Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This is my last week of work. Suddenly, all of my students are cancelling! If only I'd decided to finish one week earlier... Yesterday, Jube and I woke up around 7am to the sounds of more rain dripping on the skylight. It was closed, but we both realized that our laundry was drying outside! Usually it's hard for me to get out of bed in the morning, but I rushed outside to drag all of our clean clothes inside. I drove Jube to his bus stop in the rain, and I headed to work until 2pm.

Now, if you're not living in France, then you might not be aware of the controversy surrounding Monday, June 5th, 2006. It is Pentecost Monday, and traditionally it is a holiday in France. Recently (as in, two years ago), the French government decided to change it from a holiday to a work day (jour feri
é to jour travaillé). That means that I had to work, and so did Jube, although primary school teachers had a teacher workday. But, when he arrived at his lycée, the doors were locked. No one had come to work--and worse, no one had told him! So he took the bus back home, but since the buses were running on holiday schedules, he didn't arrive back until 1pm. Poor Jube.

When I got home, we settled down on the couch for a relaxing afternoon at the French Open. I love watching tennis in France, and I think I act the Frenchest that I ever will when I watch Roland Garros here in France. My obsession with Roland Garros started in 2002, when I spent the end of May at Jube's family's house. He still had come courses at the university, and I spoke almost no French at all, so my days with his family had to be filled with something I did understand--and I knew the rules of tennis. I started to love the announcers, who unabashedly took sides, even when the players weren't French. I picked up the specialized French tennis vocabulary, including numerous "oh l
à là"s and "oh que c'est beau"s as well as the more useful filet for "net," sur la ligne for "on the line," and de hors for "outside." I also bonded with Beau-père while watching Agassi. I discovered the particular ambiance of the French Open, with whistles and claps and innumerable alleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez! The players argued with the spectators, the line judges might come and check the marks in the clay, and the head judge had to ask the crowd to quiet down over and over: "S'il vous plaît, les joueurs sont prêts."

So right now, during my break from work, I'm watching the French Open, and enjoying almost every second of it.

A quick note about our laundry: I did another load yesterday, because my friend BB is coming to visit on Saturday and I want to have our apartment presentable. I went out this morning in the early sunlight to see if the clothes were dry, and I turned the sleeve of one of my shirts inside out. I heard a kind of snapping noise, and I realized that a spider had made a web covering the inside of my sleeves. I continued turning it inside out, to break the web and clean out my freshly laundered shirt, and when I finally turned it back the right way, a big fat spider fell out and scuttled away. I'm glad that it didn't happen to one of Jube's shirts, since he hates spiders. As for me, I was just glad I hadn't seen it while it was still inside the sleeve!


Samantha said...

Hey, just a quick question - I'll be in Nice next Tuesday from 8am to 2pm. Do you know if it's possible to leave my suitcase at the gare so I can go walk around and explore the city a bit? And would you be interested in meeting up for a coffee?

Gem said...

Hi Sam, I just sent you an email. You can reply to me there if you have any more questions.