As of today, I have officially been living in Paris for three weeks. I already know how much I am going to miss this city when I leave. Sometimes I will be walking around and pass by all the amazing monuments and remind myself that I may never have this opportunity again. Every day I am still in awe of how fortunate I am to be here!
Last week I had my first conferences, which are essentially lecture classes. I am taking one called Comparative Literature and a sociology class called France and Europe. Both classes meet once a week for two hours and are taught in all French. I have taken courses in French before but these are different from taking any class at Salve because they are taught in huge lecture halls and are attended by nearly one hundred students of all nationalities and languages. I also have to literally walk 30 minutes across Paris to get from my cours pratique to my conferences, which is quite a work out, considering there are technically zero minutes between classes. I am not the only one with this scheduling conflict and since I am required by Salve to take these specific courses, I don’t have much of a choice but to leave early and be late each week. The professors understand the predicament so they allow students like me to do this. My phonetics class, which is in a beautiful area, also met every day this past week. It is right across the Seine from the Notre Dame de Paris, and I can hear its bells from our classroom. How wild is that?
On Saturday, I went to the 50th annual Salon International de L’Agriculture, a massive gathering of farm animals, food vendors, and spectators. Unlike the Goshen Fair back home in CT, this fair was held in seven separate pavilions at en expo center within the city of Paris, and was actually all indoor. There was one building dedicated to international foods and another building dedicated to food specific to different French regions. I ate a delicious Belgian waffle with strawberries and Nutella. Most of the other buildings were dedicated to animals such as cows, goats, horses, pigs, and dogs. Here is a photo from the ag fair:
On Sunday, I walked around Paris with my friend Ali. We walked from the Arc de Triomphe all the way to the Louvre. We passed through the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde (where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were guillotined in the revolution), and the Jardins Tuileries, where we saw some fashion models and designers leaving a fashion show (it is Fashion Week here!). Afterwards some of my friends and I dined out in the 2nd arrondissement at a restaurant called Le Musteret. Our provider, CEA, recommended this place to us because at the bar you can get an appetizer, an entrée, some cheese, and a dessert for under 10€. They weren’t the biggest portions, but it was plenty of food for a great price and we ate authentic French cuisine. The appetizer was a pork terrine, the entrée was a rabbit leg (!!!), and the dessert was a chocolate gateau (cake). I’m not sure of the type of cheese, but it was delicious. I was surprised, but I really loved the rabbit too! Here are some pictures from Sunday:
I have also had some culinary successes this week in our kitchenette. We only have two stove-top burners, a microwave, and a mini-fridge, so cooking has been a bit challenging. So far, however, I have made some decent dinners and am definitely sharpening my culinary skills. Ali and I have made a few chicken dishes, cheese fondue, guacamole, and French toast. Just this morning I made an omelet with tomato, basil, and goat cheese. Tonight at a friend’s house we made homemade macaroni and cheese, with delicious French cheddar, which is difficult to find. More culinary updates to come!
Thanks to all who have been reading and commenting. I will post again next week or sooner! 🙂