Tuesday, October 28, 2008

La vie quotidienne

Well, its been a month, and life is getting...quotidien! The daily schedule goes:

Monday, do something until early afternoon and then Skype with Matt.

Tuesday, do something until late afternoon and then babysit Olivier. Teach him English by playing poker and watching the Simpsons.

Wednesday, go to internship. Have coffee for two hours, have lunch for three hours, then read theater magazines while trying not to inhale too much second-hand smoke.

Thursday, go to French as a foreign language theater class.

Friday, go to history of French cultural politics class and French cultural economic policy class.

Saturday, do something.

Sunday, do something.

Something usually means something, but sometimes it means nothing. I don't know whether to count gossiping in cafes as nothing...I think the French would call it joie de vivre! I have seen six plays so far and will be doing some formal interviews within the next couple weeks. I'm also organizing my vacations, which is also very French (I just learned that French companies not only give you five weeks of paid vacation, but they also subsidize your vacation expenses). In November I'll be going to Belgium with my new friend Lia, and in the spring I'll be in Bratislava, Italy, and elsewhere. Anyone have connections in non-Schengen territories?

This weekend I had a little getaway to Bretagne to my hostess's family estate - well, it was really a getaway for the grandkids, who both had colds. Stay tuned to see if they gave their colds to me. Check out the enormousness of the main house in my photo album; we stayed in the "outbuilding" with a mere four bedrooms and maid's studio apartment.

As alluded to in the previous post, here is a scene-by-scene description of the weirdest French play I saw:

1. MC talks to the audience, pretends theater is a cabaret and play is a soiree. Tells audience he will die before the end of the evening.

2. Disco lights come up on MC singing and dancing to "Sex Bomb."

3. Pregnant woman stands in front of mike talking about l'avenir (the future), raises voice to a screech and then falls down.

4. Some other woman tells the story of her mother working in a factory and cutting off two fingers.

5. Ella Fitzgerald song plays and everyone sings.

6. MC talks about his love for an older woman. Lights come up on woman on couch and MC standing twenty feet away. Lights fade and come up on woman on couch and MC lying on floor. Lights fade and come up on MC sitting on couch. Actress playing older woman has been replaced with actress thirty years younger.

7. Behind a scrim, someone saws off someone else's limbs one by one. Sound of saw is turned way up. "Can't take my eyes off of you" plays in the background.

8. MC goes to dinner with his two pregnant girlfriends. The sound of them gulping water is turned way up.

Intermittently: actors remind us that life is hard, love makes you miserable, and we're all going to die.

I don't really remember much else about this play. The dialogue or what passed for dialogue wasn't hard to understand, but as I can't let my mind wander and still follow the thread of the plot or what passes for plot when it's in French, I kinda stopped trying about halfway through. The play was called Je tremble, or I Tremble, parts un et deux, and it was written in two installations and played at the Avignon Festival in 2007 and 2008. That explains a lot.

Click here for photos.

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