recounting & counting

23 Aug

MKAY, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, let’s see how well I can.
Basically,  I want to write down all I remember from Paris in one convenient place so I can read over it in my old age and  think “man I used to be so ridiculous, what happened?”



The first day, as far as I can remember, consisted of me getting up at like nine and then waiting for my mom to get ready (an hour-long process that involves hairdryers and six different outfits meticulously chosen), then hoicked my backpack and suitcase down the stairs of the rented apartment and out onto the street. We walk to the metro and I’m bursting with excitement, all “oh dang, what if I meet someone who speaks Swedish, and then we’ll be friends, and then aaahhhh!!!” My parents are barely putting up with me. My sister is feeling left out.

We finally emerge from the metro and get lost for about five minutes, go to a store and buy me a towel (yay!) then walk down the Amorino road (Rue d’Assas? Something like that.) and onward to the hallowed Lycee De Notre Dame de Sion. By this time I’m jumping around, excited as fuck and eager to meet the people I see in the front office. I get my key. I take the sketchy elevator up to my room. My roommate isn’t there yet, so I kind of unpack and then run back down to say goodbye to my parents and then rejoice in their absence.

And then I try to make friends.

The first group of people I talk to, waiting for the neighborhood tour to begin, involve Cam and Graydon and Chris and some other fabulous folks whose names I don’t remember that well. (I’m sorry.) We start talking, I introduce myself (“I’m Blare! I live in the Caribbean. I’m going to be a senior.” “You’re tall!” “I know.”) and in a few minutes we leave to explore and find out where we are, exactly.

I find out the main facts about Graydon (lives in LA, going to be a junior) and Cam (lives in Boston, also a senior, half Canadian) as we walk, and laugh way too loudly and piss off Lea and Alex a little, who are currently being our momma hens. We live by Monoprix! And Amorino’s! And a little boulangerie! SWELL. We all are pretty googly-eyed by this point, and traipse back to the Lycee chatting.

Then, lounging in Graydon’s room, we meet his roommate Billy, and we talk for a while before going downstairs to “mingle.” I meet Kyna and Giselle and some other people. Say hi to Wil, Will, and Josh, kind of look askance at all the other people who seem like they’ve known each other for years. Go to eat. Explore a little bit. Come home with ice cream and then go up to Graydon and Billy’s room. I meet my roommate, she turns out to be named Jordan and seems like an okay person, which is good. Go back down to G&B’s room and talk more before midnight, when I go back to my room, talk to Jordan for half an hour, then try to fitfully sleep.

(now, the narrative becomes much more simplified.)

Day 2: Wake up around six, shake the sleep out of my eyes, go and take a shower. I’m the only one chipper enough to be awake at this hour, so I’m alone: go back, get dressed, look through our Welcome Packet and write in my Yellow Book. Wake Jordan up at 7:45ish, go downstairs and use one of the computers.
Go up to see if Billy and Graydon are ready yet, they are, we go downstairs and eat. First day of classes, honorary welcome-here assembly. The lot of us meet Richard, who immediately commands every ounce of my respect, though with good reason. Our teachers are on the stage and lead us to the classrooms. I am led off by Luc, my Psych teacher, who is nothing like I’d expected and is  short and bespectacled and about twenty-odd years old. The classroom is on the third floor. I rediscover my hatred for stairs.
He tells us the main syllabus, we nod and smile obligingly, and then after who knows how long it’s time for lunch. I go down to the Winter Palace, meet the dwarves and Weed Brownie (long story), and we go to the boulangerie on the corner. We eat in the Luxembourg Gardens and then wander back for minors.

My Art teacher is Paul Laufer, a bit of a legend in the program because he’d taught his class for 8 years and every other year his wife is having a baby. We are on a baby year. Paul is very excited about his baby. I meet Sophia, who is short, Bulgarian, and absolutely hilarious; Ofelia, who is Spanish and amazing; and Mary Liza, who is from Tennessee and makes me think of the epitome of a Southern Belle, though probably the mental twin of Sophia. We go out to the Lux Gardens and do a draw/paint of some fountains, just so Paul can gauge our skills. I feel proud of my little doodles.

Go back to the Lycee, the Dwarves assemble, we take the metro to Les Halles because all the Dwarves (except me) need phones. (in this case, “Dwarves” includes me and Kyna as well.)  We sit and wait for Giselle to negotiate with the employees in english, then surface from the halls into the Tuileries. There is a carnival going on. Graydon and Billy insist on riding a ridiculous spinny ride called Rainbow, one that we become very, very familiar with. Very, very familiar. They disembark all smiley, then we check the time and decide to mosey on home.

We eat dinner somewhere. I can’t remember.

Talking, talking, back to my room, sleep.

DAY THREE (and now I start really simplifying things)

Wake up, shower, dress, downstairs and breakfast. Go to class, listen to Luc, learn about personality types and read some case studies which are actually fairly interesting, though at the moment I am one of the only ones awake enough to care. Class ends, only major today so go down to meet the dwarves.

Dwarves assemble! We leave to go…uh, somewhere? I think Collette. I’m not sure. This day is kind of loopy for me. We do something, we come home and Billy goes “Is there a piano? I wanna play a piano. Real  Rull bad.”

We find a piano downstairs in the Teachers’ Room, though there are no teachers at the moment, and so Billy sits down and everyone’s jaws drop. The boy can play. (I have a video of it somewhere, but I’m far too lazy to upload it right now, so one of these days look out for it. Mkay?)

Then, upstairs, dinner, talking, watching the movie Billy made of his grandma talking about ghosts (“GOATS?!”) and laughing. Back upstairs, sleep.


DON’T REMEMBER MUCH except the hand-holding incident, and subsequent mental freeeeek-ouuuuuttt.




Saturday! Still had classes. I think I went to the Swatch store in Les Halles and bought a new band. The peeps who want to go to the Morning Benders concert.


and then dinner at La Coupole, I think. I order tripe. Ew.

DAY EIGHT– okay, I don’t remember much else on specific days, except the last two. So I suppose I’ll just write the little scenes, feel free to mix & match with the order.
=====MISC. DAYS=====

At some point, there was a Sushi Class sign-up thingy that I decided to join in on, spur-of-the-moment like. This led to meeting Nick, talking to Nick, going into the most awesome candy store I’d ever seen and buying three lollipops, walking across the street with Nick and watching him trying to open one of said lollipops and failing, me trying to help him but also failing, culminating in him dropping the damn thing in the middle of the street and looking absolutely heartbroken for a few seconds. I asked him if he wanted one of mine, and he said “naw, I at least held the greatness of it in my hand for a few minutes. That’s about enough.” Then we followed Lea to get bubble tea, which no matter how stridently I try to enjoy is just too fucking gross- and walked to a park and sat and talked and drank bubble tea for about three hours until we looked up, noticed no one was there, looked at our watches, and realized it was kind of time to get home. Thus initiated a magnificent Metro ride back, and more chatting as we walked back to the Lycee.
I was pretty happy.

You know what, I’ll finish this in a separate post, okay? It’s getting kinda long.



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