Sunday, August 18

I try to study.

Had the wildest dreams in French last night. Don't know where that came from. Bizarre.

Memorizing vocabulary is so boring. In particular I just can't for the life of me seem to remember une trousse = a pencil case. Maybe typing it here will help to make it stick in my brain. Do I really need to know this stupid word? I'm in Paris and I'm locked up in my apartment doing THIS? OK, OK, I know - with the weekend I've had I shouldn't be complaining. Back to work.

Pencil cases still very much exist. Students in my class have them, filled with their stylo-billes, crayons de couleur, stylo-plumes, taille-crayons, feutres, gommes, etc., etc. Selin has one, I saw it! OK - that list is: ball-point pens, colored pencils, fountain pens, pencil sharpeners, felt-tip pens, erasers. See what we're up against here? We're supposed to know all these words, and when it turns out that we don't, we get yelled at by the prof. I assure you that is something you don't want to experience. I'm doing this work very much out of fear, plain and simple, de peur que mon prof dise que je suis bête comme mes pieds. And that last bit of French is homework too, from our last grammar lesson! (for fear that my prof will say that I'm as stupid as my feet, a very useful expression to know, kind of like our "dumb as a rock").

And fountain pens still exist too. There are several shops around my neighborhood that have them in the window. Some of them cost over 100€. Real shops with real modern stuff. High-end junk for the gentleman about town. Gold lighters, fancy fountain pens, stuff like that. These things are important! 200€ cigar cutters.

une cartouche d'encre = a carton of ink, for the all-important 100€ stylo-plume.

OK, I just can't stand it anymore. I'm off to take une petite promenade down the mouf and back.

A bus must have disgorged a herd of tourists with a guide. They're all down on the mouf lined up at some awful Greek carry-out joint, with the guide blabbering, all of them with great big round eyes and cameras hoisted high. Cute.

A memory just flashed before my eyes. When I was here in 2006 I took a trip up to Giverny, where Monet lived and painted. Took a walk. Saw a gentleman punching in the code to a porte d'entrée of a really pretty little apartment building, carrying some bags and a baguette, returning to his apartment after a little shopping trip. I was green with envy, thinking that must be so so nice, to be doing that, with his own place to live here and belong to his neighborhood and all that.

And now that's me! Wow!

I think in a mushed-together combination of both French and English. It's not pretty.

For some reason I have no problem remembering words that we don't get tested on, like la bière à la pression (that's "draft beer"). This sign is on my favorite neighborhood restaurant, La Contrescarpe. Most bars have Guinness here, and that's a good thing, because I like Guinness.