorite comfy cafe (Les Mots Bleus) and a favorite English bar (Sweeney Todd's). It was just nice to walk around the streets I used to walk around everyday....I felt like I had never left.
(So glad to see that they still give you free little pieces of cake with your coffee at Les Mots Blues!)
(A nice fountain off of Rue St. Catherine).
(Reunited with my cathedral!!)
We also went to Utopia (my favorite movie theater in the whole world....it's in what used to be an old church, so the individual theaters are decorated with remnants of it, and shows are only 6 euros!!) and saw the movie The Artist, which I looooved. It was so great, I highly recommend that you all see it.
In addition, Carmen and I were sure to check out some *new* sights, so we found a church that I had wanted to go to last time but never made the trek out to.
(St. Croix and its interesting, uneven facade)
We WANTED to visit the early necropolis at St. Suerin (near my old house), but we didn't find out until we got there that it's only open in July & August, booo. I'll just have to go back.
I was supposed to go to my former host family's house at 6:30, but during the day my host mom called to say that she had completely forgotten that there was a concert she wanted to go to, but that if I wanted to come with her she could just take me to the train station from there, so that was great. I met her at home, where I met her new student, as well as geting to see Ynel, my little host brother, who showed me her new computer AND their new cat. It was so nice to be back in their house, even for just a little bit!
Joana whisked me away to the concert, which was taking place in an airplane hanger-sized auto garage, decorated with old-fashioned Christmas lights, so it looked really cool. There were old fashioned cars everywhere, and people were sitting on the car-fixing-things while they waited for the show to start. What I think Joana told me was that at this specific garage, it costs you less to get your car fixed because you take your car in and fix it yourself (but does that even make sense?! As we know, I'm not fluent enough to understand everything anyone says to me). When we got there, we found Patrick, who plays in a duo with Joana and who was probably surprised to see me because he was at our house all the time last year rehearsing, but he probably never expected to run into me again. After we had been at the garage for a while, he told me that he could tell I was less "timide" about speaking French since he last saw me, which was a great thing to hear! Joana met up with some guys that she knew, who seemed pretty unassuming to me, and we drank wine and talked about when the concert was going to start. Joana and I left them to wander around and look at the art gallery that was set up in the other half of the garage, and when it was time for the concert to start, we went towards the music area only to find that Patrick and her other friends that we had been talking to WERE the band. I guess I missed that part of what they were saying. The music was really catchy -- Joana told me that the lead singer had a great African/French accent, but it's not like I could tell or anything.
It was a great little weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Paris, and I was reminded just how great Bordeaux is. I'll definitely be going back at least once again before I leave France this time.