Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Baguettes and Cafes

Eeeeh. So first things first, I suppose.

Classes. Right now I am taking a philosophy class (Social Contract Theory) and a French class. I am really liking SCT; I like discussing the fundamental nature of man and finally being able to read, internalize and comprehend Hobbes. The prof is, as one might expect, very logical. While he does do most of the talking in class, it isn't a lecture. I don't really know how to describe it-Professor Brudney talks until someone else says something. I guess that is the best way to put it. The French class is fun and mostly harmless. It revolves around situational conversation: in the cafe, the restaurant, the supermarket, the market, etc. The only problem that I have really is that my French is terrible and I don't know how quickly it will improve. Ah well.

Fun things: On Monday I walked around the Centre Georges Pompidou with Chelsea and over to the Louvre. (Take a look at the photos for the area.) We stopped at a cafe (Le Benjamin Cafe 53 rue de Rivoli) and had a drink and then I made my way home. (For those who don't know where I am, here is a map: I am at Rue Rene Fonck.) So, home to bed. Tuesday morning I went to a cafe across the Bridge and down the road from the Center. I successfully ordered tea, but decided never to go there again, since it was slightly sketchy. After classes I came home and went to the supermarket (supermarche) down the street and cooked a delicious concoction of chicken and veg. I discovered the flavoring wonders of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a sauce. Yummy!

Today was slightly more exciting. At the beginning of the philosophy class, Arnaud (the administrative assistant of the Chicago Center) poked his head in to "remind" us that they would be hosting a wine and cheese tasting seminar for us after the class was over (I say "remind" because I had no knowledge of this until that moment). I went for the first hour, at which point we had only gotten to the second of the four wines. I left because I had made plans with Nadia on Tuesday to meet today for dinner and I had told her that I would leave the Center after my class ended at 5. As it was then 6, I thought it prudent to leave so as not to be 2 hours late for our meeting. I found out later that the seminar had indeed been on our schedule as 5-7 pm. If I had known that I would not have gone so that I wouldn't have been rude and left in the middle!

For the concerned: I am not in the middle of riots. The political protests going on over here can become violent towards the end of them, but a) the demonstrations are for the most part in the center of town and I live and learn toward the outer edges b) they are mostly peaceful, I find. Yesterday the Metro and bus system were supposed to be crammed and running very late. I had no trouble getting a seat on the train and bus nor did I wait very long. So, no worries.

Oh and I bought a yummy baguette on Tuesday.

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