Oh merde.

I'm still in a flush over what I just learned. The French vote"NON" to the European Constition. Man, the implications and possible outcome of this is huge. I can't wait to see what the Dutch vote is this Wednesday--they've been told to ignore French voters, though general polling shows they're about 60 percent against this Constitution. Honnêtement, I think Chirac asked for it this time, and I honestly think that if he wanted to save the Constitution he'd quite himself instead of scapegoating poor Raffarin. This is the statement that had to be made about the way things are going here. I mean as a foreigner observerving here, the French have had enough. It is sad that a crisis within France will most likely cause crisis to the very European Union it basically founded...but nevertheless, this means things have to change. As if Le Pen's status in the second tour in 2002 didn't say anything, let's hope they get the message this time. I mean, if I were a French citizen, voting today, I would have had a hell of a time figuring out what to vote. I would have likely voted "Oui" for Europe, hoping that the "Non" passed so that I could scare Chirac shitless and teach him a lesson...

But anyway, let's save that for another day. Seriously, EU politics is so very fascinating, I don't know why I found it rather prosaic back in the States--perhaps I never understood it. But man, the dynamics within and between 25 different countries, that's really something else. And now with this Constitution referendum...I've been following it nearly obsessively for the last couple months, talking politics with anyone and everyone. Tonight my sister and I were at a "damn expensive, but delicious" French restaurant and it was amazing, people were asking the servers for the voting results as they came out, getting cell phone calls from friends. I just love the political awareness. On the Champs-Elysées there was apparently a huge manifestation that caused them to close down four metro stations to the Champs. I can't wait till I read the paper tomorrow. (I've already read up on all the recent stuff, but I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.)

Anyway, as you can see, even just on a political basis, so much crap has happened these last couple days. Even the weather here has gone through the multitude of changes that I have: burning humidity near 100 degrees, muggy malarial conditions, to windy chilly and rainy.

Those of you who read my last post will know that my sister has been visiting me in Paris. I think we've had a generally good time here. Sometimes I think I'm too short on patience and a little too stubborn for my own good...but don't we all. ;)

Now onto my updates (*deep breath*) here goes:

German guy

About a week and a half ago, after dating the German guy about 10 days, I went out with a couple of my friends to a nice local bar I know here that plays great music and is really chill, with cheap drinks. This night it was South American night, run by students from the Political Science school Sciences-Po. An awesome crowd...and happy hour all night. My friends and I decided early that we could really loosen up and party hard, especially after a week of tough exams and work. I wanted German guy to come by, but he had just moved apartments over to a friends place and was tired, and wanted to sleep. I shot German guy a blase text telling him that I'd love to see him but that it was cool. We'd probably see each other a bit next week when my sister came by. He replied saying he'd be coming over after all.

So me and my friends started with the shot, then more drinks, then another shot, more drinks...I entended up having an hour-long political conversation on the cavernous stairs in the place with a cute polisci guy. Of course, German guy shows up then, and I'm glad to see him. (Also rather drunk at this point.) We go down to the music area and hang with my friends, all of us ridiculously wasted. After hanging there for a couple hours we end up leaving the place, and German guy and I walk home. The sad thing is that I like German guy a lot more when I'm drunk. When I'm not, I prefer him as a friend. He's really really affectionate, and that kinda freaks me out (e.g. taking my hands in his in the metro while sitting across from me, putting his arm around me while we walk down the street, random hugs and kisses). In general, sometimes it's nice, but definitely not when I'm with friends...or with my sister. Blech.

German guy and I end up walking the 1.5 hours to my place. In the middle I, being quite sloshed at this point, eventually get to the point of tears about something. About what you ask? Well, I started crying about the world. Yeah, I find that funny now. But back then, it wasn't so funny. I was literally agonizing about the unfairness of it all, how young people like that Hungarian girl felt like she had no option but to commit suicide...(the other student was still alive back then)...how the problems in the Middle East are so ridiculously polarized, how life is so cruel sometimes. I personally knew I was crying about more...about all the crap that has gone wrong this year too, about my family, about Jack, about my inability to be honest with German guy.

Of course, German guy was a sweety. I sat in the middle of the street on a bus bench and he kneeled down in front of me, grasping my hands in his, giving me hugs, wiping away tears...and not telling me that I'd be okay, but telling me that I shouldn't care so much about it all, that the world is like this. He was right. And I was glad he didn't tell me that I'd be okay. Because how can anyone be "okay" when there's such horrible stuff happening in the world. It's okay to be bothered about it, but not "okay."

Whenever I drink something in me, okay, actually generally, signals me to eat so that I won't be sick the next day. So we stopped by a Brasserie near my place, handily open till all hours of the night (a rarity in Paris). I ordered a nice salad and fries...and some water. After I had ordered I told German guy that he shouldn't feel forced to wait for me there if he wanted to head home, since it was late, and especially since he wasn't eating.

At these words...he threw out a cuss word at me. I just stared at him. What?

He looked really disturbed, but in his usual calm even voice he told me that obviously he would leave if he didn't want to stay, but that by me telling him that he could leave, I was forcibly separating myself from him, treating him like a stranger and disregarding all the closeness we had experienced walking back to the restaurant when I'd basically bared my soul.

Now here's a small thing to know. I don't normally cry in front of people. In fact, most of my friends have not seen me cry. It was a big mistake letting German guy see something that was purely reserved for those on high security clearances with me...being drunk I gave him access to a very private part of me...my real hopes and fears and thoughts...and led him to think he was closer to me than he actually is, that he was close enough for me to do that in general, as opposed to that being an exception. And I think that is the core of the problem here between he and I. We are not equilibriated in our feelings for each other, we function on two very different planes, and I don't know if I can match him anytime soon. I also don't like the pressure.

Anyway, after German guy's somewhat just criticism of the situation I, still being rather "out of it" was mollified and more upset (if this is possible). And so I shut up, stopped talking, and just stared at him with eyes filled with tears. Not saying a word. Oh yes, I quietly asked for the bill and told him we should go. The 100 meters to my place were long...silent...and contemplative (on both our parts). Getting to my place I said a brief goodbye while half turning toward my door and letting myself in. I didn't look back, but I saw him still there out of my peripheral vision as I opened the lock to the door inside. I got back into my room...and took a look at my cell phone which started buzzing with a new text, of course from German guy.

"Hey. I dont want u to be sad. I love u. I so wanna be with u, dont u understand?"

I replied:

"Sorry I got upset...didn't mean to." And then I promptly fell into bed--waking up numerous times for water during the night.

What I missed were the two messages that followed:

"Is it because u dont care? Do u just need anywone or me? Maybe just now u are not abel to let another person be,,,"

And then,

"I am not being indiffrent about what we do together and u treat it as a novelty. I care--is this not a good thing? How about a few words making it special."

I woke up the next morning to those messages, a bad headache, and a guilty conscience. In a way, he was right. About everything. Luckily, he texted me right then telling me he was sorry...and I replied in kind as well. Then he came over later on while I was packing up for my weekend trip to Saint-Malo and Dinan with the other American students here.

And so, I was a little apprehensive about having German guy come over after such a tumultuous night. He came in and we hung out as usual, like the good old days, he watching me clean and pack, me cleaning and packing...But right before he left is when it all happened. You see, I had been wondering about the "love" word...he'd used it on two emails--"Love, German guy"--but, that needn't mean anything. Then the text message...which I dimissed as well, after a momentary pause. However, right before he left he told me he loved me, that he just realized it the night before for real...and that he was "glad" that I didn't want to have sex until marriage. I looked over at him, "huh?? You're glad" (am I *that* unappealing?)...

"Yeah, I'm glad, because it shows me that you don't take things lightly, the things you do...and I don't take things lightly at all. I really feel something."

"Well, I don't know how I feel," I said...avoiding eye contact.

He hasn't said it again, and I'm wondering if it's because he no longer feels this way (doubtful if he did before, based on current events)...or if he feels too vulnerable saying it without me saying it back. I suspect it to be the latter. But honestly, 10 days is really much too quick for me.

Throughout that day German guy would give me a hug...and then tell me he had no clue what I was thinking..."about what?" I once coyly replied (feeling awful...)...In anguish he said, "Who are you really in there, LYDT?"...

Before he left he stared at me for a second, gave me another hug and a peck...as if for assurance, then said: "We are exclusive...aren't we?"

I laughed.

"You're asking me this question when I just asked you that yesterday?"...

Maybe that was cruel, but I couldn't help laughing at hearing him ask such an "American" question.

"Of course," I told him. "Didn't you say we were?"

And that was that.

After he left I scrambled my things together...ran over to the station...and I nearly missed the train...After I finally got my seat in the train, sweat dripping off my brow, one of my friends from the night before leaned over to me, "Damn that was a crazy night!"...


***(I'll do away with the bold mini-titles...and use the "star" system instead because of the scatter-brained nature of my thoughts.)

That weekend at Saint-Malo and Dinan in Bretagne, France was simply amazing, though it could have been better without the stress of exams on our return back to Paris. I'm here in this program with a couple dozen American students, and well...to tell you the truth, I am not friends with a large number of them--mostly because I feel like a common nationality should not be the sole basis for friendship, that shared interests, intellectual pursuits and personalities tend to work better. Anyway, as a result of this, these weekend trips with my group (one or two every handful of months), are eye opening, sometimes a trip outside my comfort zone, and very surprising (no matter what). There are also a number of people in our group who I find to be quite interesting people, people I would like to have known better throughout the year, yet hadn't had the occasion too because of travelling, exams, sicknesses, or the fact that I don't quite fit into any of their social groups. A black sheep if you will...Baaaah.

Anyway, long story short, I had an amazing time--finally saw the ocean for the second time this school year...did some wading, good eating and had great conversations. And I love to talk...even though a lot of people consider me to be somewhat quiet and withdrawn when they first meet me...I'm more like a reserved chatterbox with an evil streak. (*glint of the eye*...bwahahhaa)...

Okay well anyway, out of this program when I first got here there were a couple people who I thought I shared similar interests with, were automatically cool in my eyes. One girl dropped out of the program...and I still keep in touch with here (she was with me at the bar with German guy that night)...and the other was still in the program, but I just never had a chance to hang out much with. So this weekend made up for it. Have you ever got to know a person who you knew would be an awesome friend, but didn't know how to go about actually befriending them? I mean without them thinking you're psychotically lonely and friendless or otherwise just plain weird? The thing about me is that when I think a person is cool, I'm rather plain and simple about it...I try and hang out with them, call 'em up, etc. I don't care about appearances...at all...and perhaps it makes me look uncool, but when I have fun with a person, I like to indulge myself. Haha. Thing is, I wasn't gonna blog about this weekend trip at all, because the highlight of it--other than the ocean and the very very cute cities (oh yeah, and good food--mmmmmm moule frites)--was perhaps making a new friend. How do I know that a person would make a good friend in my book? It's easy. When conversation is easy and not forced, when there are similar interests and no judgments on either side, then Ça roule...Sounds easy huh? You'd be surprised...Oh yeah, and in a moment of weakness (wine...) I revealed this site. So yeah...err...hey!


After that weekend my sister arrived the very next day, during my hell day, where I had a paper due that I hadn't yet finished though I'd worked the entire night...and, getting to the airport right on time to pick her up so that I could rush home to finish up my paper...of course, I found out there was a bomb scare, and everything was backed up. This would only happen to me...

My sister and I have been hanging out a bunch. Of course because of my exams, suicide reporting and work tasks...I wasn't able to be with her as much as I would have liked at first--and I felt guilty. Especially guilty actually because everytime I did have a moment, German guy would get in touch with me from a payphone (someone stole his cell!), or pop up to hang out.

The first night my sister is in town he calls me from a payphone...

"Hey...how are you?" he asks.

"I'm okay...you? Where are you now?" I inquired, since I heard some noise outside.

"Oh...I'm right outside your building actually...I saw the light on...but didn't want to disturb you if it was too late." [Ed. note: nearly 2 a.m.]

"Huh? Oh...[surprised, weirded out...], well come on up!" I said. Then he came up and met my sister.

German guy was polite and friendly with my sister, except for one comment he made that riled her up (and his subsequent sarcasm has caused quite a shift in opinion of him...though I tell her that we're just sarcastic people...). My sister is reading a book that I suggested, and he said, "But you're not a reader like your sister"...and she stared at him, then asked what he meant. "Cuz LYDT is always in the middle of books, she's never just at the beginning when you see her reading..."

My sister gave him poisonous eyes...an awakward smile (trying to save the situation)...and after some mumbled response, turned around. I told him that she hadn't had much of a chance to read due to all the sightseeing...and changed the subject.

The thing is, German guy speaks excellent English, which can be deceiving because it's not perfect. His tone can sound serious when he's joking or sarcastic...also, sometimes he simplifies his thoughts for easy translation...and so they don't sound quite right in English. My own personal experience here in Paris has made me quite sensitive to the whole idea of translation, language and the area that exists in between two languages; however, I could easily see how a person not used to having to explain and simplify every freaking complex English sentence (sometimes...gah!)...could be not as tolerant...


The night before my second to last final (last one is this Friday), I planned on making dinner with a friend after a day of productive work. This ultimately turned up into a rather nice dinner "party" with about seven people in my tinsy Paris apartment...the weather just hinting at the heatwave that would strike in the next two days...we had the balcony open and were outside enjoying the sunset and night sky...

I, the ever-awkward hostess, had a grand time. I've forgotten the simple fact that when you plan the invite list, though you deal with cleanup, you also assure yourself excellent company and conversation. Definitely a trade off I'm willing to make. I nearly forgot about my big exam the next day...Nearly.

I went to bed rather early, woke up relatively early and studied by butt off for the exam. Quite literally in panic mode, I was studying up until the exam itself. A few minutes before I was delightedly showing off some quick memorization I had done on the 25 European Union countries...quickly flipping through my book and covering up the answers as I stated them...when a girl in my class gave me a look, tapped me on the shoulder lightly and laughed at me, "Honey...," she said, "I think you're focusing on the wrong things..."

And I felt like such an idiot and such a nerd. So I stopped the unseeming activity, moving onto something else. Of course...that was question #2 on the (two question essay) exam. And of course, I messed up the very last portion of that exam because I hadn't fully memorized the facts. Damn her!

Of course, after the exam I lightly and kindly pointed out this fact to her.

"I know!" she said, cheerily (she had gotten that one fact I had messed up, right)..."Isn't it ironic!?!"

I wanted to kill her.


Last night my sister and I went out with a bunch of friends, including German guy. We started the evening off with some pre-partying at my friend's place, lounging in her awesome terrace, listening to music and chatting...then a nice walk to the fondu place we were gonna eat at. After dinner we stopped by a bar and then started walking back over to my friend's house again. On the way back we ran into a whole group of young'uns (high school students)...and randomly decided to take them back home with us. Back at her place we did some more partying, listening to music and "creative" dancing...Eventually the high school kids had to call their parents and go home (it was nearly 4 a.m.!)...and my sister crashed on the couch. I went to the bathroom to wash my feet, which were extraordinarily filthy after a day of walking around the city in sandals...(eh?)...While washing up in the bathtub, German guy came in behind me and closed the door.

Two hours later...

Here are some tidbits from out "conversation"--he told me he didn't know what to do...because he "so didn't want me to feel awkward about anything"...that he "sometimes wonders if I want him as he is, entirely..."

I, frankly, didn't know how to respond to any of it. Because I don't know what I want. But, I know that things aren't right. I kept writing off my "not feelin' it" to being stressed about exams, etc, which I think, actually, is true. Honestly, he's a great guy...however, I think the way things started just screwed it from the beginning.

As for my part of the excerpts of our "convo" the most memorable is probably--

Me: "I'm really not into saliva. I don't like it." (Finally, results!)

Anyway, my sister stayed over on the couch there, German guy went to sleep out on the terrace, my friend had already tucked herself in bed long ago...and me and another guy there went off to the metro to take the first metro home. I got home just as the world was waking up and the sun was starting to shine brightly...at 6:30 a.m.


Today, after spending a bit of time with German guy and some other friends with my sis...I think I've come to terms with the fact that I don't really like him that way...that it must be a bad sign that I'm only really interested in him when I've been drinking...and that I need to quickly do something about it before this spirals out of control. Currently I'm at a loss. I'm horrible at breaking up with people. I'd much prefer it to be the other way around...He's also a really good guy and I want to remain friends. Tender ground. Anyway, that's the update. (Who made it all the way through...?) Whew! Three cheers for verbal diarrhea!

Postscript: I just realized I forgot to mention--though it's hardly worth mentioning--but today would have been the 2nd year anniversary for Jack and I. No thoughts on that here.

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