Well, it’s been some time since my last post. Oops.
This past (long) weekend I went to Paris for a little vacation and met up with Jamie, a friend and fellow runner from Dickinson. It was bizarre to see someone that I hadn’t seen since August, but in a good way. We talked a lot about Dickinson and the team and it was just kind of strange to be hearing stories and news from last semester. We also talked a lot about being abroad in general, and things that we miss from home even though there is so much here that I will miss once I am back in the States. A few things from the US that I would kill for now: a milkshake, Mexican food, and the ability to walk around in workout clothing without getting bizarre stares. But that will come soon enough, and until then I’m trying to focus on enjoying and fully utilizing the time that I have left here. It’s just strange to be happy in one place while still missing another, and I’m at the point where I’ve been here for so long that home just seems like a distant place that once existed but is now extremely out of my reach. Not to mention that I can’t seem to speak in English anymore without the use of German words/phrases. I think that being back is going to be a big shock.
Anyway, didn’t mean to get all deep there. What I really wanted to write about here was Paris and the cool linguistic experiences I had there.
First: Paris is incredible. Obviously; it’s Paris. Jamie and I had 3 full days there and really tried to get the most out of them. We dominated the Métro and also did a LOT of walking. We wanted to go running while we were there but that didn’t work out because 1. we were completely exhausted at the end of each day from doing so much, and 2. Paris is NOT runner-friendly. Anyway, we saw most of the typical touristy sights: the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Catacombs, Versailles, Cemetery Père Lachaise, Sacré Coeur, etc. etc. etc. I took a bunch of photos but they’re not up on Facebook yet…when I’ve put up an album I’ll post the link in an entry here.
Second: LANGUAGES. I’m not going to lie, my linguistic experiences in Paris made me way happier than seeing the sights.
First of all, I was able to use my (limited) French, and only spoke in French with the Parisians. I’ve heard that they are a lot nicer to tourists who speak the language, and I’m guessing that is true because I didn’t have any bad experiences with rudeness. Even though my accent and grammar are not in great shape, and my vocabulary is extremely limited, I was able to get around, order things, etc in French. Yay!
Second, I was mistaken for a Spaniard. By a Spaniard. Jamie and I were doing a little window shopping, and while I was looking through a rack of clothing an older woman came up to me with a skirt in her hand and motioned up to the rack of skirts for me to grab one for her, because she couldn’t reach. I then heard her speak in Spanish and say something about the size, so I asked her (in Spanish) which size she was looking for, and helped her find/reach the right skirt. Her husband then came up to her and asked if she had found it, then looked at me and said, “Merci.” The woman then said, “no no no, español, que es españolita.” (No no no, Spanish, she’s Spanish.) I told her that I actually wasn’t Spanish, and she asked where I was from, so I told her the US but I had studied in Spain, and she looked kind of surprised and said, “well you speak Spanish very well!” Woo-hoo!
Third, I was mistaken for a German. By a French person. At Versailles we were trying to find maps, so I went up to the info desk and asked “avez-vous une carte du palais?” (do you have a map of the palace? or at least I hope that’s what that means…) and the woman working there replied, “Oui, en allemand?” (Yes, in German?) …so apparently I speak French with a German accent. Hmm. Well, I can’t complain!
This week is full of running and doing work for the Uni, which honestly is not a bad combination. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Bürgerpark, Bremen’s main park, running, reading, and just enjoying the atmosphere. I’ve also been quite the bookworm/nerd, but it’s good because I feel like I’m being productive and getting a lot more out of this semester than I did out of the Winter Semester.
Okay, that’s it for now. I will try to update more frequently as exciting things happen!