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Friday, January 8, 2010

Seeing as how I’m still engulfed by this crappy post- exam- week gloom, and trying to forget the disaster that was my three hour written exam on Tuesday, I thought I could do with a break from all the nasty rehashing of my incompetence and reflect on the loveliness of the past holiday weeks. Because, wow, was that ever a crap exam that I took, handled with all the elegance and intelligence of, say, Warren G. Harding. I’m pretty sure if he could’ve come back from the dead, he would’ve walked right up to where I was sitting in the lecture hall, writhing in emotional distress over my official pink exam paper and said, “Uh, my excuse was the prohibition. What’s yours?” (little known fact: I know next to nothing of American history, but the Teapot Dome Scandal is one of my favorite American historical moments. It’s also pretty much all I remember from 11th grade history.)

My sister and brother-in-law kindly descended from the frosty North, braving plane delays and RER strikes, to spend a week and a half with me. They even didn’t mind spending the majority of that time all mashed-up with me in my teeny 20m2 shoebox-studio.

As for the actual holiday-making, we stayed pretty low-key. A few presents Christmas Eve, traditional Christmas Day dinner at an Indian restaurant, lots of movie-watching and candy-eating (they brought me yellow balls from Finland! Yay!) We did manage to get ourselves organized enough to take a day trip to St. Malo, and then later an overnight trip to the Mont Saint Michel. It was one of those visits that are hard to recount later because everyone gets along and so nothing really extraordinary happens, but it’s exactly what you need at the moment. There was just a lot of ridiculous laughing and jokes and stories that form the center of my own universe, but probably aren’t of that much interest to anyone else.

And then there was the New Year, which I look forward to more than any other event during the year. More than my birthday. Oh yes.

We all clambered aboard an already very noisy bus and went to la place de la mairie to see a light show/performance/fireworks display thing, with a DJ. And I must say, it did not disappoint. Sometimes, I get a weensy bit cynical about life over here. Just when I start to get a little bit tired of seeing run-down university buildings, or inadequate public toilets, France reaches down deep into those tired-out, nearly empty coffers of public funds, and finds enough resources to pull off something really classy. That wacky light show/spectacle we witnessed New Year’s Eve was one of those classy somethings.

And then when the show wound down (at 12:05 am, according to the main clock in the square) we—along with every other Frenchy in the square—popped the cork on our champagne. And then we got biz-ed by many, many strangers.

And THEN, a few days later, just several hours before la soeur and beau frère had to leave, we had the good fortune to witness a now fairly common tradition in France. In the wee morning hours, someone in the neighborhood kindly thought to light a car on fire, in honor of sister and brother-in-law’s departure. How sweet. Dear sister and brother-in-law actually were sent off with a bang (and the stench of burning rubber.)

2 comments :

Pekka & Halle said...

we made it out of there like a car on fire...house...both...

thanks for being the bonne hostess!

david said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk6JHu4JZXY

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