12 of 12 for February 2009

15 Feb

I’m a little behind with this one because I spent the weekend in Alsace, but that’s a story for another day.

My petit déjeuner. My host mother very kindly sets a place at the counter for me every morning with bread, jam, butter, yogurt, juice, and sometimes sweeter treats like poundcake, cookies, or Nutella. I can’t believe how much sugar the French consume for breakfast. Anyway, my breakfast was fairly simple on the 12th, but fortunately the baguette was quite fresh. I passed on the fromage frais.

Looking down the Boulevard Voltaire near the intersection with Rue de Charonne during my morning commute. It’s about a 15-minute walk to class. Since France is situated so far west within the Central European time zone, the sun rises at an absurdly late hour. This picture was taken around 8:30.

The ACCENT Center, where my classes are held. It’s situated at the end of a courtyard off the Rue du Fabourg-St. Antoine, near the Bastille. This area of the city is known for its long history of furniture makers; the illuminated sign advertises one such enterprise in our courtyard.

Inside the ACCENT Center, after my Grammar and Composition class. It’s a nice little place. The staff (a mix of French, Brits, and Americans) are all incredibly friendly, helpful, and have a great sense of humour. There are a few other American schools with students there, but I think USC might have the largest contingency.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t slept very well at all the night before. I had gotten myself stuck in a difficult sleeping pattern where I would take a long nap in the afternoon, wake up for dinner, then stay up late doing homework, before waking up early and going to class. By my second class (Paris Avant-Garde), I was literally struggling to keep my eyes open. My notes reflect that. Although I’m not sure I would have understood Mallarmé much better had I been awake.


In spite of my fatigue, I needed to buy a gift for my couchsurfing hosts for my upcoming trip to Strasbourg — specifically, Reese’s peanut butter cups (the wonders of PB haven’t quite been discovered by Europeans yet). My target was Thanksgiving, the American food store in the Marais. I could have walked, but I was tired and opted for the metro. It was only one stop from Bastille.

I got off at St-Paul, near the church of the same name. The sky above the church made for a nice shot here.

From Pop Tarts to root beer and clam chowder to maple syrup… Thanksgiving’s got it, although with understandably high import prices. I don’t mind paying 1,70 for a can of A&W every now and then, though (totally worth it). Besides, it’s in Le Marais, which is up there with Montmartre and the Quartier Latin in terms of “old Paris” charm.

After returning chez moi in the 11th, I enjoyed my root beer whilst watching the latest episode of Lost online. It’s still my favourite show on television and probably my favourite drama/mystery show ever, although this season seems to be presenting some unnecessary complications to the storyline. Still, I have faith in the writers and there’s no way I could stop watching… I have such an attachment to the characters after all these years. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Heroes, which I haven’t been following for a while now.

After watching Lost, I accidentally fell asleep (into a rather deep sleep of a nap). I woke up when my host father knocked on my door, letting me know that they had called me down to dinner about three times already. Apparently they decided not to bother me. When I came down, they had already eaten their meals but they waited at the table while I ate mine. It was a delicious mélange of salad, tuna, tomatoes, eggs (which the French love), and some kind of beans. The French sure do know how to eat well. You can also see the Reese’s cups that I brought for my host parents to try.

Florence and Michel at the dinner table. Thankfully, they did enjoy the Reese’s cups.

Before going to bed, I always check around my room to make sure one of the cats isn’t hiding when I close the door. Somehow, Masha managed to escape my detection. After playing against the wall for a little while, she eventually decided to leave.


2 Responses to “12 of 12 for February 2009”

  1. Megan 19 February 2009 at 20:36 #

    You’re right about living vicariously through your photos, I do it!… I love it but at the same time I’m sooo envious!

    Your host parents look like lovely people; I’m glad they enjoyed the PB cups!


  2. Marylou 2 March 2009 at 23:56 #

    Love your site!

    5 Facts You MUST Understand if You Are Ever Going to Lose Your Belly Fat and Get Six Pack Abs

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