I really love the song "Forgiven" by Alanis Morissette...it's really old school, I know. But I just love the slightly smirky "evilness" of her lyrics, and I also really relate to them in an oddly bizarre way.

"You know how us Catholic girls can be...We make up for so much time...a little too late."

Mwahahahhaa. I always wanna say that after those lines. 'Cuz we all know what she's referring to.

Yesterday the lil' sis and I took off for a day trip in Normandy, Le Havre. It was our consolation prize for being too cheap to go to Marseille...we still wanted to see the beach and "get some sun." That ended up being too much to hope for, it was drizzly and overcast...luckily the sun did end up coming out after a couple hours, and we had a rather pleasant stroll about town. Apparently the town is known for its 1950s-esque architecture and is a UNESCO village or something like that because nearly all the buildings there were destroyed during WWII and had to be rebuilt. If you like architecture it must be heaven on Earth. My sis and I, already tired out from waking up at the crack of dawn to catch our train (a little to excited there)...were already quite tired out. We wanted to catch lunch by the ocean, but found ourselves on the opposite side of the city, so we decided to make use of what G-d gave us...

...we stuck out our thumbs and after a couple minutes a really cute guy stopped and we got in. He was a young Frenchie living there, doing commerce work with ships, mostly with China (it's the 2nd largest port in France, apparently)...he invited us to have a drink that night with him, but we had to decline because we had a train to catch. After a quite satisfying drink, with a bit too much cider (accidentally) ordered...(damn metric system!)...we hitched our way back to the other side of town to try and see the Japanese Garden there, which was built since the city is a sister city with Osaka, Japan. Unfortunately, those were closed right when we got there (bad joss!)...and, well, after a couple minutes contemplating whether we should break in (sister: there's cameras!!! me: so what...we're quick enough! sister: Nooooooooo me: fine (damn lack of cojones))

We ended heading back into Paris a couple hours earlier, both extraordinarily fatigued by our slightly too ambitious scheduling...slept on the train and then crawled back to my apartment to catch more zzzs. I've never slept more soundly than I did last night, I didn't even hear my vaccuming landlords!

Ah...those landlords.

I knew there'd be a problem when I accidentally had the Internet company here come over to install Internet, and suddenly saw them drilling a hole in my wall. I had to do some serious explaining to my landlords--tried using the "stupid American girl, bad French speaker" excuse...which sort of worked. Except that later on when we were speaking I didn't keep the ruse up well enough and they realized that I was actually a lot better in French.

Which reminds me! Some guy in a restaurant here thought I was French...until I paid with my Bank of America card...which he went on about for a while. It felt really good...and embarassing. But I know my accent still needs a lot of work. Well, I've got a whole summer to improve.

Anyway, the exam season here is finally wrapping up, my last one is this Friday...on the relationships between the United States and the Arab States post 1945. It is a one hour oral, first 30 minutes presentation, last 30 minutes questions. I'll do well if I take everything I deeply believe in and reverse it on its head and then spew it out in perfect French. I don't believe in compromising my morals and integrity for an exam. I'm using neutral sources of information outside of class and will present to him as "historical" a view as possible...hopefully I won't get punished for it. But, when push comes to shove, I just won't feel right kowtowing to some bully just to get my grade. Unfortunately, the two other Americans in my class just sat through his lectures wide-eyed at his statements...I might be in this fight alone.

As for the general grading system here...it is very very bothersome. I have lost faith in the French education system (if I had any in the first place, this would be even sadder). For an exam here, I seriously answered as fully as possible, using tons of sources...like 10 different texts, etc...while taking the in-class exam. When we got it back, I found out I got a crap grade...and the teacher told me, in front of the class:

"Oh LYDLT, you had a lot of information there. You sometimes try and write too much. You see, it doesn't matter how much you know, how much information you include, how well you read. It isn't about showing the fact that you've read the texts or know a lot. It's about the actual French, the way you write it and the structure. Less information, but more pretty, structured...is what you need to do."

I'm so screwed here with term grades.


And now for a small update on German guy.

I haven't heard from him for the last day and a half, mostly due to my travelling about...but also because I don't initiate too much contact with him in general because, well, I guess I'm using that avoidancy to try and get a point across. (I need to stop the passive/agressive!)

Today I was in class speaking with a friend who knows both me and German guy and has seen us together. She told me she thinks I'm just scared of him, scared of commitment (sp?--I find that ironic) and starting again. It's true, she's right on that one. I feel like my heart has gone through a series of acrobatic positions, first with Jack and then with TOWSLGIBW (The One who seemed like a good idea but wasn't)...in addition to the whole family crisis thing. It's hard to change tracks all of a sudden, and, since I'm only going to be here till August, I think a lot of this hesitation (and analysis) on my part has to do with the fact that I don't want to believe in this thing with German guy as a real relationship, as something I could get attached to...I mean, I'll have to break it off in August anyway. I don't know what he's thinking, but I don't feel like I know him well enough to talk about that. We can talk about so much together, but about "us"...I just can't seem to bring it up...perhaps because I don't want him to think I think of "us" ever.

Anyway, since I haven't seen him, it's been hard to sit down and have a talk with him, let alone "the talk"...especially since my sister is here. Today I got a call from him, he's in Marseille visiting about and may be making his way to Aix-en-Provence and then perhaps a monastery to visit and stay for a while. He left me the bike he just got outside my place, locked up and hid the lock in my apartment building behind a carved rose in the wall...it was really fun trying to find it, like a sorta scavenger hunt. Then I went for a nice joy ride on his bike...he knows how much I miss bike riding and having my own bike. Unfortunately, since the bike is used, the brakes are a tad old and don't work so well, so I nearly lost my life a billion times around Paris. Those damn roundabouts are scarrry! I had to tone down my usually more reckless driving...but it was still pleasant.

I suppose things will have to wait for a while with German guy, until he gets back at least. Perhaps it's good. I've got tons of studying to do...limited time with the sister, a job to start...frends visiting...

My biggest problem right now is getting Jack permanently out of my head. I still compare him to people, to German guy...it's no good. When I'm kissing German guy I shouldn't be comparing his kisses to Jack's...I didn't do that to Jack! )(My sister saying German guy was a cuter, thinner version of Jack didn't help either...They don't resemble each other! I swear!--But that was a huge turnoff.)

What was that thing I read somewhere...perhaps another blog...sometimes it really is you and not the other person.

When I got back from Le Havre yesterday I anxiously checked my email (per usual...) and saw a message from Jack. It was the 31st, he'd just gotten back from South America. He'd sent me an email--subject: "This just in..."


"me. :)

thought I would say Hi...and miss you before I head off to catch up on errands and maybe even sleep. :)


Of course, I didn't respond. I still haven't opened that ipod shuffle he sent either. Honestly, I'm sick of the "sleep" comments he makes...and well, I don't know what he wants. That email struck me as slightly assumptive and, frankly, quite arrogant. I feel like I'm over it...enough to be "friends"...but I don't know, if I'm still comparing him, perhaps not.

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