What Have I learned from French People?
Was the question I was asking myself on my way home from my new friend Adrian’s house. After my classes let out and after my friend Brendan and I spend half an hour watching our friend Clara do hand-stands, I was en route to the bike rack when I happened to laugh at this one guy (Adrian)’s shirt because it said something to the effect of “The Rice Krispies told me to.” Noticing, he walked over and talked to me a bit about Méli-Mélo (the on-campus international group) and different events in rapid parisian French. He offered to show me what turned out to be an ice-skating rink ON CAMPUS I’d had no idea about and that apparently a famous ice-skater from Poitiers revisits it all the time. “All the time” as in “this particular week”. Like right now.
Then we were biking again. It wasn’t clear to me whether we were going to my house or his, but we were headed towards Buxerolles, which was comforting. When we hit a stoplight and both of us went different directions, I whirled around and asked him what was up. He invited me to his house “real fast” and I stalled. On the one hand I had just spent the last 2 days in a sick fevery scarf-tangled mess at my house, missing school and the free events downtown. However, on the other hand I have never been one to necessarily put personal safety over adventure. So we biked the remaining tiny distance (turns out we’re almost neighbors) to his apartment.
There I was given water, a stack of comic books, and a comprehensive list of French radio stations/ podcasts by a guy who turns out used to act in Paris but who is also fluent in LSF (French sign language) and wants to work (as I understand it) as an interpreter. I sat, drank, read, watched, and listened for roughly 3 hours before I said “Je dois partir, j’ai faim!” (I gotta take off, I’m hungry!) at which point he stuck his head out of the kitchen and asked “Tu veux pesto?”
And hour later, after 3 helpings of the pesto rice he made us, I finally left. Adrian is another wonderful piece of evidence that I am, as my friend Mikey once told me, absolutely where I should be, doing what I should be doing. And less “me-related” he is just one of those “excellent people.”
When I arrived home, my host mother surprised me with a red journal/sketchbook as a “just cuz” present. Later, when I was celebrating today with a helping of my 80¢ tub of chocolate ice cream, Odile came up next to me and dribbled chocolate syrup on top. I wish I believed in reincarnation because her and Yanna would come back as mythical beasts with powers of telekinesis, flight, teleportation, transfiguration, lazer-vision, ice-palms, and always the exact change for everything they want in their pockets.