Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Nice is nice

Well two weeks and some days have passed since I last wrote. There hasn’t been anything exciting happening here. Life has been quite village-like except I haven’t skipped rocks in the river or kicked back in a rocker with lemonade or hocked tobacco into a spittoon or milked cows or anything else you might imagine taking place in a village. We don’t even have cows here, which makes Pontcharra even less of a village in my opinion. No village is complete without a cow or three. But I did learn a new word to call villagers that I can start using when referring to my friends in Spanish Fork, Utah and other like communities. “Bouseux”. It comes from the word “bouse” which means “cowpat”. You’re following me now, right? Yeah, the people here are called “bouseux”. Why? I don’t know. There are no cows here, but there are plenty in Spanish Fork. So, you know.

I spent Monday night chatting to Sonia, one of the surveillants (that’s a warden-type for the students that board at the school during the week). We watched the stupid video Nathan and I made in Nice. She was smitten by his Speedo-clad body. Anyway, we were downstairs in the teacher’s lounge. When we left, we got crazy and slid across the floor. The floor is very slick, so we ran and slid on our feet. I taught her the proper techniques of the baseball slide PURPOSEFULLY, and I didn’t even break anything! We did this for a good 30 minutes, and no one ever came to see what we were doing. The end result was a very clean entry way and some dirty clothes. 26-year-olds can be pretty, I don’t want to say retarded because that’s un-PC, but I’m in France. So, yeah, they can be that.

There had been many times before when I wanted to do the baseball slide across the floor, but where is the fun when you are by yourself? Whenever I wear my favourite Docs that no longer have tread, I like to run a little and slide while standing. That’s fun sometimes, but the baseball slide last night felt liberating...almost rebellious in a way. I could imagine the proviseur coming down with his smelly breath, seeing us acting like a bunch of hooligans, and blaming America for it. But none of that happened. And I want everyone to know that Sonia started it!

So I mentioned that I went to Nice last weekend. That wasn’t a lie. I went down Friday afternoon and Nathan showed up at the crack of dawn Saturday. “Cheap” was the theme for the weekend. So I thought “cheap” but not “disease transmitting” while searching for a hostel. I found one on the internet for 31 euros that advertised new beds, clean and private bathrooms, a kitchenette, etc., and it was only 60 meters from the beach. YES! That’s it! There was nothing that led me to believe that it would be a “questionable” establishment.

Quick tangent, but not really...I’ll tie it in. You’ll see. Seeing as there’s a war right now, and people think their yelling and kicking is going to stop it, Italy has made up a “peace” (or “pace” as they say) flag. It is an up-side-down rainbow with the word “PACE” printed on it.

The tangent tie-in: Well, you know what a right-side-up rainbow flag is, right? Rainbow coalition? If you don’t know, look it up or read on, one. So I got to Nice and walked to the hotel, and I thought I had arrived at the Gay Pride UN headquarters or something because in the reception area were little flags from all over the world. In between each one was a rainbow flag, and they didn’t say “PACE”. Then the guy(?) at the reception started talking, and I was like, “Boy, you gots to put that flame out ‘cause I’m gettin’ burnt!” Anyway it led to a lot of jokes and fun.

The weather in Nice was ideal for this time of year. It was sunny and slightly breezy. We walked through a street market Saturday morning. The main thing being sold was fresh flowers of all kinds and colours. It smelled so good walking through all of the rows and aisles. We walked around old town and saw great views of the city, the coastline and the blue sea. We took anatomy lessons on the beach. We took a train to Monaco and walked around for the afternoon. We saw a yellow submarine, and I videotaped Nathan singing the Beatles song that you all thought of when I said, “Yellow Submarine”. While he sang, I also taped a car with two guys that pulled up right next to Nathan and busted him in the middle of his song and dance. It was hilarious...priceless. We had a linguistics lesson in trying to figure out what the citizens of Monaco are called. The word just isn’t one of those obvious ones. I was all for “Monacan” because “Morocco = Moroccan”. Right? Later we found out that they are “Monégasques”. Now we know.

Tuesday I nearly went postal on some of my students, the lazy little mouth-breathers! They wanted to play “Carrie, the human dictionary”, but Carrie don’t play that, yo. So when I finished my classes I had to run away from people I would have been forced to talk to. I went to G-town (Grenoble), scored some fast-food and a movie ticket. I hid out in the theatre for a few hours, and when I was not there, I had my earphones in y ears so as to have an excuse to not hear people when they were talking to me. Yes, I was playing a Tori Amos CD. Yes, I’m still addicted. What are you going to do about it?

Well that was a lot of nothing. I am almost done here in France. The Spaniard leaves Thursday. YES! Oh! I haven’t told you what I did about his drip. I cleaned the toilet area spotlessly. I kifed an “official” clean-up-after-yourself sign from a WC on the main floor, and I posted it in ours. I bought some cheap anti-bacterial wipes from the store. I think he got the hint, or the gossip reached him. Who knows? Who cares? I don’t. He’s disgusting and he leaves the toilet seat up. Who does he think he is coming here and ruining my system? Punk!