04 August 2010

Last Week Part 1

I decided to update this last week of info in two separate posts, because there's honestly no way anybody would be able to make it through the entire five page update in one sitting.  So here's what we did the first half of the last week in Paris!  :)

Monday marked the beginning of our last week at the FEU, and more importantly – in Paris!  Major wahh.  The big “plan” for the day was to attend our morning language class then check out the Catacombes around noon when we got out.  Of course nothing ever goes as planned and I slept through class – woops.  I ended up having a really terrible cold that day and didn’t even get out of bed till around 18h00 (6pm).  Abby and Carey brought me some meds from the pharmacie and I started feeling a little bit better, but definitely not well enough to leave the comfort and cleanliness of the lovely FEU.  Basically spent the entire day in bed, but because I have such awesome friends I got dinner in bed (pizza and grapes) and ANTM watching buddies.  In hindsight, this is probably the evening that Abby caught the cold from hell (that eventually spread throughout our entire hall, I’m pretty sure), but it was allll outta love.  Those girls are the best, really.  Mommies for the day to be sure. 

 Abby, Carey & the pizza that miraculously survived the FEU ovens.

Tried going to bed around midnight, still feeling like crap, and was kept up until almost 4h00 by my Puerto Rican neighbor Javier.  Javier had been at the FEU for a year and was spending his last week there as we all pretty much ended up spending it – partying hard.  Can’t really blame him, but I was in a terrible mood slash on my death bed, so I wrote him a really nasty note the next morning calling him an asshole and telling him how mad I was that he kept me up with his drunken antics all night.  Actually ended up being a really funny story because he didn’t know who wrote it, and he posted it back up by the elevator asking whoever wrote it to sign it, and even took a picture of it and posted it on his facebook!  Famous.

 "The note" - straight from Javier's facebook.

Tuesday I actually got my act together and attended all 6 hours of Catho classes, my language class in the morning and my very last oral workshop that afternoon.  The oral workshop went by sooo incredibly slow.  Something was wrong with our classroom so the first half we spent outside in the courtyard of the Catho, which is really beautiful, but I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and almost left an hour in.  We ended up going to the Luxembourg Gardens for the last half of class and basically walking around, practicing our French on complete strangers (really awkward when they end up speaking English, or even better yet, being tourists who don’t understand a word of French), and looking at the monuments and statues around the gardens.  Went home after workshop to take a shower and get my life in order, probably napped or something equally boring, then took the Metro to the Latin Quarter at St. Michel (by Notre Dame) to have dinner at a falafel place with Cara and Abby.  Spent a few hours down there, the girls got gelato (that really proves I was sick, I didn’t even get ice cream!), and we headed back home to call it an early evening.

Latin Quarter at night - so crowded!

Just walkin home past the Notre Dame...

Middle of the week – Wednesday!  Language class till noon, then went to the Catacombes (FINALLY – I’d been wanting to for weeks) with Abby, Carey & Sara.  Waited in the longest line imaginable (it was actually only like an hour, but felt like forever) in the blazing sun.  The Catacombes are really cool but they are also a complete tourist trap, everybody speaks English and is either really fat and/or really rude.  Perfect, felt right at home.  Walked through the Catacombes for about an hour, it was a really fun tour actually.  You walk through these great underground cave/tunnels (Carey got really nervous, she’s claustrophobic) for about ten minutes or so, and end up in the most eerie underground caverns full of bones.  A big sign above the entrance says something along the lines of “you are entering the house of the dead” and the first thing you see is an enormous pile of bones – yikes!  Definitely made my skin crawl a little bit.  By the end of the tour your feet are soaking wet (the ceilings drip the entire time, and there are huge puddles that you can’t see because it’s so dark) and covered in clay because the ground is basically half clay half cement.

 Don't look so excited to go look at dead people, ladies!

The Catacombes literally holds thousands of bodies - eerie!

Sara ain't scurred.

After the Catacombes visit we headed home to clean up and met up with a big group of API kids to take the Metro to Montmarte (the area where the Sacre Coeur basilica is located).  We got off at the SCARIEST Metro stop I’ve ever been in, definitely felt like a different planet than “our Paris.”  Street vendors that scream at you (Abby had someone yell “sexy cigarettes?” at her, still not sure what that means), people roasting ears of corn above makeshift ovens in grocery carts, and even stranger things if that’s imaginable.  Finally made our way out of the ghetto (literally that is exactly what it was) and found a grocery store to buy some things for a picnic.  Of course we bought cheese, a bunch of baguettes, wine, and for the first time ever – plates!  What a concept.  Made our way up the incline that is Montmarte, turned a corner and there it was – the most beautiful basilica I’ve ever seen in my entire life.  Sacre Coeur truly is a sight to be seen, and you aren’t allowed to take pictures inside (of course Cara and I found a way around that and I’ll post some of her pictures here).  There were literally hundreds of people picnicking, performing, or just hanging out on the steps around Sacre Coeur, so we hung there for the entire evening just eating and drinking and hanging out with each other.  Stayed there for quite some time, til maybe midnight or later, then rode the sky tram down to the Metro and made our way home.  Of course we didn’t make it home without disaster striking – some pee emergencies, Abby running home from the tram because we missed the last RER, and other unmentionable things.  A great day in Paris to be sure.

 Steps of Sacre Coeur

 At sunset.  So gorgeous.

Photo: Cara Freeman - the infamous inside of Sacre Coeur photo!

 Phot: Cara Freeman, of course.
Cara, Ulysses & me at Sacer Coeur

My favie ladies: Abby, me, Cara & Holly on the steps.  Love this pic, thanks Uly!
Photo: Cara Freeman
View of Paris from the top of the steps.  So beautiful.

Thursday Abby, Kate (one of the API Aspire girls, a group of high school students that do the API trip in a separate group with a chaperone) and myself got to enjoy our very last phonetics workshop with our crazy teacher who grabs people’s faces and looks exactly like a bird.  We only ended up making it about halfway through class because our teacher is SUCH a nut, and we were all exhausted after a long day of language class that morning, so Abby and I headed home at the halfway break.  Thursday was also our goodbye dinner with API, which of course we were late to, and of course we were reprimanded for being late by Anne Marie (in a “kind of” nice way).  The dinner was actually really stressful and not that great, the food was so-so and the table was a big long table with literally our entire group at it (20+ people), so it was really loud and really really hot.  Abby and Jessica tried escargot, which was really funny and apparently they both really liked it!  Holly ordered a ratatouille dish that came with an entire fish on it, just cooked with the skin still on and head intact and everything.  It looked horrifying but she ate it like a trooper.  Got the heck out of there as fast as we possibly could, kidnapped a few of the Aspire girls (the high school group) and took them back to the FEU with us to play card games and basically just celebrate our last right night in Paris.  Made some very weird friends from Michigan that we met by screaming out Cara’s window and inviting them over to hang out with us, they were really strange so we ignored them and they finally got so awkwarded out that they left.  Stayed up far too late, like 4am late, stole Sara’s room key from the reception desk downstairs so that the Aspire girls had a bed to sleep in, and everybody passed out basically right before we had to wake up for class.  Great call, ladies.

Photo Cred: Cara Freeman
Carey, Sara & myself at the goodbye dinner :(

Photo Cred: Cara Freeman
Jessica & Abby trying escargot. Looove Abby's face!

 Oh the Seine.  So pretty, so dirty.

A week from today I'll be at home in Bend.  Very bittersweet thought.  Gonna go try some haggis now, it's basically the most popular Scottish dish and what all local Scottish people eat Nick says.  It's lamb stomach or something foul.  Hopefully I don't vommmm.


No comments:

Post a Comment