Wednesday, August 14

I start my long holiday weekend.

My four day weekend has started. I decided to take it easy. I'm kind of tired of the frantic tourism, having done so much of it the last two months, so I decided not to make a big day trip to Chartres this weekend. I'm going to study, go to a party, and maybe do some things just around Paris like visit le Centre Georges Pompidou or some other museums or attractions, but nothing major.

I'm not "tired" as in fatigued and in need of rest, just "tired of" all the tourism, as in YADC ("yet another damned cathedral"). I'm still in Paris, and enjoying it. And I do need to do some serious studying. And the major tourism will return with a vengeance in a few weeks when class ends.

Mostly I'm going to work hard on drilling myself on all the new vocabulary we've had over the last 6 weeks, and review all the grammar too. Boring, I know.

It would be fun to have a dinner party at my place to celebrate the end of class in a few weeks, but my place is just way too tiny and my kitchen way too inadequate. But I've been thinking about trying to host maybe a picnic over in the Lux. That would be fun, and we could invite everyone in the class. Buy some baguettes, good ham and cheese, wine, soda, and plastic plates and glasses. Bring some blankets to sit on. Keep it simple. Maybe on the last Friday of class, if the weather forecast looks decent. Need to think about this some more, maybe talk about it with Deo and Raquel. Why not?

There were some really good exposés in class today. I think I've lost the crown of best so far. One woman showed a cookbook she bought. I showed her mine after class and we had a laugh. Ekaterina showed a journal she's been keeping of her travels and gave an excellent presentation, the best so far I think, much better than mine. Do my FB posts count as a similar kind of "journal"? I think so. Or they will once I get back home and organize them into some kind of more coherent narrative.

Still slogging through the subjunctive. It's difficult and subtle. For example, "I find that ...." takes the indicative, but "I find it interesting that ..." takes the subjunctive. Minor differences in shades of meaning change the rules. Difficult for a native English speaker.

We read and discussed a text about friendship yesterday. Ami(m), amie(f), copain(m), and copine(f) all mean "friend". Ami/amie is for close friends. Copain/copine is for a wider circle of friends/acquaintances. People have only a few amis, but lots of copains. But copain/copine can also mean boyfriend/girlfriend, I think. Confusing. But it's nice to have the two different words. Actually, four different words, if you count the masculine and feminine forms as different words.

The prof also mentioned something I've heard before, that the French tend to not make any new friends after university - their lifelong close friends are the friends of their childhood. Interesting.

Got email from Deo with details about the party Friday night, "Un rencontre international pour célébrer notre vie parisienne." They live down in the 13th, not far from my place. We're supposed to bring drinks, but he advises us to bring cool ones, because their fridge is tiny. LOL. I'm going to bring a Saint-Honoré from the Pâtisserie des Rêves, the one I posted a video about a few weeks ago. Looking forward to it, should be fun. The other guests are Joel from Sweden, Hiroshi from Japan, and Wee Ling from China. International indeed! I promise that pictures will be taken and posted!

This comment on the pâtisserie's blog is hilarious:

Mon épouse est enceinte, en ce 1 ier mai celle-ci me demande 
un « st honoré » de chez Conticini ! je fonce rue du bac, c’est 
fermé ! Je fais comment ? elle ne veut pas attendre le 2 mai ! 
je change de pâtissier ou de femme ? non ni l’un ni l’autre je 
plaisante…NOUS attendrons le 2 mai !

Translation:

My wife is pregnant, and on May 1 she asked me to get a St-Honoré 
from Conticini. I hurried over to rue du Bac, but they were closed!
What am I to do? She doesn't want to wait until May 2! Should I 
change my pastry shop or my wife? Neither one pleases me...We will 
wait until May 2! (Note: May 1 is a national holiday in France.)