Last weekend brought one of the warmest days in Paris since I’ve been here. I walked through the Jardin du Luxembourg, and it was packed with Parisians sitting out in the sun, taking leisurely strolls, and maybe pretending that the park was a beach. It really braced the city for…
Snow in Paris is beautiful: FACT. As much as I was enjoying the warm weather and beach atmosphere, seeing the city covered in snow made me incredibly happy. It was an unexpected snow storm and Paris didn’t seem to know exactly how to handle it. They don’t have plows and they don’t use salt, so when the snow comes, everyone is kind of on their own. Certain streets and sidewalks became covered in solid sheets of ice, and it made my morning commute a little scary and slippery. The metro also couldn’t handle the snow, and certain lines were closed, or backed up, or New York rush hour-style congested. It turned my usual 40 minutes to class into a solid hour and ten.
My host family was gone last week on a trip to Israel. It was fantastic to have the house to myself for a week, and when they came back, Monsieur Fraisse told me that he has never seen snow in March in Paris in his life. So I guess I beat him to that, which obviously makes me the truer Parisian.
I was worn down by a month-long cold, and finally had my first experience with the French medical system. I went to see Dr. Robert Erbault, because I found a list of English speaking doctors on the internet. Very helpful. The receptionist that I spoke with, however, didn’t speak English. As poor as my phone skills are in English, it became an event when I tried to schedule the appointment in French. The whole conversation probably took fifteen minutes. Or five minutes that felt like fifteen. But it’s all good practice.
The appointment itself went exceedingly well, I was told that I have une infection des sinus, and prescribed antibiotics. The appointment took ten minutes, with a two minute wait, and cost 35 euros. Go French medicine! I’m now well on my way to getting better.
This weekend, we went to Chateau de Vincennes, an old royal castle that you can get to on the metro. It was a very cool sight, and a fun outing. The chateau is big, with a lot of space to run around and explore, and no one to stop you from climbing stuff. Those are my favorite places to visit. We got a lot of climbing and running in, something you can’t really do very often in Paris, and took some fun Brady Bunch style pictures.
The metro line that gets you there is automatically operated, and doesn’t have a driver. So naturally, we went to the front to look out the windshield and I pretended I was driving. It was probably the most fun I’ve had in Paris. And I’d do it again.