Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Allergy season sucks.

The weather has taken a turn for the better, I suppose. The sun has been shining, the sky is clear, les jeunes are enjoying the green grass, les enfants have whipped out their bathing suits, the lovers are smooching in front of me while I try to inhale my lunch, yet try not to vomit, before running off to class. Unfortunately, my itchy eyes and endlessly running nose prevent me from fully enjoying this gorgeous weather at the moment. Why am I the only one who is sneezing so incredibly loud that the director of my school who sits in an office on the bottom floor of the building has to climb up a flight of stairs into my classroom to say, "bless you"? I demand a restful night's sleep so I can clearly inhale the next day's french lessons. Today, one of my classmates politely told me that I've been looking like crap lately. I blame it on the allergies.

This past weekend was spent in Paris. Such a lovely city. But after living in Annecy for 4 months which is much more quiet and laid back and clean and gorgeous and friendly, Paris is just too much for me. This trip to Paris was spent seule (= alone). Long story, short: I'm a dork and I screwed up on purchasing train tickets for a trip in March and I didn't want to waste them so...why not hop on a fast speed train for a little trip to Paris? A female traveling alone in Paris is not the wisest idea. I was sitting in the Luxembourg Gardens reading a book. Hundreds of green empty chairs surrounded me. Why did this guy have to sit in the chair next to me? Ugh. He whispered something to me, but I ignored him. He whispered it again...I became annoyed and wished that we would stay quiet and continue watching the cranky kids running away from their parents, so I looked up at him. He asked for the time. I practiced my french and answered and then immediately looked back to my book. Call me anti-social. This is the 2nd time I've been to Paris, having my face smack dab into a book, yet the Parisian dude will not get the hint that I do not want to talk and continues to speak to me. So with this guy, I politely tell him (in french) that I don't speak french. Just my luck! He speaks english too! I curtly answer his questions and between each breath, I turn my head back to my book. After a long silence which is my refusal to carry on a conversation, he gets up and leaves.

May 1st was May Day and I celebrated it in eating many crepes. On this national holiday, it is common for the French to collect Lilies of the Valley. I just learned this today. As I was walking around Paris that day, on literally every corner and in front of almost every store (that was open that day) there was someone selling plants/flowers. I had no idea what type of plant/flower it was and I could not understand why so many people where rushing to buy these plants/flowers. So I just learned that the tradition is to go out and gather these flowers while enjoying the spring weather and getting a little exercise. I think that's a nice tradition. I also enjoyed having a florescent pink paper fish taped to my bag on April Fools Day...another "nice" tradition one can experience in this country.

P.S. I am proud to say that I was not swayed to enter one Starbucks during this trip.

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