Tuesday, August 6

I feel sorry for the "kids".

Got to class 15 minutes early this morning, so I did some window shopping. It's a rich neighborhood. High-end furniture stores with very modern and beautiful big living room couches for 1300€ (more than $1700), things like that. It was fun.

The prof said we're moving the class to the main building on rue de l'Estrapade just down the street from my apartment. I'll be able to walk. But I think maybe I'll miss the crypt in the church and the métro ride and the walk down Boul St-Germain and the upscale neighborhood every day. I'll most likely end up never getting out of the hood except on weekends.

Needed lots of supplies at the papeterie/tabac around the corner where I always get stationary and tobacco stuff. Had a nice conversation in reasonably fluent French with the lady behind the counter who I always see there. Thinking back to when I first arrived 6.5 weeks ago, I realize that I've definitely made progress with the language, even though it doesn't seem noticeable from day to day.

I used Paypal for the first time yesterday to pay the balance due on my rent for the summer. Not bad. Seemed to work pretty well, even with the extra complexity of a transaction in euros. I've been keeping track of my expenses. I joke that this is all the nice vacations I've never taken all rolled into one big one. Financially, that's not a joke! Expensive.

I'm starting to get to know some of the kids in class a bit better. We do lots of partner and group activities and the prof tries to mix us up. And now that we don't have to rush to phonetics class we usually stand around in front of the church after class and chat a bit. I use the word "kids" on purpose. About half of the class seems to be girls about 19 years old, in college. They've all very nice but they're JUST BABIES! If grown-ups like Deo and Raquel and me are intimidated by this very adult educational experience, I can't imagine what it must be like for them. They have my sympathies! I hope they're at least enjoying being in Paris as much as I am. And they mostly seem to speak French at least as well or almost as well as I do, and they all understand it much better than I do. One poor girl told me today that her computer was stolen right before she left on her trip and she doesn't have any way to keep in touch regularly with her family and friends back home. How awful for her.