(skip to the end for the important part)
- I love the RER E. I love the fact that it takes me somewhere totally different than the other metro lines that run through Gare du Nord. Instead of mindlessly hopping on the 4 or the RER B to Chatelet, or the 5 (I hate the 5 because I have to take it to my horrible specialist doctor at that horrible hospital), I can get off in the 2nd Arrondissement, which I love.
- Eiffel Tower key chains have really come down in price. I remember when they tried to sell them to you for a whole euro. Now 50 cents is almost a rip off.
- Stay far, far away from Rue St Denis. I took it as a shortcut to get from Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle to Chatelet. Imagine my surprise when I realized the "store owners" who were all wearing fur coats and standing in doorways were actually hookers! Yes, I am naive and innocent enough that I was completely shocked and definitely made some kind of totally surprised face when I realized I was in Hooker Central, in broad daylight, on a Saturday afternoon. It was just so unexpected. So I put on my best "don"t f*%$ with me" face and kept going, hoping I would be safe when I crossed over Etienne Marcel. Nope. I had crossed over to the the sex shop and pornographic movie theater strip of St Denis.
- I wish I were less socially awkward. I shared a table at Starbucks with two girls who are law students in Paris and it would have been so cool to be friends with them, but I of course let that opportunity to actually have friends in this country slip right on by. Not that we would have become real friends or anything, but it was a reminder of the fact that I just don't meet people, although I really am trying!
- I really dislike the underbelly of the Gare du Nord, you know, where the RERs B and D arrive and depart from? This is probably close to hatred, but it's really more like self-hatred because I know my anger towards the station is displaced anger towards myself for always managing to get lost in there! It's so stupid because really, all you have to do is follow the signs and get on the escalator to get back up to the main train station. Not that hard, right? And yet I still manage to get totally confused and lost and turned around and wandering around the bus station. Sometimes I am so kinder.
- Kinder, if you are wondering, is a French candy that the kids love. It's milk chocolate filled with some kind of white, milky interior. I just had one for the first time the other day, it's okay, I'd still rather have American candy. But apparently kinder can also be used in slang when referring to brunettes who have blonde moments. Get it? Because the kinder is brown on the outside but white on the inside, like you have brown hair but the brain is all blonde... Well, I thought it was cute and clever, in any case.
Special note regarding the use of kinder: this may be an obscure slang term only used in Picardie. Use with care.
- I think the Gare du Nord in general is a crappy train station. We don't have good food vendors. I would love a Brioche Dorée there. Instead we have the train station food company and Paul. I'm not a huge Paul fan, don't really like their veggie sandwich. So basically, I'm a picky eater and I'm taking it out on the Gare du Nord. Poor Gare du Nord, it is the scapegoat for all of my various issues.
- I think my town exists in a snow-free alternate universe. How else can I explain the fact that in all the other towns on the way back they had snow sticking to the ground, and when I got back to my town it was slushing/hailing/sleeting/raining with the occasional snow flake. Not fair!
- I love that I can complain about these totally meaningless, mundane things. Because that means I don't have any real problems right now (knock on wood). Contrary to how I may have sounded in this post, I'm actually quite content right now. I'm making snowmen in my classes this week. Winter vacation starts on Friday. I'm leaving on Sunday for the US where I will get my fill of Christmas decorations and music and (hopefully) snow. Hanukkah starts on Sunday night and we'll light the candles, eat fried potato pancakes, and get presents for eight nights. My mom will cook me yummy food for two whole weeks. Life is good.