Aix with Alix

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March 14th 2006
Published: March 14th 2006
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Ah, life in Paris is getting better every day! The sun is shining for the entire day and my winter coat is too hot! Hooray!

I have been up to many things since I last wrote. Classes are going very well, perhaps I say this because I haven’t had to turn in any work yet, but nonetheless I am very optimistic that the work will all get done somehow.

Maybe you avid readers recall that I have developed a relationship with a sixty five year old French couple. I stumbled into their lives because my family rented their apartment over Christmas. At any rate, they have had me over for innumerable meals, all lavish, and teas, all complete with a snack, and we spend an hour speaking in French and an hour speaking in English. They are the kindest souls and treat me as they would their own child. They lived in Colombia and Mexico so they understand how hard this living abroad process can be at times and have been nothing but supportive. So, weekly or two times per week, we enjoy one another’s company over good food and varied topics of conversation. They have insisted that I

Saturday morning market
visit them in their house near the Alps and I will be doing this in late April! Our next meeting is this Saturday and they will be taking me on a driving trip out to Rouen, a city in Normandy where they once lived, so I can experience their favorite restaurant! What luck!

Beyond this great news my birthday festivities continued into the beginning of March when my roommate Chantal took me out for a night of celebration. We started with a glass of wine at a bar in our neighborhood and wandered over to a tiny authentic Algerian couscous place a few streets away. IT WAS GREAT! We had to wait an hour and a half for our table so we sipped more beer and made some friends. It was special having that much time together and we talked about everything and nothing. After an hour we made friends with five Algerian men who bought me another drink and insisted that we join their table! So, we dinned with a cast of characters over some of the best food I have ever had. One of the men even bought me a rose before I left! Haha. Chantal and

I were entertained to say the least. They ranged in age from 15-70 I would guess and had a really fun vibe going among them. I even got to thank the Algerian cook, about 75 years old and working alone back in the kitchen, before I left. All in all it was a great success.

I then had a friend stop by for the weekend and spent an evening at the Louvre soaking up a floor I hadn’t really spent time in before.

This last weekend I hopped a train to the south in search of sunshine and the comfort of old friends. My dear friend Alix is spending this semester in Aix-en-Provence and welcomed me into her routine there for a few days. I was greeted with beautiful warming sunshine but also harsh gusty winds. These winds Alix explained are famous and even have a name: the Mistral. We enjoyed simple yet delicious Provincial meals and much conversation. I think we walked most of Aix, rather a small town, and I saw their markets and was warmed by the way of life down there. We certainly enjoyed the Aix nightlife staying out really late (or early…), which
Back in ParisBack in ParisBack in Paris

Notre Dame
made my train ride the next morning quite a task! As always I spent the ride staring out the window in awe of the beautiful countryside.

As for other news I attended a lecture by Judith Butler last night. She is a professor of Rhetoric at Berkeley and has written a great number of texts. She is something else. I was really interested in what she had to say, but sadly she was not comfortable enough with her French so she just read a paper to us. This was too much to stay with for two hours! She seemed really nervous and uptight about it too. She did the question answer section in English and was a whole different woman.

These next few weeks are full of papers, tests, ballets and hopefully more sunshine! I hope all is well with everyone.

Love and misses


15th March 2006

What a year you are having! And that elderly (like us?) French couple sounds like a particularly special treasure. Enjoy Rouen.
16th March 2006

House girl needed?????
Katie--Your experiences are priceless!!! I hope you are keeping a travel journal during your stay in Paris. The older couple you described sound wonderful. Do they need a house girl for their house in the Alps?????

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