I’m still alive, I promise. Just been living the crazy life.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, Jojo was in town with her mom and aunt.
The week following that, I started babysitting. Yay money! Not yay crazy four-year-old girl. Crazy.
The weekend following that (last weekend), Jojo, Philippe, and I had the craziest weekend of our lives in Ireland. It involved: being in a World AIDS Day picture on Trinity campus, being interviewed for a People-like magazine (or maybe US Weekly is a better comparison. I bet they don’t do the human interest aspect.), going to the Guinness Storehouse, going to this Irish guy’s birthday party and not leaving until 6 am, catching a 9 am train to Galway, where we arrived in time for a weekend-long hurricane (well, they call it a storm and they still go about their business – we barely left the house), enjoying Enda’s wonderful house (Thank you!), hanging out at pubs for hours, having the best fish and chips ever, going for a walk along the beach and seeing a movie being shot, and, finally, going home.
Wait, I can’t use the word home. This is something I’ve realized. Home is kind of everywhere these days. Paris is Home. The Bay Area is Home. Georgetown is Home. And something I discovered last weekend – Ireland is Home. It was a funny realization. I’d never been anywhere before where I fit in physically. I mean, sure, I’m “white” and here that means I fit in as much as I would in any Western European country, or wherever, but it was the funniest thing in Ireland. When I was waiting for my plane here in Paris, there were all these Irish people, and I saw this woman who looked like she could be related to my mom, or even to me. And then I got it. And the entire weekend was spent with me in awe of how much these people look like my family. I think it got old for my friends… Ah well.
Nothing of particular interest happened this week. It feels like classes should be over, but they’re not, and the next two weeks are going to contain so much work it won’t be funny. But for now, I’m trying to enjoy the last two weeks with many of my friends in France, and my last two weeks before going home to California for a week. Yes, I’m very excited.
Yesterday, we all stayed home and decorated the apartment for Christmas. And watched the wonderful Love Actually. Our Christmas tree arrived late yesterday evening, so we haven’t decorated it yet, but everything else is ready. Including the crèche (I think that’s how you spell it) – the Nativity scene. I think it’s a very French thing, because my friends have mentioned it in their houses as well. It’s not like the tiny little Nativity scene we have at home – rather, it’s huge, and you collect figurines for it. My family must have 50 figurines, not including tons of little animals, and some little buildings and structures, as well as random rocks and pieces of wood to be landscape. And today we’re going to add moss to fill in the rest. Virginie showed me a picture of one they put together a few years ago. It’s amazing. I asked her if they used to play with the figures, because Tess and I so would have. She laughed and said no, but I can if I want. I kind of want to…
It’s a really cool tradition, I think. I suppose one has to be Christian-ly religious, though. Another super cute thing is that each kid had a sheep and when they were good their sheep moved forward towards the baby Jesus, and when they were bad it moved backwards. heehee
I was thinking, yesterday, that maybe this is something I’ll do. It’s a cute tradition, and yeah it’s religious but it doesn’t really have to be. I’m thinking maybe I’ll start it for myself as kind of a life tradition, by buying some little figurines. Unfortunately I don’t know when I’ll have time to go to a marché de Noël. We shall see. The hope had been to go to Strasbourg today for the day to go to the huge marchés de Noël there, but it ended up not working out.
It’s crazy to think how quickly time has gone here. I can’t believe so many of my friends are leaving in less than two weeks. I’m excited for next semester and for so much more time in Paris – I can’t imagine if I were going home after just this semester, it hasn’t been half long enough – but it’s sad that so many people are going home.