So Close I Can Taste It!

View of NantesWell another few relatively uneventful weeks have passed. Mostly I spent them hanging out with my friends doing few noteworthy things. A few unusual moments might possibly be worth telling you though:

Two weeks ago we went the Planetarium, which was really cool, and the Muse Dobree, the medieval museum full of random stuff. The picture on the right is the view walking back from the planetarium. The picture below is the Christmas market, which is also a big deal in France. They’re biggest in Strasbourg, but every decent city has one. Its mostly overpriced stuff but very fun to walk around, plus they smell wonderful with all the chestnuts roasting, the mulled wine, the waffles cooking, mmmm.

Thursday the theatre class performed their play, Les Bonnes. It was very…abstract. I’d direct you once more to Shayna’s blog…but she was in it. The play was about two servants and their employer. From what I gather, the servants were fed up with their lives and jealous of the lady they worked for so they plotted to kill her. Unfortunately, they also seemed to have a slight obsession with her, making it difficult to kill her. They also liked to switch roles and seemed to forget who they were at times. In the end they couldn’t get their employer to drink the poisoned tea they prepared and in another role-switching episode one of the sisters drank the tea, killing herself. All in all it was a very bizarre, interesting and deep play.

As for the way it was played, there are three characters…and 15 girls in the class. So each character was played by a group of girls. Oh and one boy (just kidding, I didn’t forget him) so they made up a narrator role for him, which actually worked out really well since most of us needed help following the storyline. The multiple actresses per role idea actually worked out really well since it allowed for a lot more dynamic interpretation of the characters and a lot more action and movement on stage. Everyone wore black with their face painted white. One of the servants wore a white apron to distinguish herself while the other wore red lipstick. Both of them either went barefoot or wore black ballet flats. The three actresses playing the “madame” they worked for didn’t paint their faces white or wear black, but wore various fancy things and high heels.

Definitely an excellent performance. I was very impressed with not only the acting and directing, but the accent and pronunciation of the dialogue.

Christmas MarketThis Friday Meyanna and I went to see Le Concert, a Russian film dubbed in French (with also a lot of French in the movie anyway) about a director who was dethroned in the 80’s by the Soviet Union. Now he’s trying to relive his dream one more time by gathering a bunch of musical hobos and pretending to direct a famous orchestra in order to go to Paris, play his dream piece and reunite with his long lost daughter. A hilarious and touching movie that is certainly one of the best orchestra-related movies I have ever seen. If you can get your hands on a copy, do it.

On Saturday we met at Shayna’s house to cook brunch for her family. It mostly turned into a fruit cutting party while Shayna and Meyanna made French toast. It was a great opportunity to talk to Shayna’s host parents, who are really cool. When we were finished with lunch we headed to Stephanie’s house to play cards until dinner. We heated some galettes for dinner and, of course, watched a Casper spin-off movie.

On Monday night I cooked for my host family and Meyanna and Stephanie came over. I made Cincinnati Chili (yay Ohio representation!), broccoli casserole, cornbread and rice krispie treats. It was all pretty delicious but a little weird since that was the first time in four months I have had cheddar cheese, food with lots of spices and crackers (with the chili). The chili definitely made me a little homesick. (But in case mom is reading this: not that homesick.)

On Tuesday for lunch we went to an American run restaurant in Nantes to get burritos. It was our first time, even though we’ve been here all semester. It was nice and cheap and we got to hear and speak English with some Nantais!

This week are all my exams. I am down to one more tomorrow and then I will have taken four of them and be finished. They were all pretty easy and I think I did well. Now I’m just trying to pack and come to terms with leaving France. This last week has really made me realize how much I am looking forward to going home, but that doesn’t make saying good bye to France, my host family or my friends any easier.

For those playing along at home, I will see you soon!

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