Monday, March 8, 2010

France: January 17, 2002

Sorry I haven't written in three days. I've been very busy as you'll soon find out!! But, busy in a good way. On Tuesday, I finally got to set up my bank account for my stipend. The lady I met with (Madame Huitric) was very patient with my slow French. :-) I won't actually receive a card to access my account until 10 days from Tuesday (the end of January); that's not too bad. On Tuesday night, I went to Via Pizza with a whole bunch of International students (Pinna, Janne, Leonnore, Cynthia, Gabriella, Niz...and many more). It was so cool. There were a lot of Germans there who would speak German a lot at the table. Leonnore kept trying to make them speak in French so that everyone could understand, but they would keep reverting to German. Gabriella and I spoke English only once in a while. She's from California (Oakland...near Sacramento). She can also speak Spanish. I got back to the apartment a little later than I'd hoped. I had to be up early on Wednesday morning to go to Paris...yes, Paris...with the Tulsa students. Wednesday was all planned out by the International Office. We (American students) had to be at the train station by 7:30 a.m. to catch the bus which was taking us to Paris. Well, me and only two other American students (from Tulsa) showed up! I just couldn't believe that those other students could just turn down a practically free guided tour of Paris! Yes, I understand you don't have as much autonomy during a guided tour....but it's FREE! What I didn't know was that there was a whole entourage of Egyptian men (studying to become French professors) coming as well. They smelled....literally. And, they were very interested in talking to us American girls. Also what I didn't know was that my apartment mate, Eva, was going as well...apparently she was invited by Madame Kilani who brought her 6-year-old daughter (a cutie, too) named Sophia. The two other American students names are Monna and Lizzie. They are very cool to hang out with. We pretty much made a pact to stick together during our sojourn in Paris so that we wouldn't get mobbed by the Arabs. Eventually, we moved to the back of the bus. They got the hint. Anyway...Paris...we went all the way through Paris by bus with a French-speaking tour guide. She pronounced her words very clearly. I took pictures with my disposable cameras I got for Christmas from Janice and Grandma. I took three pictures of the Moulin Rouge when we went past it. We saw the Louvre Museum from the outside. We saw the Notre Dame Cathedral which, incidentally, is not nearly as impressive and beautiful as the one in Amiens...different style architecture, too. We went inside the cathedral while we had a good 1/2 hour break from the bus. There's this cool angel-type thing where you write a message of peace and put it inside the clear box beneath it. I wrote something about how I hope that the world comes to know Jesus Christ as their one and only Savior! :-) Because that's where true peace lies. I took a picture of a statue of Joan of Arc inside the cathedral. After we left the cathedral we hurried up and bought some post cards. Monna, who is Iranian by heritage, joked around about how we didn't really have to hurry because the Egyptians wouldn't show up until late anyway because they were on BP (Brown Time)! And, it was so true the whole trip! We were always the first ones back when they told us we had to meet somewhere at a certain time. We went past the Champs Elysees. We got to take the elevator up into the Eiffel Tower for free! It was all paid for by the university. We took a boat ride on the Seine River on Les Bateaux Mouches. The tour guide was very impressive. I'd say he was only a little older than me and he was speaking in at least five different languages! I took a picture of Mary Ann the patron saint of Paris, which is located on one of the bridges. We saw the huge ferris wheel (La Roue) and of course L'Arc de Triomphe! I just can't wait until my pictures are finished being developed. I got doubles. They're supposed to be done by noon on Saturday. I hope it doesn't cost too much...oh well, if it does...it's worth it! Oh...I felt like we (me & the other two American girls) were the tourist attractions because the Arabs kept wanting us to get pictures with them. It was nuts! But, I humored them. We really didn't even have to pay for any food while we were there because the university provided croissants and orange juice for breakfast and a chicken sub, cheese sub, 4 tangerines, 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 coke and 1 bottled water per person!! There was no way we could finish it all. Monna and I looked for homeless people we could give the food to. We did see one old guy (homeless in French is "les clochards") who was scrounging for food in a garbage can but we didn't want to embarrass him by yelling to him from the Eiffel Tower line. So, Monna jumped out of the line and ran over to the garbage can and left the food there. And, she hopped back in line. Later on Monna said something funny. There was a sign where you got tickets for the Eiffel Tower that said "Beware of Pickpockets". She said it's funny that the word pickpockets in all the different languages on the sign are all the same --> "pickpockets"! :-) I want to go back to Paris just to see the inside of the Louvre Museum! Oh, that reminds me, I talked to Madame Kilani and she said that I can be enrolled in Sup de Co as well as Jules Verne. She just thought (and apparently Madame Courtois gave her the impression that) I didn't want to take classes there. I explained to her that I did and that I'm free to choose whichever classes I want. So, why not give myself more options by being able to take classes there, as well? Anyway, I've been told by many students who go to Sup de Co that you can have classes only your first two weeks or so then be finished! That means more time to travel.

Today: Got up around 11:30 a.m. Had a nice brunch of bread with strawberry jam, chocolate milk and an orange. I've been having fun going grocery shopping! LOL :-) Went to find a place to get my film developed...will be done around noon Saturday. Need to figure out if going to Paris on Saturday during the day with Dominique. He can't do the whole weekend because he has to work. I'm going to check out the earliest train times for Saturday tomorrow. I bought a nice designer-type wallet to carry all my cards, money, etc. Fits well in my zipper pocket of my cool blue ski coat from California. Today, I bought myself that French Bible I've always wanted with a French bookmark, too!! :-) I can't wait to read it...that's why I'm writing this so fast and sloppy. I saw the Egyptians at the International Office today at the university. They annoy me. But, I do feel bad that I don't understand them very much when they speak because they have a strange accent. I actually got an e-mail from Mommy today! She's honestly thinking about flying over here with a friend of hers (from work...I think) named Bernie. According to her, airfare is rather cheap right now. That would blow my mind if she actually came out here because she hardly ever really plans a trip...especially this big! She would be much better off in Paris, though, because everyone there can speak English there...not really the case here (in Amiens), though. I might warn her of that. Plus, that would be a good excuse for me to return to Paris. :-) I sent postcards today. One to the family, Missy and Grandma & Janice. I need to get Marta & Van's address off of Missy, yet, as well as Laura's, Brandon's and Preston's. Maybe I'll have better luck e-mailing Marta and asking her. I have a belated birthday postcard for her. She's 64-years-old now. Pretty young. Grandma Foflygen is going to be 80-years-old this year. Janice wants to have a big family shebang for her; I think that's a great idea!! On a different note, I've been saving my tickets and stubs from places I go for my scrapbook at home. :-) Tonight at 8:30 I went to a dual violin-piano concert at the Faculte des Arts for the Universite with Dominique. He had an invitation good for two people. I'm going to miss him when he leaves (at the end of January). But, it works out perfectly because that's when I move out of the apartment anyway and begin my studies for this coming semester. Speaking of studies, Clarion started back for the Spring 2002 semester this past Monday. It's weird receiving their e-mail but not being there. Everyone (or just about) from IV (Intervarsity Christian Fellowship) has been keeping in touch with me very well. They even said they missed me in their prayer requests!! :-) I love my brothers & sisters in Christ so very much. Oh...the violin/piano concert was small but spectacular. Pinna and Janne were there as well as Monna and Lizzie, although the latter two didn't see me. I sat behind the former two. Well, it's beddie-bye time. Goodnight! :-)

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