Whoops, so life caught up with me. In lieu of a more wordy post, here’s an executive summary of my activities yesterday:

– Class. HIS 328: Provençal History and Culture Through Its Monuments, and the second day of art class. HIS 328 is taught by a very funny French dude who looks like he’s about 25 but has to take time off next week to defend his doctoral dissertation. It’s basically an art history class where you get to go on field trips to see the art. Uh, sign me up? And drawing was fun. We sketched from a nude model and talked about our semester. Who’s excited to start painting? This guy.

Fruit and vegetable market au centre-ville.

– Markets. Every day is market day somewhere in Aix, but especially Thursdays and Saturdays. Flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, cheese, clothes, shoes, you name it, they’ve got it. It’s like Zola’s The Belly of Paris in miniature.

Flower market at the Place de Martyrs de la Résistance, around the corner from IAU.

-Aperitifs. You know you’re not in Kansas anymore when the orientation mixer includes muscat and pastis, and when you ask your elderly French server what he recommends he says, “Whiskey. Straight.” Of course I had to try the pastis, a anise liquor diluted with water that is the particular specialty of the region. The server poured me a finger of the liquor, looked at me craftily, and added another. Ackchch. Like drinking a particularly strong, but liquified, licorice jelly bean, as one girl accurately described it.

And then we were late to dinner and swore to Madame on the graves of our ancestors that it would never happen again. Or at least that we would call. We must be kind of aggravating.


So I did end up switching out of that ridiculous French class. I definitely have NOT had seven semesters of French, therefore I’ve now bumped down two semesters and a level to FRE 300, which was always supposed to be my class, so there you go. Not that I have five semesters of French either, but it seems to be alright. We spent the morning playing a game where we all moved our pieces around a board and answer the questions they fall on – very entertaining, not too taxing.

In other news, so much walking. I love it. I walked to the supermarché down the road, but it was closed for some unfathomable reason, so I walked back up the same road to a store where I could get a passport-ish photo taken, but I couldn’t understand the recorded French instruction in the booth so I ended up with one large photo of my skeptical-looking face instead of four little ones. And I was out of change for the machine, quelle dommage! Then I walked to school. Then we were all put into teams for a scavenger hunt, and spent the next hour and a half walking around Aix and failing to find the 24/7 bakery by the Rotunde. Whew. I forgive my sketchers for their unstylishness, they kept my feet from breaking off.

Now we gotta pack for Nice-Cannes and get some sleep. Leaving at 8:15 sharp, y’all. J’aime beaucoup la plage! 

(that comment is dedicated to Cate Stanek. I hope someday she reads it).

P.S. the University of Aix folks emailed me back! I’m gonna go check out their choir next Monday! If the concert dates work out, that is. But still! Ask and ye shall receive.