Published: June 19th 2008June 19th 2008
Unfortunately, the title of this blog much sums up the beginning of this week (Monday the 16th of June onwards) pretty accurately. My program just welcomed a new flock students undertaking a 6 week program here at Aix, although at a different school. However, quite a few of them would also be moving into the Mirabeau Apartments at 62 Rue Roux Alpheran with me, so I figured I'd take the form of the welcome wagon and show them a good time. Armed with my fellow partners in crime here, David, Zach and Brian, we took two of the new girls, Kathryn and Amanda, out to a local favorite - O'Shannon's. Essentially one of quite a few Irish pubs here in Aix but it's painstakingly convenient location of just across la Place Rachelme makes it an obvious choice. Indeed, many euros have been poured down my throat here. Needless to say, we got pretty hammered that night! I'd like to blame it on a combination of four 50cl Kronenbourg Rouges (7.2% beer) and les girafes
, or beer towers, at said pub. Apparently I wasn't able to comprehend the 'question game' and replied, rather wittily at the time I thought with, 'I AINT YO BUDDY, GUUUYY!' Any Southpark fan worth his salt will know what I'm talking about.
The next morning was rough to say the least, and I eventually ended up missing the first two hours of class, thanks to my roommate Taylor, who, I have to say, has become increasingly stand-offish and taciturn over the last few days. I'm beginning to suspect he doesn't like the fact that... I'm having a good time...? I honestly don't know what it is - I invite him out and if he does grace me with his presence, he doesn't say a word and eventually leaves half way. I don't know but either way, people who don't say what's on their mind and then do little, apparently innocent but slightly malicious things, just really grate my nerves. Let me explain. So back to the morning after: My alarm goes off at 8:00 and I'm still far too tipsy but I've made a commitment to attend every class. I see Taylor get up and decide to lie in bed till he finishes with the bathroom. Next thing I know, it's 10:30, I'm still in bed and now I'm really pissed because he obviously just upped and left without bothering to wake me up! We're roommates, going to the same place, Hell, we're in the same bloody classroom! Common courtesy dictates that no matter how much you may not get along, it's just good manners to check if your roommate is coming, regardless of how shattered they may appear from last night. Anyways, I pick myself up and run to class, barely managing to catch the last hour. Of course there's Taylor, sitting like nothing happened. Grrrr I wanted to smack him so hard then! I asked him later, voice masked in honey of course, why he didn't wake me and he said 'Dude, I saw you get up in bed and just assumed you'd follow me.' Idiot.
It's been a few days since that incident and I guess we're no longer bothering to try and make plans together, which is fine by me. As long as I keep the phone of course. Don't get me wrong, I still like the kid, have nothing against him and wished we got along better socially, seeing as far as French goes we're pretty equal and the strongest in the class, but whatever, I'm not going to let it hold me back from having a good time here.
Later that day on Tuesday night (17th), all of Aix was gearing up to support les Bleus and their last hurrah attempt to qualify for the quarters of the Euro Cup. Luckily, we planned for it and set up camp early right outside on la Place Rachelme, in front of Topkapi - amazing Turkish shawarma joint that also sets up a flat screen LCD outside shop for every game. Sadly, the French just weren't meant to win. As the Metro said the next day: "Les dieus sont italiens". It really was a painful sight to watch, as everything just went wrong for them. 10 minutes in, Ribery leaves the game, having injured his knee and then shortly after, after possibly the worst call in football history, Abidal is given a red card and Italy is awarded a penalty that would be converted. A lackluster performance is then finally dumped completely on when a free kick tips of Henry's foot and seals the deal for the French. I'm honestly quite pissed, more for selfish reasons though. I was looking forward to seeing them all the way to victory, while in France, soaking up the local fervor. Ah well, such is life.
Finally, on to Wednesday night and something I've quite been looking forward to. Over the past weekend, Hannah introduced me to her friend Cloe, who lives in Aix and is my age. Jet black hair, really pretty and an impressive command of English just did it for me. So with a little malin
, as Rashid calls it, Hannah was able to set up dinner and drink with Cloe, myself, her and Brian. Things got off to a late start as Cloe was held up at a friends place but eventually we got down to Le Grillon smack bang in the middle of the Cours. As I said previously, it usually works to my advantage, being one of few here who can really speak French well enough to carry on a semi decent conversation. As a result, I had Cloe's undivided attention over dinner and then later on, when at her suggestion and my approval, we headed down to a salon du the
called Orienthe. Really nice place, spacious and the decor was a weird melange of about 5 different cultures. The one thing that really was a culture clash was actually having to pay for replacing the coals - apparently a packed of self starting chemically enhanced shit costs 5 euros here. As the waitress said "C'est la France." Apparently so. It ended up being a really fun evening - finally smoking some half decent cherry sheesha, having some moroccan tea and sharing a dessert with Cloe. Just before saying our goodbyes I was able to express my intentions (in French of course, impressing even myself) of having dinner or a cafe with her sometime. Unfortunately, she's going away for the weekend and I'm going to be in Marseille over Friday so I guess we'll have to wait until Monday for something, if anything, to occur. Stay tuned. Especially you, mother.