Jours vingt-huit et vingt-neuf. 28/9/10 et 29/9/10.
Bonjour à tous. Toutes? Tout? Je ne sais pas… I usually find the agreement/non-agreement rules for “all” to be really confusing..
Hoping to keep this quite brief. We’ll see if it actually happens.
Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. I went to my Histoire de la Langue Française class in the morning. Here’s a note for you non-French: classes do not start on time. In fact, I think it would be a pretty rare situation to have a professor show up on time, rather than 5-10 minutes late. That’s usually the case for my courses anyway, so maybe I’m just learning for some professors tardifs. The class really doesn’t seem too bad at all, until the professor asks us to come up with the 6 homophones that have the sound [SƐN]. Right, I can do that, because I can speak French and everything... Unimportant, she goes over all the answers anyway. Onward to the most embarrassing and awkward encounter I’ve had so far in France…
History of the French language ends by 1pm. I have my two translation courses at 1:30-3 and 3-4:30. Too short of a time to do much of anything, so instead I wandered to a generally open area and found a bench. A very cute French boy sat next to me. I definitely recognized him. We kept glancing at each other strangely. I sat there for 10 minutes, trying to convince myself I should just say something because I was positive he was in my translation courses, he was just so familiar. 10 minutes, I told myself I might as well go for it because if I didn’t, it’d be pretty awkward to walk to class next to each other after having sat there in silence for all that time, and also because it’s France. Where better to try new things, like being outgoing? (Haha. Ha.)
“Pardon, mais, est-ce que tu as des cours traduction?”
Yeah, I tried to explain how he resembled someone I knew, that I thought he was in my class, he really seemed familiar. In French. I think I failed pretty hard. I tried to excuse myself and say I was sorry, but I’m not very good with speaking French. So he asked what language I spoke.
“Ay speek een-gleesh.”
ADORABLE. So then I tried to quickly re-explain in English that I had thought he was in my classes, etc, etc. Then he tried to introduce himself.
“Je m’appelle aowuehvoauwe.”
“Euhh, comment ca s’écrit?”
“Koo. Oo. Euh. En. Tay. Ee. En.”
Finally, my dear readers, it clicked.
“Ohhh, comme ‘Quentin’ en anglais?”
In my defense, he had been speaking with his hand covering his mouth the whole time. Plus, just in case you’ve never studied French … the pronunciation of “Quentin” in French and in English are very, very different.
We talked very briefly about what year we were in, with me stuttering all over the place and looking like a tomato. He asked if I had a course right now, and I glanced down at my watch: It was 1:25 and I was not entirely sure I could make it back to the room for my translation classes without getting lost. (More on that in a few sentences…) I tried to tell him that I had class at 1:30, but couldn’t remember the hour in 24-hour time, let alone in French, so I panicked and told him in the USA we just call it “one”. He kind of nodded and then I said I had to go and I thanked him profusely for having talked to me. Then I turn and practically ran away. Smoooooooth.
Really, though, in retrospect, all I can do is laugh at the entire experience. Very embarrassing, very awkward, very funny. He certainly was extremely nice to have sat there on the bench and talked with me (and tolerated my terrible French stuttering and mumbling and mistakes) when he could have just said “non” and turned the other way, or even left. Despite my absolute positivity that I recognized him from somewhere (which was apparently false), I’m really hoping I’m just crazy and I didn’t recognize him; if I run into him again, I think I might crawl under a rock and die.
Yes, yes, off I went to my translation courses. Close to them, at least. I got lost and panicky. The buildings here are ridiculously confusing and have completely illogically numbered rooms. Not cool, Lille 3 administration… I made it to class just in time, but then again, why had I worried? Most of the students were there, but the teacher didn’t arrive until several minutes after I had. Both classes weren’t too exciting but not terribly boring either. Ended up with a massive headache at the end, however.
Oh indeed, I’m sick. Ill. Headcold. Nose keeps changing from runny to stuffy every few hours and I’ve had a few headaches. Nothing unbearable, but it makes me angry to be sick. I was moping in my room about my illness when Cindy knocked on the door to ask me to show her the laundry room. I happily obliged, after jokingly blaming me for my nose and headache (“Erasmuflu”, as Vikki called it. It’s certainly nothing abnormal, probably just being around so many new people and exchanging germs, etc, etc, just as happens every school year.) In the laundry room, we found Laurent, a boy from York in England who studies at Lille I. We spent some time talking to him. I had to struggle not to laugh aloud when he said to “go past the car park and cross the motorway”, though.
Can’t remember anything else from the rest of the evening. Woke up and went to my Diachronie de l’anglais class. So awesome. Really love it. Basically a history of the English language. Everyone who lived in Britain until the modern-day English really sucked at defending themselves. Basically asked to be invaded. Really. They did. The Celts who were there around 500AD invited in the Angles and Saxons on into the country to defend them since they were so wimpy, but apparently hadn’t considered the possibility of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes wanting to just take over the entire landmass and purge the whole area of Celts… Right, but English is super cool and so is its history! BAM!
Wandered back to my room, feeling rather congested, and then met up with Rosalind. We went to this nice little café with grey and purple walls and had almond flavored bubble tea and these ham+mushroom+some-sort-of-spread sandwiches. Luckily for Rosalind, she only had to say “la même chose” after the waiter tried (unsuccessfully) to hide his smile as I ordered in French. Overall, satisfying lunch and bubble tea is neat. We grabbed our bank cards at the bank, just afterwards sadly realizing we haven’t received our stipends so our accounts are completely empty. We stopped at the post office so I could mail a thank-you out to one of my friends and so Rosalind could send some postcards. Then we hit the Tabac so I could try and buy a timbre fiscale for my immigration stuff, but they didn’t appear to have any. Thought about getting metro passes on the way home, but it was more than a bit crowded, so we left.
Crashed in my room. Had an omelette for dinner, nomnomnom. Plans to go to a meeting about Tandem, the conversational partner course, register in the CRL, and maybe stop by the Katie-Georgie-Laura residence, because Georgie invited me over for some soup. I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow or Friday. We’ll see what I feel like doing. Ulysse trip to Paris on Saturday. Hoping I’ll be over this cold by then.
I think that’s everything. Tout. Tous. Toutes? Tout. It must be tout, right? Ahhh, well…
Oh, and so. Today is Wednesday, September 29, 2010. I arrived in Lille exactly 4 full weeks ago. It feels like it’s been forever. It feels comfortable and routine and normal, generally. It feels like home.
Bonne nuit. <3