Saturday, March 04, 2006


In my class, the professeurs hammer us about being polite to others while living in France. Politesse, politesse, politesse. The first words we learned in class were not "hello" and "my name is...", but were "merci" or "s'il vous plait" or "pardon". Of course, it's valuable information as I have no desire to piss off the woman who hands me a baguette every week...even though I watched her lick her finger to open up the paper bag and then handle my bread with the same licked finger. As of yet, I haven't gotten sick.

Last weekend, a friend dragged me to a ski station (La Clusaz) with a group of students from my language school. I'm not sure if politesse goes out the window once someone hits the ski slopes or it's just non-existent because there are a lot of etrangers (foreigners) at these sorts of places, but I had never seen so many rude people. At one point, I was so frustrated (that happens a lot to me, no?) that I rudely said out loud on the street..."Politesse is non-existent in France?!". Aggravating since we're being taught to be so polite and, like a good student, I practice it often...when I can remember the words.

We had our first US visitors last weekend. They had just come from the Ladies' Ice Figure Skating Finals in Turin and oh how I was jealous. They sat next to one of the Russian couples from Pairs Figure Skating. To me, that's like sitting next to Jack Nicholson at a Lakers game. So we took this couple to a typical French restaurant for...fondue and raclette, of course. I hope this restaurant closes for the summer or I'll soon have to buy stock in it because I go there so much. D ordered fondue with morelle was to die for. Then we had homemade ice scoop of pistachio and one scoop of mint chocolate chip. Sorry Ben & Jerry, but this was probably the best ice cream I've ever had in my entire life. How can I survive all of this lactose consumption, you ask? My Lactaid supply is dwindling fast and furious. :(

Classes are going well. We have an exam at the end of this month which will tell the professeurs if I should move up to the next level or remain at the level where I'm currently at. I'm getting a bit nervous about it since I despise tests that determine my destiny. I took a phonetiques class this week which are offered every once in awhile for those who need a little extra help pronouncing the letters and sounds. The class was primarily filled with students from Asia plus me and a friend I dragged along for the ride. I am honest when I say this, but I think I was the worst one in there. I could not pronounce the difference between the /o/ sound and the /u/ sound. I was quite embarrassed as well when the teacher helped me exercise my mouth as I sounded out the front of the entire class, no less.

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