Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hey all! I'm going to keep this as brief as possible 1) because I'm a little fatigued (as the french would say) and 2) because I'm sick (hence the fatigue). But I thought a little update might be in order just so those of you who follow this blog regularly don't think that perhaps I got lost in a crowd of protesters or shipped off to the French Isles.
Fact # 1: It's fall, and as a result some of the parks are absolutely gorgeous this time of year. I recently discovered one of my favorite parks--parc floral--(well I say favorite about just about every Parisian park) is actually only about a 10 minute walk away. Who knew that the edge of Paris was actually within walking distance? Now, for those of you who aren't very big tree huggers, this park actually provides quite a bit of entertainment. Picture walking down a picturesque trail amidst falling leaves and bright foliage when suddenly the sound of synchronized clapping reaches your ears.

Not one, but two ladies, straight faced and silent, marching in step, and very casually (as if it weren't weird at all) swinging their arms wide to clap simultaneously. Your appearance on the one person trail doesn't even phase them. Ok, whatever, you tell yourself, and carry on with your journey. Pretty soon you stumble onto a gorgeous lake full of all sort of water birds. Attempting to catch a close up photo of a swan, you ignore your childhood phobia of angry giant birds and approach it for the sake of art.

After a bit of squawking you realize that you survived the encounter and now you're ready to try again, this time with a bathing pidgin. I say bathing because what you don't really notice is the muddy water on the trail next to the lake which makes the ground a bit slippery. Narrowly missing a dunking in the water, you decide to catch a breather on the bench. It's here that you notice an aerobic group warming up and decide to watch for awhile.

You watch incredulously as the entire group starts skipping (or maybe frolicking is the better word?) led by their leader who is explaining the best skipping techniques. All this is very amusing and just when you don't think it can get much better, the previous two ladies emerge from the trail, clapping louder than before and now competing for attention with the skipping group. Good times...

Fact # 2: France is still full of all kinds of delightfully odd things that I did not know. For instance, you might have guessed that McDonald's and Starbucks had made it big over here, and I was definitely surprised last year to discover Century 21, but did you know that Weight Watchers meets every week in the building adjacent to mine?! My goodness, as if the French even need Weight Watchers... (When I told Matt this he filled me in on other American phenomena over here, like Tupperware parties and the like...) And that's not all--last week I discovered that glue comes in a spray can here! Now think of all the interesting and fun things that you could do with spray can glue in the States...

Fact # 3: This really wasn't all that brief, and I'll try to update you on the rest of my life when I'm feeling a little better. All I can say is that classes are going well, French is going well, life is going well. I would love a little prayer for my health and also my schedule if you have time. I'm still trying to figure out how to stay on top of everything and the like... Well, that's all for now!


Joanna Harding said...

Talia- On prie pour toi et ta sante! Maintenant que j'ai decouvert ou suivre les aventures, j'y retournerai bientot!!

Judi said...


Sorry I can't respond in French. :-) I can say, though, that I had another delightful day in subbing for fourth graders in Coquille! They are hysterically funny--they just don't know it! :-)

Case in point--Show and Tell time. One little girl gets up there with her ancient-looking song book that perhaps her great-grandmother might have taken along for Christmas caroling. In all seriousness--much like the ladies clapping on the trail--she proceeds to sing "Jingle Bells" with the greatest enunciation and vocal control I have ever heard. All the poor kids were biting their lips to keep from laughing--some more successfully than others. Afterwards, the kids are supposed to ask the presenter three questions. I thought I had better start it off, as I didn't want kids blurting out rude comments. Well, the third question was, "Do you know any more songs". "Well, actually, I do". She picks out "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Well, that lasted until the final bell at the end of the day! Ha! Pretty funny!

We'll miss you at Thanksgiving this year! Get better soon!

Love, Aunt Judi

Judi said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Talia! We are all gathering for the day at our house in Eugene. Your folks and Natalie will be here this year, too. We were going to have 24, but it's down to 21 now. I guess Aunt Faith is going with Pearsons to Cottage Grove. She wanted to come to our house, but they wanted her, too. DAvid and Brooklyn just got here (It's Wednesday night before Thanksgiving here in the US of A). Right now, they are playing poker with Bob. :-) We will be thinking of you tomorrow, and I hope we get to see you while you are visiting at Christmas.

Love, Aunt Judi