30 November 2009

Thanksgiving:Global Remix Edition

So this weekend...was mixed.
Thanksgiving:Global Remix went well.My friend Kevin decided to do it up right and invite other lost assistants to L'Auberge Nantaise (his flat) and have a traditional(ish) Thanksgiving. I offered to co-host (partly because I'm me mum's daughter and love organising shindigs, also because I'm still the bossy 5 year old Kayle who wants things to go her way)
The weeks and days leading up to this feast were intense as it was unsure whether a turkey could be found, but Kevin's girlfriend found one...Best Girlfriend of the Year.
Anyway, it went really well.
Beforehand, I tried to get people to say what they were going to be, at least a category, but to little avail...Kev was a little stressed out,but it all turned out wonderfully.
Besides Americans, we had Brits, French, Spanish, Italians, Longhorns, Sooners, & Germans. It was like the UN,except probably more productive.
Kevin,killed his first tukey!(killed as in did a really good job on it, not the hunter type way) My friend Steven made a pumpkin pie from scratch and it brought tears to my eyes...yes I've been emotional lately,but this pie really was SOOOOOO delicious. I believe my exact quote was it tasted "like home in my mouth"-it did!
Bethany made a stuffing, and I don't even like stuffing,but it was lovely. Everyone brought something so delicious and food overflowed.
I made a tartiflette (a traditional Northern French potato, (smelly) cheese and bacon casserole) and it turned out a lot better than it should have...Everyone seemed to love it. Even the girl from the region where it's from said "it wasn't bad for a first attempt, it was pretty good". Coming from a French girl I took that as a whole compliment. There were probably about 40 people in the spacious,but, still French sized flat. No one cared. Alcohol, food and fun flowed and so did the love Sounds cheesey,but it's true. I was in my element and full of thanks...pumpkin pie, and sangria.
I think Kevin enjoyed his Thanksgiving/Birthday...I know I did.
I'm glad I had a family of sorts to celebrate Thanksgiving with. It's true as Proverbs says, better a friend near by, than a brother far away.
I have to remember each day how blessed I am to have friends literally everywhere on this great marble...and many more to meet.

21 November 2009

I put on for my country

So, we Sablaise assistants have been trying to go out more often.
Often times we'll go to the flat of two of them and eat,drink and be merry.
Last night we gathered to have a real Spanish tortilla, chorizo,sangria et al.
It was delicious.
Two of Noli's students came, a nice,if odd couple. Like one of those instances of "How did she pull him" or "I guess she has a nice personality"
Admittedly shallow.
Anyway the kids were nice (if you're 20 and under in my book,you're a child. Like it or not,je m'en fiche. This means I'm not going to look at you in any type of romantic interest,and probably not at all) Anyway, the guy,Ben,was really cool (wearing the necessary horizontal striped shirt) the girl, was wearing black(per usual),but her uniform varied in the form of a smile. However,once we did the introduction thing she assumed I was English. Not a horrid thing,but simply not true.
I corrected her we moved on.
Sangria flowed.
Ben and I started talking about his desire to go to the States. And I instantly turned PR and talked about how great all 50 are. I acknowledged there were exceptions,but generally most international students who visit the States have pretty poisitive associations with Americans after that. Ben shared that Estelle didn't want to go she had a thing against Americans.
I asked her what she meant and she proceded to say all the usual stereotypes,but seemed to fixate on guns. I then explained (briefly) a history of the States and why the right to bare arms is seen as important and a gauranty of liberty then paralled it with the French revolution: each nation has things that are unappealing (some more than others).
Then I asked her if I was the first American she had met.
"Oui, mais non, Victoria!" "Yes, but no, Victoria"
Ben, replied, "No she was Canadian."
We all had a laugh at Canada's expense.
"And besides,you've met me,I'm American.I'm not stupid. I'm not fat and in fact I'm pretty awesome."
I don't know if she got that,but moral of the story: I put on for my country.

09 November 2009

Today was a good day...

said in an Ice-Cube voice.
Minus the faux-hardness.
Gosh,today was lovely.
It started with my morning ritual which includes, for inquiring minds, reading from the book of Proverbs, a prayer and a stretch(dance) to Morning in Rio by Sergio Mendes. Then a cup of tea and breakfast.
All of the above helps me get my life right before greeting people. Not to say that it always insures a good day,but it usually does. (also gchatted it up with a best friend)
So, returned to the college(Middle School) after the break and I had a new class. I was a few seconds late because in my cubby (pigeon hole) were the class pictures we took the very first day. Haha, it was great.
Chantal, one of the sweet English teachers, was just in the middle of talking about her surprise when in walks ME. All the kids were so excited. It's a lovely feeling to think that you're a pleasant surprise for someone. Anyway, they asked me rudimentary questions and I gave them a brief overview of the land that I love. (No, not Israel this time, America)
After that class I was done.
Earlier that morning, I received an e-mail from Nathalie, my responsable or contact person asking me to present a lesson on Guy Fawkes and Thanksgiving...so I did that for an hour and then prepared to catch the bus...at 10h40.
The only problem is, it came at 10h38. I was a little annoyed,but not really,because it was my fault, so I was just going to go back in the school, at that moment....HERE COMES THE BUS. Haha, I was so thankful. Had I been waiting out there for the late bus, I would have been mad,but today his tardiness was my blessing. I flagged him down and he stopped.
Score and a half!
Then I went home, walked in the beautiful weather (maybe 60 degrees, slightly chilly,but beautiful) came home and chilled to the next episode...lycee at 13h30.
I wanted to show a PowerPoint of my life in the States,but the file was too big,so I had to adlib for 50 minutes and ended up trying to coax the dear ones to speak to me...to little avail.
Then I had two hours and determined that the next class WOULD speak to me. I saved my powerpoint to a jump drive and was so krunk to show them a little bit more about me.
First we began with discussing their vacations. I was thankful they spoke,so I tried to overlook when they discussed having sex with their girlfriends...a fact I couldn't care less about.But my PowerPoint...
If I said they were interested,that would be an understatement. They loved the pictures of my family.(Just a normal African-American family replete with goofy brother, adorable beyond sense baby sister, and two other great sisters and two AMAZING parents) then I showed them pictures of my extended family:my friends. And they flipped their lids. The responses "Ah Putain! "(Which is actually like dropping the eph bomb,but since the French do it so often it's more like damn!) This got them discussing the beautiful girls in the U.S.A. and led to suggestions that my friends visit...Success!
I was also pretty proud because they got interested in my pictures of the States,especially of D.C.and I got to talk about the city I love and the constitution.(I love reading the constitution. I carry a copy on my person at all times and believe in it.In fact, while visiting Bordeaux I was reading the Declaration of Independence and just burst out smiling...I couldn't help it. )
A great class session despite the fact that I know that these students were buzzed at least a little.
How do I know?Because when I left for my two-hour break I asked them where they were going and they answered to drink.When I returned, like an hour and 45 minutes later they were in the park by the school sippin' on some stuff...
One reason I believe that French students get too many breaks during the day...
So,as I sip my soup,listen to John Mayer and reflect on my day...today was a good day.

06 November 2009

Eye know you want me...

there is a situation at work.
1)I like guys with lovely, longish hair.(My friends call it Jesus hair, I just call it lovely.)
When I got to the lycee (high school) where I teach, the first day I noticed a guy who works there with lovely, wavy brown hair and tanned skin. Natural tan, none of this I'm a guy who tans mess.
Anyway, problem is, that most of his countrymen, he looks me in the eyes.
What's the problem? One might ask.
The problem is that I make eye contact when I speak to people or see them and the result is the awkward, tension filled eye lovemaking session that usually annoys me,but in this case makes me feel some kind of way.(Usually when French people look at me all in the face, I get annoyed, or when it's men, I feel violated.)
The problem is that a) I have a boyfriend (not much of a boyfriend,but he's the only one I got dah dah dah dah)b)-x) See a) z)he's old. Not 40, but maybe 27-35 range, which is too old...
It's still kind of fun to catch someone's eye and hold it for a few minutes, I just hope the situation stays where it is and doesn't heat up.


So, I'm going to try to be faithful to this blogging thing since I now have steady(expensive) access to the internet chez moi(at my place).
Recap: I've been here, in France, since Sept.16th, I've been in Les Sables since October 28th. In a lot of ways it seems like I've been here forever and I only have a few months let,other times it's like I've been here only a few days...So it goes.
We had a vacation for La Toussant and as French as it sounds, I feel like it wasn't long enough. Returning to work was hard,but more on that later...
For the break I went down to Bordeaux, my second home, and visited my boyfriend (NOTE: I didn't know said individual was for sure my boyfriend until he asked me if I had kissed the French I was dating, meaning him) I spent a glorious week doing nothing:reading, meeting friends, drinking coffee or wine or beer as the occasion called for it, it was lovely. Ended way too soon,but I'll be back down there for Christmas break.Then I went to Nantes (my third home? or maybe second since I go there more often) to visit Celine, ma OU Cousine. We have too much fun whenever we're together...which is about every 2 weeks(literally)without fail.
The thing is Les Sables is lovely, it's a good town for walking and such,but it's petite.There aren't many young adults from what the other 4 assistants and I have seen and yea...but it's all good. When(and if) I start studying for the GRE (or LSAT) it will be beneficial...
Anyway, so last weekend was crazy. I dressed up as an OU football player (complete with black stuff under the eye) and my #28 jersey.I did a)drink an obnoxious amount and mixture of things b)take a (really pretty Blue Sapphire)glass from a rock bar that we went to c)take some English guys chips (fries) that he offered d) a lot of other crazy,mostly legal things.
The problem is, I feel like I'm on the edge of being too old for these things...

Nah :)