Miscellaneous Moments, Part IX

  • I had a trilingualist nightmare where I didn’t know enough Chinese, so I started speaking in English and then woke up thinking in French. Send help.
  • It’s kind of weird knowing that I’ve seen some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets of my life from a high school atop a hill.
  • Guess who got onto the wrong bus? And then had to stay on it for half an hour, all the way to the train station, where I could take the correct bus? At least I got a good look at the Christmas lights in Laon. (This experience was nowhere near as scarring as the time I got so lost in Nice, I showed up two hours late to the OFII office. No, I’m not still bitter about the fact that they put two completely different addresses on the envelope.)
  • Besides bananas, eggplants, meat, and cheesecake, I don’t consider myself a picky eater. (Yes, I’ve already been told I’m a sinner for hating cheesecake. Several times.) But Méchain’s cafeteria was serving kangaroo, so I grabbed a piece of still-red beef—I don’t even like beef—and noped my way out of there. At least I got smoked salmon, shiitake mushrooms, a little bag of chocolate, and a mysterious melt-in-your-mouth dessert so delicious that I basically cried over the first bite.
  • My BlaBlaCar from Dijon to Laon had the best riding companion: a dog who left her fur all over my jacket even though she only touched my hand.
  • N texted to check in on me, and my immediate thought was, “Why is this human being so nice how is he real?”
  • N told me that Méchain was holding a teacher gathering for a French tradition that consists of eating a galette des rois, or slices of cake to see who ends up with a little plastic fève.  Some important adult gave a speech beforehand, but I was far more interested in the mini-dance Martin was doing behind the podium. (In my defense, a column was blocking my view of the speaker.) Meanwhile, Lily, not knowing that I also work at Méchain, asked her mom in bewilderment, “So she only came to eat cake?”
  • F told asked if I’d do a presentation on the history of women’s rights in America, and I may or may not have gotten a little carried away… I had to cut out so much information, but at least I got to keep Beyoncé in it.
  • It’s not awkward at all when you start crying because La hugged you after you told her the winter break news, and then the headmaster walks up to the two of you and hands you a glass of cider.
  • I was going to grab a take-out pizza for La, but the restaurant was closed (at 9pm on a Friday night, welcome to Laon), so I popped into a kebab place instead. I accidentally said, “and also” instead of “et aussi,” so the owner paused and said, “Do you speak English?” Turns out that he’s from Canada and ended up in Nowheresville, France because he “chased a girl and married her.” His French son gave me the food and told me in English, “You are beautiful,” but he said it so genuinely that it was the first time I wasn’t creeped out by a man. They also undercharged me 50 cents, and I appreciate the fact that I now have extra coins for the bus fare.

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