Since City Year gives us $200 for the metro every month, I figured I might as well blow through as much money as possible before August. What better way to do that besides meeting up with friends in a conveniently flat and walkable city?
- Met up with an R-MC friend on a whim
- Explored Chinatown and bought groceries (Okay, well, he did; I bought some haw flakes for 60 cents because I need my occasional dose of Asian snacks)
- Looked confusedly through the National Portrait Gallery because we don’t understand art
- Felt like snobs commenting on how ugly all the concrete buildings in DC are (he studied abroad in Japan, and we all know how much I love the architecture in France)
- Discovered that a map lied to us and made the walk to the National Mall look much farther than it really was
- Got distracted by food trucks (and got so much food from one purchase that we’re both still eating it)
- Lost our sanity because an ice cream truck would not stop playing the same tune over and over again
- Went to a Paul boulangerie to meet up with A, my fellow Nice and TAPIF alumna–and TAPIF travel buddy–and some Francophile ladies in their 20s to practice our French skills
- Almost cried at the sight of sandwiches and macarons and tartes and croissants and pains au chocolat
- Was absurdly happy to eat a sandwich that consisted of real French bread
- Horrified that a pain au chocolat cost $3.95–like, I could get one of those in Laon for 50 centimes
- Learned that one of the girls quit TAPIF halfway through because she was the only Anglophone and the only Asian in her tiny town. Oh, the joys of racism.
- A and I happily caught each other up with our lives since leaving France, and we walked around DC speaking French because we missed using it so much. We probably confused so many people, but I regret nothing.
- Bizarrely enough, this is the first time we’ve met up in the US–before, we’d only met up in France
- Explored the Smithsonian and the National Gallery, where I picked up everything related to France in the enormous gift shop and remarked, “Oh, this is cute!” and then promptly set it back down because “This price tag is not cute”
- Passed a family in the Smithsonian speaking French, and then later in the metro, my head automatically swiveled towards another French family and a random guy telling his friend how he was going to take French in school
- Nearly died on the metro because the lights kept flickering and then we stalled in total darkness for three minutes in an undetermined tunnel