Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I guess I was a little short-sighted when I called my blog Vivre sa vie a Paris, since I'm not in Paris anymore. Avignon doesn't rhyme as nicely, though...and "sur le pont" is taken. Also, blogger won't let me change the name. I'll have to think about that for next time, but anyway, yes, Sarah is in Avignon!
I got back to Paris on inauguration day, after which I was jet lagged and disoriented but still made it to a little party to watch CNN and eat cake. I have missed two hugely historical events for the US this year, but thank goodness for cable. Otherwise, I didn't do too much in Paris and after four days, I took the 2hr 45min train ride to Avignon (with that enormous suitcase...I guess I'm stronger than I look). I found a taxi with a big enough trunk to handle the luggage and was deposited at the home of Yannig, Melissa, and Diego, whom I'd found on couchsurfing.net and who let me stay with them for an entire week for free. They are all French, despite the ambiguous names (Yannig is actually a French name that I'd never heard before...to me it looked German or something...Melissa is a French as well as Anglo name, and Diego is Melissa's brother, named after his mom's Spanish best friend. Make sense?) It was nice to be there, despite the slight awkwardness of sleeping in the living room, because I knew absolutely no one and they provided me with people to talk to and maps of the town. I also watched TV with them and discovered that French reality TV is just as vapid as American reality TV, only with more stories about people getting state money.
I moved into my apartment on a Saturday evening, just as an American-Japanese couple was taking my place as couchsurfers. I brought the little suitcase with me to meet the broker and signed all my papers, then went back to get the big one and spent about an hour talking to them. The husband was from California and the wife from Japan but had studied in California, which is where they'd met, and they now live in a little fishing village in Japan. They were the oldest couch surfers I've seen and Yannig was concerned they wouldn't be comfortable without their own room, but they were cool for 50+'s. Somehow I got the monster suitcase down Yannig and Melissa's stairs, over the cobblestones between the apartments, and up three flights, via the one step at at time method. I bought a few food and houseware staples since everything would be closed the following day, and spent the night in my first solo apartment with clean sheets but no pillow or blanket. I used my coat - probably got the idea from some movie or maybe from Girl Scouts.
There is more to write and I promise I will do so very, very soon. I have been neglectful of my blog but I have no more excuses since now I have wifi and the university has been, much to my surprise, on strike since I got here so no class for me. Everything is in walking distance too so there are no long subway rides...the time is going to be harder to fill, and that could certainly translate into more blogging. On that note, be with you again soon...