Friday, January 21, 2011

Things I Love Today

  • Getting a refund for a clothes order I made from TopShop but never received because of December's epic snow. (I suspect that it may have arrived after all, according to communication with my former roommate who has stuff for me to pick up. So maybe I get free clothes??) I really needed this refund because of all the money I've spent in the past month.
  • Eating cheap döner kebap (one of many spellings) with Jessica and Nou tonight in Paris, and spending a long hour and a half relating so many of my awful horror stories. I felt good to realize that I'm over them and no longer quite as bitter as I was just days ago.
  • Going to a Polyglot meeting after dinner tonight. We only stayed for about forty-five minutes, but I had a cool conversation with Ulysses (!!!), a Taiwanese-American fluent in Chinese, English and Japanese, who spoke excellent French because he came to Paris and started learning from scratch by talking with people; and two Italian Lucas, one of whom was visiting the other from London where he's teaching Japanese and Italian (he understood French but didn't speak much), and the other of whom spoke impeccable English and honestly confused me when he told me he wasn't from New York or Philadelphia. I wish we had stayed longer, but the three of us assistants live out in the boonies of Île-de-France (i.e. the Paris region - I am teaching you vocabulary haha), so we had to make sure we didn't miss our trains. The tricky thing I found about Polyglot was that the conversation is invariably metalinguistic at the start - e.g. "What languages do you speak? How did you learn them?" etc. So I figure it takes time to get things going properly. Not that I don't love talking about languages! Everyone has a great story. I just didn't get to learn more of anyone's tonight.
  • Still feeling invigorated and enthusiastic about the 30-minute uphill walk from the train station to my latest home, when the buses aren't running. They stop at 9 in the evenings, so I foresee the imminent return of my beautiful leg muscles. I'm doubtful that I can continue to be invigorated and enthusiastic, but hopefully any resentment will give way to tolerance...
  • Love songs.
  • The American Library in Paris. I'm training to start volunteering there tomorrow. I'm excited to put bilingualism into action and to be surrounded by books I actually want to read. Being in the same building as a bunch of books and English speakers who understand my logic, I won't say no to that.
  • Going into Paris with a group of some of my students and their teacher today, to watch One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in play form, in English. I love these kids (they're the literature track and, as Michael says, "they actually speak English"), and they seemed to really appreciate the play. And gosh, they were so well-behaved too.
  • Anticipating some major discounts during the current month-long, government-sponsored soldes (sales) in literally EVERY store in France!!


  1. Dear Alex: I am so happy you are doing much better, and have renewed energy and enthusiasm for many things and people. Will wait for your email (no pressure) before I respond to the above blog. I love you, Bunnie!! Mom

  2. yay things i love thursdays!! wait so they're both named Lucas? and what is Polyglot preciesly? I get the poly part, like multiple (languages)...? my things i love thursday in a short list: friendship, planetariums, fire and penguins.

  3. They were both named Luca, without the s haha! And Polyglot is a group that meets several times a week in a bar where people can practice their French but also many other languages. The tricky thing is that, it seems like you need to be fluent or almost-fluent to have a decent conversation. So I need to work on my Spanish and Japanese, like a LOT haha. (Maybe German too!)