Sunday, August 30, 2009

We have just been going going going until today, where we had a free day. Lets see, to catch up:
Friday, we went on 2 arrondissement tours. In the morning, we met in the 11th, where the Bastille is. Gilbert wanted to show us the little passage ways and ins and outs of the 11th, where we saw a beautiful open air food market, very Parisian, as well as little streets and big boulevards, all to show us the different characteristics of the 11th, and to help us orient ourselves further in Paris. After a lunch of delicious greek sandwiches, we met with a “proper” tour guide, (for Gilbert doesn’t think he’s a proper tour guide) who took us through a tour of the 18th, the arrondissement that is farthest north of Paris and home to Monmartre. On our tour, we spilled out a little of Paris’ borders, outside the ‘peripherique’ its called, into a ‘banlieu’ (suburb) called St. Ouen. It felt very different in comparison the actual city of Paris, even though it was just minutes outside. Maybe it was because there was practically no one out, I don’t know. We visited a building called ‘Main d’Oeuvre’, roughly translated as handy work (? I’m taking a guess) which was a really cool organization that provided exhibition spaces for local artists, as well as housed a restaurant, gallery, and many different offices all related to the arts. We were pretty pooped by the end, so much walking, which resulted in a few blisters, but oh well.
Yesterday, we went to Fontainbleau, which is the biggest forest in the ile de France, and has a very grand chateau. Although the chateau wasn't my favorite as far as chateaux go (i know, how snobby to do i sound), the forest was wonderful, it was really nice to be in the woods. Again, we walked A lot.

On our tour of St. Ouen, we learned of a very large flea market that happens each Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so today, we went to that.
It was huge, like a museum that just goes on and on. I got a 3 old, very pretty postcards, dated around the 20’s-40’s, and a simple black watch for 5 euro (I know, dad, I got a watch!). Then, Sam wanted to see Sacre Coeur, so we made the treck up to Monmartre.
OH, but before we got up there, I cannot forget to mention the little smoothie place where we got lunch. It was called “Smooth in the City”. Let me tell you, after bread, butter, cheese and ice cream for days on end, which although sounds heavenly to most, after about a week of having almost nothing but, a fresh salad of seeds, tomato, cucumber and onion, a yogurt parfait, and fresh pineapple, orange and mint smoothie, all for 8 euro, was absolutely heavenly. I could feel my body thanking me.
I returned early to my foyer, where I am now, because I am just a bit tired from the week. Tomorrow, apparently we have a whole day of classes, IFE classes, not yet our actual Sorbonne classes. Hopefully it should be interesting, I just hope I don’t fall asleep without coffee…
Oh! I almost forget to mention my babysitting experience on Friday! I’m glad I didn’t forget. One of our directors from IFE sent out an email on behalf of one of his collegues, and she was looking for a babysitter for her 8 year old son that night. I immediately responded, jumping on not only the opportunity to get to play with a French kid, but also to earn a bit of extra money
Turns out that Esteban, the little boy, was adorable. I couldn’t have asked for a better babysittee. We played, only in French (for he spoke no English) for almost 3 hours, and for almost 1 hour of those 3, ‘on faisait les accidents’; which basically meant, we crashed toy cars into each other. He loved it, it was hilarious. When it was time for bed, he made no fuss, gave me one kiss on each cheek, read, and went to bed. His only request was that I draw him a picture of my choice, and leave it face down on his floor so he could look at it the next morning.
I get an email the next afternoon from Mathilde, his mother, saying only ‘Esteban absolutely adored the abstract portrait!’


  1. I knew that you would like the marche aux puces and, yes, I was surprised that you got a watch. Also, the bookinistes along the Seine used to sell old post cards. Perhaps they still do. I look forward to you showing me the hidden ins and outs of the city.

  2. 1.Did you see any gypsy jazz musicians at hte marche aux puces? that is sort of their hub in that district!

    2. Keep the pictures coming!

    3. How is it you lived in baltimore for 3 months and never managed to get a babysitting job and you get one after 1 week in a foreign country! Answer me that one!

    4. Was your drawing supposed to be abstract.....? :) haha

  3. We got so lucky with the weather at Fontainebleau. The pictures we have from there are just unreal.

  4. what did you draw and can you make me a drawing please and sne dit and i'll save it for a bad day