What lies ahead for summer? I've mentioned a whole bunch of plan possibilities. For instance, getting a job (how pedestrian, yet useful for being able to afford nice restaurants (I joke at pedestrianness, I would very much like to work next school year especially.)) I think my offer evaporated. Alas.
I have my apartment until August 1st, so if you want to come visit, you can come between now and then. I've mentioned both wanting to bike in the footsteps of Joan of Arc and also wanting to a little tour in Germany. These things can both happen, although the bike trip would have to be on a smaller scale. And it will be regardless. Joan walked over a mountain range to get to see the Dauphin! Not just a mountain range, but one without any tourist attractions. I like to combine my pilgrimages with sight-seeing and starting out with an incredibly difficult ride and not much else would present a problem in that I think I would quickly give up the whole idea or injure myself or both. Anyway, Joan did this in like March. That's really nuts. Also, in March, there are really no tourist attractions.
So I'm thinking of biking along the Loire, where she was liberating towns. Also, there's a peace ride in Germany that looks like fun. In between, I'll be, you know, writing music and stuff like that.
Monday is what they call a "bank holiday" here. Why do they call it that? Anyway, 3 day weekend. Think I might go for a bike ride. The following weekend is also a bank holiday, so I'm going to Orléans (by train) because it's the anniversary of Joan raising the siege. There'll be a parade and god knows what, oodles of Jeanne d'Arciness in a big Joan-themed festival. yay.
In France, her image has been hijacked by right wingers. Joan drove France's enemies out of the country. And you know, economic immigrants are exactly like an invading army trying to seize the throne! I think this festival is largely aimed at foreign immigrants who read Joan as a feminist icon (not well supported by evidence, alas) or a queer icon (ask to see my term paper) or um. I hope I'm surrounded by other foreign lesbians and not the followers of Le Pen. Or hell, maybe all those people come together for an odd combination of revelry and religious processions!
In language news
I recently realized that the reason the baker looks at me funny when I ask for pain au raisin ("raisin bread") is because I'm inadvertently calling it pain au reason. Reason bread, raisin bread, what's the difference? Anyway, it's not actually rasin bread by actually a round thing that I think is called a "snail" sometimes in the US. It's a sweet round flat pastry with some sort of creamy stuff on it and raisins. There is a very similar pastry called an escargot ("snail") but instead of raisins, it has pistachio and bits of dried apricot. The creamy stuff for it is pistachio paste. I prefer it, but it's not as widely available.
So I was feeling really good about my French, reason bread excepted. This happens when I listen to the Easy French Poetry podcast because it's all in French, but I can understand it. And I had a bunch of successful interactions yesterday. But today, I tried to ask the baker if she had a nice vacation while the bakery was closed and it just did not get across at all, even when an anglophone interviened to help. Then, while I was returning home with my new baguette, one of my neighbors started talking to me. This never happens. Parisians don't frequently speak to their neighbors. But the thing that causes French folks to become friendly are the cops! There was a swarm of police officers ticketing every car on my street. If you tended to divide the world into us against them, the cops are definitely "them," which makes everybody else "us." Therefore, in this brief oppositional moment, I became part of us. Except that I did not understand what she was talking about until she switched to English. bah. I'll never speak this language.