After Saturday, I definitely needed a lie-down! It turned out that the Rallye mostly consisted of running round the whole of the Quartier Latin, and doing the same at Clignancourt. I was signed up to the Équipe de l’UFR (LEA) Anglais-Espagnol by Kahina, our awesome team captain, and spent most of the day getting strangers to take awkward photos and videos of us!
Félix, Léa, Kahina, Nina, myself and some first-years had to photograph ourselves doing odd things at different places to prove we’d completed given tasks at the right checkpoint… after which we were made to undertake a series of quizzes (I answered a grand total of 2 questions – that said I answered both correctly!) One of the first tasks involved Kahina being made to give us a beautiful rendition of Alexandrie, Alexandra fit to contest with Cloclo himself (for anyone who doesn’t know him, he’s probably the most well-known, iconic and biggest-selling recording artist of 1970s France – you can see why from his dress sense and dance routines). He claimed that he sort of wrote My Way by Sinatra before the lyrics of Comme d’Habitude were altered, and there’s actually a square named after him in Paris, close to where he died (from straightening a light fixture in the shower – a sad, albeit rather anti-climatic, ending). Anyway, in the end the running around paid off – we won third place in the competition and were all sent to the foyer to array of petits-fours, apéritifs and punch – punch and sugar is always a plus! All the pictures can be found here
Sunday was spent doing very little due to recovering from the previous day’s exertions and, as is mandatory for me, I also ended up being late for my Version Anglaise class on Monday morning as I was so drained. On arriving, I also realised we had a test on vocabulary from a book I’d still not purchased. I get the feeling it didn’t go too well… but I have the book now! Hindsight is awesome :)
I had a lovely catch-up with Heather and Dave who were in Paris for a visit after that (thank you for the bagel!) As I was rushing through the barriers at Porte de Clignancourt to meet them, a rotund man was pushing through with me – this is totally normal. I wouldn’t have been bothered were it not for my Navigo Pass deciding not to work, leading to me being crushed between his stomach and the barrier. I hadn’t ever sworn at anyone properly in French before that day, and am not proud to say that I was so disgruntled by his very physical invasion of my space that I ended up shouting ‘Casse-toi’ at him quite audibly. Paired with my ‘death-stare’ I think it went down as intended.
BJJ was good fun, apart from my sensei laughing at me for being ticklish and me forgetting my T-shirt again – poor Hoi Tong had to endure nigh-on two hours of my gi falling open in a not-very-ladylike fashion… I was also feeling very happy after finally remembering to use the greeting rebonjour in a conversation, and even more-so through doing so with a rather good-looking pompier. He arrived at the door, came through, instructed me to turn out the lights and not to leave the flat (as you can imagine, I was rather excited by that point). Disappointingly, he was there only calling due to a problem with the electrics so after he went back down the stairwell, I basically just sat alone in pitch black for half and hour… which is fine. It happens to be one of my preferred past-times.
It’s started raining here so I went to Diwali today to pick up a scarf to cover my head (I’m not clever enough to remember to take my umbrella out with me), and I learnt a lot of different French words to do with scarves (écharpe, foulard, chale, étole…) I passed through Galerie Vivienne a while back and visited a boutique selling scarves, stoles and the like, called Wolff et Descourtis. I’d definitely recommend having a look, even if women’s accessories aren’t your thing. The materials there are beautiful, and the passage itself is worth a visit too. There used to be lots of these ‘arcades’ in Paris that were where people could browse shops under shelter, but unfortunately most were torn down to make way for Haussmann’s boulevards (Boulevard Haussmann is where you find the ‘Grands Magasins’ like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps).
Anyway, I have a lesson at 8am tomorrow so I’ll be heading to bed soon but I made crèmes brûlées this weekend and I’ve put the recipe up! I made these for my landlords when I first arrived in Paris and they were very nice according to them ;)