19 February 2010

It just LOOKED so nice out.

Yesterday was the first day since I arrived in Clermont-Ferrand that the sun decided to peep its' head out from behind the clouds. IT WAS SO LOVELY!

It was also not quite as nice as we wanted it to be, because there was still some snow on the ground (and in the middle of the pond all around the fountain), but we pretended it was and went to the beautiful Jardin Lecoq with our blanket, a baguette, some sparkling rose wine, a few books, my camera, and a computer.

There is wireless internet in the garden and we were Skyping some of Chantelle's friends who are studying abroad in Spain when this slight, shivering French man walked up to us and asked if we would mind answering some questions for a survey. We just stared at him for a couple seconds then said, "We're in the middle of a conversation. I don't think so." Then he kept talking and we tried to pretend not to speak anymore French but then he began speaking in English! His English was not very good at all, but the poor guy just wouldn't take no for an answer, so we let him ask us questions about what supermarkets will be like in the future...they were not very interesting questions and I don't think he was too impressed with out answers. But...that's okay.

On a more Lenten note, Wednesday was Ash Wednesday and Cari and I went to Mass and got ashes and Jesus and that was good. Some interesting notes about Mass in France vs. Mass in the U.S.
-People don't all sit/stand/kneel at the same times. This is really only noticeable when it's time for kneeling; some people kneel, some people stand, and others just sit. The churches I've been to don't have kneelers, only cold stone floors, so I understand the not-kneeling thing, but it's very confusing to see all the different postures.
-There is no orderly procession to the altar for the Eucharist or ashes...people in a row just kind of decide it's a good time to get up and start walking and they do.
-At least at the churches I've been to, the music is all more 'classic.' The only instrument played is an organ and the cantor literally conducts the congregation.

I just emailed my first article about life in a foreign country to this semester's Edge editor for the Collegian, K-State's student-run newspaper, so that should be running sometime next week...I'll try to post a link when I know it's on the website.

Three days until Paris! But before then...I'm off to do laundry. Which I haven't done since I landed in France. What does that mean? That I brought a LOT of underwear :)

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