Sunday, July 6, 2008

French Keyboard

This one will be short and sweet because I'm using a funky European computer and the Q is where the A should be and it's taken me five minutes to type this sentance. Sorry for any oddly spelled words in advance. Oh, and no more apostrophes because its too hard to find the button. Did you know that I have to press shift to get a period? Oh, there goes another five minutes.

Today was my last day in Paris and I really wasnt digging the museum/monument circuit that the fam had planned. I ended up talking myself into it and Im glad that I did because it was a beautiful day to walk around and the museum we went to, L'Orangerie, had a great collection of impressionist and modernist paintings. Impossibly enough, I may have even gotten a bit of color, which will spare me a bit of redicule in Italy. The ninety two pounds that Ive gained is a completely different story.

Tomorrow, Im off to Italy to see the family that I lived with in high school. The town is nothing glamorous. It was founded by Mussolini in the 1930s and fascist architecture and conservitism reign supreme. Also from the 30s is their current level of technology, so I will be detached from the internet like a screaming infant from a mothers womb. Luckily, my Italian family and my trashy novel will be more than enough to keep me entertained over the next week.

Now Im off to my last french supper. Add that to a week of my host moms cooking and Ill have to buy an extra seat on the plane.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pathetic Olympics

So, I'm back in Paris after a week of exploring the Loire Valley! Wine tasting, chevre, and hanging out with my family was good and all, but, being the cultured lady that I am, my first thought upon arriving back in the city was "INTERNET!" and my second though was "INTERNET TV!"

I'm starting to get a little travel weary. There comes a point where all these chateaus begin to run together, the rich food actually starts to make you fat and feel sick, and the comforts of home begin seeming pretty sweet. Anybody feeling bad for me yet? I didn't think so.

Being with my entire family has had its peaks and plateaus. My whole "trying-not-to-look-like-a-tourist" cover was pretty much blown when the larger part of them showed up in rain slickers, tevas, and sun hats, not to mention the youngins inability to grasp that people don't speak English here or that, by stopping and petting every dog we see, we'll never get anywhere. It's strange watching my grandparents get older and seeing how some of their quirks have developed into full blown unattractive qualities. Like how my grandpa has a habit of saying really inappropriate and mean things. For example, after my nine year old cousin made a bad throw during a family boulle game (I had long ago been disqualified) which she deemed "pathetic," my grandpa said, "Yes, but all of your throws have been pathetic, so you don't get another pathetic throw." He then continued, saying, "If there was a pathetic olympics, you might win." For real. To a nine-year-old.

Being around all of these people makes me right tired, sheee-ooot! Moments alone are rare and are usually spent napping, reading (First "Incident at 20-Mile" by Travanian and now "The Stand" by Steven King. C'mon, it's vacation, yall!), or writing in my journal which has turned into a total burn book. I've spent most of the long car rides wondering what it's like to be engaged, creating a storybook character (Maxine the Cupcake Queen), thinking about what I would wear if I could afford it (touring Miu Miu and Chloe here in Paris has taken its toll), and watching the impossibly beautiful countryside slip by.