I had an alarm set for 11 today, nice and late. I ended up getting up at about 10:30 to have breakfast with Joan and Sheila. This is the last breakfast we're having with Joan since she's going to move out of our house and into her real home today (her host mom is back from the South of France). Sheila and I had asked Madame how we were supposed to do laundry last night, and her response was "when you want." ...really? She never showed us how... Sheila and I took a look at the machine, and were able to figure it out, so we did our dark colored clothes. Madame's youngest daughter was visiting from London, so she slept in Madame's room. She was puttering around the house with us, but she kept to herself for the most part. We all got ready to head out, then pulled out clothes out of the wash, hung them up in the room that connects ours (the one with all of the screen-less windows), and met up with Kyle to get lunch before our tour of Canal St. Martin. We stopped by Carrefour first, but nothing looked good to everyone except for Kyle. He bought a baguette, cheese, and meat to make a sandwich, then we all went to that Chinese place by the metro that we like, and had a meal. A HUGE plate of rice and meat, and a drink for 7,30 euro is pretty hard to beat... Joan and I couldn't finish our meals, but we definitely tried.
Once we were finished we headed outside, and much to our surprise (and to my horror), it had started to rain. The weather had said it would be sunny today. Kyle chimed in and said the written weather report he saw said there was a 20% chance of rain in the afternoon... mind you, I might have worn my leather boots and not my flats had I seen that, but I don't wear my rain boots unless the metéo says there's a 50% chance of rain or more. I had my umbrella, but I wasn't exactly the happiest camper in the group. I'm never in a good mood when my feet are wet. We were close to the metro, so we weren't too wet. I kept hoping the rain would let up by the time we got to our rendezvous point for the Canal tour. No such luck. Moira (Sweet Briar official) met up with us, and stopped by a few stores outside the metro stop trying to find a place where she could buy an umbrella. After waiting a little while for more of the people that signed up for the tour, we set off just to see the canal... and then Moira took us on a 15 minute walk along the canal to another metro station so that we could go see the Musée de la Musique. By this time, my flats, my socks, and my feet were soaked, so I wasn't in the best mood. When I wasn't moving, I couldn't "feel" how wet my feet were, so I wasn't all that upset, but as we started moving (especially when we were walking outside again), I was a little ticked off. The museum was really cool. We got in for free because we're students, and because we're obviously younger than 26. It has a "soundtrack" to it, so you're supposed to get these audio guides (for free), then as you walk through it, you'll see numbers next to things (or on television screens), then you dial in the number, and listen to whatever you've tuned into. It could have been an instrument, or a movie on how trumpets are made, but it was definitely cool. All of the cases that the instruments were kept in were glass, so you could see through them no matter where you were.
Asian band ensemble
Joan had to get back to our place to finish packing so that her host mom could pick her up at six, so we headed back home after we were at the museum for about 45 minutes. I'd like to go back some time... We stopped by a patisserie on the way home to pick out a little thank you cake for my host home from Joan. Sheila and I split the gluten-free berry tartlet when we got home, which was very good, but I think I actually liked the lemon merengue one that Rouge had at the shop a little better... Joan's host mom is hilarious. She talked to us for a few minutes and asked what we wanted to do for careers. She laughed when I told her I wanted to be a writer. I don't know whether to be offended or not...
Dinner was absolutely FABULOUS. I told Madame last night that I'd managed to figure out I could have galettes du sarrasin (crêpes made with 100% buckwheat flour) since they're gluten-free. She was pleasantly surprised, she didn't realize that those crêpes were okay for me to eat, and she had a good recipe for a meal made with them. While we were at Carrefour earlier today, I noticed a package of pre-made galettesdu sarrasin that were indeed gluten-free (though they warned that they were made in a facility that handles things made with gluten, no big deal for me), and I got really excited, though I didn't buy them. I guess Madame read my mind... that's what we had tonight! She'd bought those crêpes, then she'd heat them in a pan one at a time, add ham, crack an egg into the middle and cook it sunny-side up so it was all runny, add shredded cheese, fold up the edges of the crêpe, and plop one onto each of our plates... We had that with a salad, and we each ended up eating one and a third of these crêpes (I guess there were four pre-made crêpes in the package). Oh, man. Best meal I've had in Paris so far. Sheila and I had to waddle out of the kitchen, we were so full... I got to Facetime my mom for about an hour while my food digested, and while I primped a little bit to go out tonight.
Sheila and I met Kyle near his house, and we walked to his metro stop. We met up with Joan near the Latin Quarter. The initial plan (dictated by Rouge) was to be at our usual rendezvous point (Cluny-La Sorbonne) at 10:30. Joan was there at 10:30 since her host family lives close by. We made it there by 10:50. Rouge and Nicolas rolled up at... 11:20. We gave them a hard time for it. We walked into the quarter, and up to an Indian restaurant (Safran, 13 rue de la Harpe) that we'd encountered a couple times before. There were hookah pipes in the windows, but no real advertisements that you could actually smoke it anywhere on the menus that were posted. Last week, we'd asked one of the waiters if we could actually smoke hookah at the establishment, and he said that's possible, but everyone had to order at least one drink as well. All of us wanted to have a low-key, relaxed night, so all we wanted to do was sit down at a hookah bar (it's called chicha here). I don't smoke anything, hookah usually included. I like being around it because I like how it smells, but every time I've tried to smoke it directly from the pipe, I've choked (I've apparently been doing it wrong), so I just avoid it. We went up to a large room, and sat at a table, ordered the chicha (we ended up getting apple), and three pitchers of wine (half liter each, a red, a white, and a rosé). There was a small group of other American students behind us that were going to go to Tours to do their studies soon, and they happened to be from Ohio, so we talked to them a bit. I taught Nicolas how to play speed (the card game) since Joan was sitting across from me and wanted to play it, and since I had the cards, we ended up playing King's Cup around the chicha when it arrived. Nicolas hadn't played it before, and didn't quite understand everything, so that was entertaining. He drew a 10 at one point (categories), and didn't understand the concept, so he suggest "types of puke" as the category... that one was a crap shoot... Kyle made the "mistake" of creating the "no cursing" rule, then broke it three times over about a minute after he made it. He'd also had Sheila as his mate for the game, and she curses like a sailor, so we were all dying laughing since they were either cursing or drinking for the remainder of the game, which ended because we rain out of wine, not cards. The girls from Ohio were incredibly amused with our group. If it wasn't Nicolas misinterpreting the game, it was some of his English mistakes, or how he'd pick on Joan, or all of Sheila's cursing... it was great. For three pitchers of wine, and the chicha, the tab was only 50 euro, which isn't bad when you split it six ways. As for the chicha, I did take a couple hits from the pipe (we'd been given individual mouthpieces to use, so it was very sanitary) as it came around, and I'm still a novice at it (I'd end up choking and coughing half the time). I don't plan on doing it all the time, but I'll do it with friends every once in a while. I don't see much harm in it. We left the restaurant a little bit before one, and almost went to the nearby McDo before it closed, but they locked the doors five minutes before one, so we were a little upset about that... All of us parted ways and went home for the night. I started nodding off on the metro, I was so sleepy. Sheila and I got home right at two. I'm just glad we got to take the metro, and not a bus...
Son air et sa manière? / Admirables, sans doute. -Molière: L'Avare.