27 November, 2006

A plot-driven post

Today was a busy day. I went to French class (boring) and then headed over to the Political Science building for my next class. I gave in to the temptation and bought a package of peanut M&Ms from the vending machine, only to discover that it was impossible to get them out because there was a water bottle stuck in the tray. I was not about to give up my beloved horribly-overpriced peanut M&Ms, so I fiddled around with the vending machine with pieces of paper, notebook covers, torn up plastic cups, etc (not very French, squatting in front of the vending machine poking at it. I decided I didn't care) until I discovered a fork in my bag (don't ask; I don't remember), bent it out of shape, and was able to dislodge the water bottle and package of cookies blocking the tray. So I had not only my M&Ms but also a bottle of water and a package of cookies (which I could not eat). I gave the cookies to the two Californian girls in my next class, which was The European Union and not boring at all. Then I went to a pharmacy and bought a flu shot (the way it works here is you go to the pharmacy and buy the shot and then go to the doctor and have them inject you with it) and went to the student health center on campus and got my flu shot. After that I went to the post office in the centre ville to see if I could get a box to ship stuff home in, 'cause Elsa's answer to my "where do you get a box?" question had been the post office. There was a huge long line out of the front door, and the place that seemed to sell prepaid boxes also seemed to be closed, and as I sighed and got in the line anyway I noticed that the lady in front of me was just holding this taped together shoebox to mail. So I decided to go over to Monoprix (local supermarket) to see if they sold boxes without the 45 minute wait. I asked the lady at the counter if she had just regular cardboard boxes (the way you do this in French is to point at one she has sitting next to her and say, "Do you have boxes? Like that one?" Then she gives you the name, which is "carton," in case you ever need to know), and she said no she didn't, they didn't keep them at the registers; if I wanted boxes I'd have to ask the people who stock the aisles as they sometimes have empty ones. They happened to be setting up all the Christmas stuff today, so I made off with four free boxes. Then I came back here and packed a box full of stuff that I figure I'll mail tomorrow, if I can, and studied some, and talked to Mom and Mary. Then Elsa got home and we chatted for a little while she got ready to go and took me to her gym. We tried and failed to get into the exercise bike class (we were there first but everyone shoved in front of us. No, seriously. They're like large cats, going for the weak ones) and then went and played in the hammam (like a sauna but different, although I'm not quite sure how) and the pool and the hot tub for a while, and took a water aerobics class, which was way more fun than it sounds, and then used the exercise machines for a while (she stair-climbed, I treadmilled). A 1-month membership would cost 90 euros, which is pretty much highway robbery, but given how much better I feel now (I simply can't manage depressed. It's wonderful. I tried, honest, but I just can't do it) it may be worth it. And I have every intention of playing up the fact that I'm an exchange student (from California! no less) and possibly offering to translate things into English for them in exchange for a reduction. Elsa and I were both starving when we got home, but I have no food in the house, so she made eggs and gave me some, which was very nice. I like Elsa.

Now I'm going to bed.


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