Happy Sanks-geev-eeng

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Right now it is just around 2:30 PM in Minneapolis, meaning my family is probably sitting around our dining room table right this minute. It sure is weird to not be there.

Yesterday afternoon I made a pumpkin pie for my host family which we will eat tonight. Technically it is made with squash, but I think it will turn out the same. Yesterday when I was in the middle of making it, an older woman who lives across the street stopped by to see my host mom. My host mom wasn't home, but the visit timed out perfectly because I had just realized that I needed three eggs and only had one. So I asked the neighbor if she could lend me some eggs, which she happily did. Tonight I went back to her house with a piece of pie as repayment. She and her husband are really friendly and great, and immediately invited me into their home. They knew I was American, so they asked about where I was from in the US, how I liked France, etc. Her husband, who fought in World War II, took me into the living room to show me a picture representing his experience with America- a recently-taken photo of him on Utah Beach (where the Allies landed in Normandy on D-Day).
It was so cool to meet these wonderful French people. Granted, I have found all French people to be wonderful, but this was an especially nice encounter. And I just loved the feeling of running across the street to bring my French neighbors a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

People in France don't really know what Thanksgiving is, or if they do it is just from seeing American movies. My host dad thought it was called "Panksgibbing."
Today I tried to explain to my English class (in English) what Thanksgiving is all about, but from the blank stares I received in response, I'm not sure if they understood. After I finished talking, my teacher summarized what I had said: "So basically it is a holiday to say thank you." Upon hearing the phrase "Say thank you," all my classmates very obediently and automatically said "Thank you" in unison. It was hilarious.

Also, to continue with the benign anecdotes:
I went to the supermarket after school today because I was hungry and needed to buy whipped cream for my pie. So I bought a can of Pringles and a can of whipped cream. The check-out lanes were really busy, but finally I got to the front of the line. Sometimes my American credit card doesn't work so well here, so I held up the line for a good five minutes while the check-out girl tried to get it to work. Everyone in line was really annoyed. There I was, the stupid American, holding up the line with my stupid American credit card, buying a can of Pringles and a can of whipped cream. Embarrassing. Really really embarrassing.

So that is what Thanksgiving looks like in France, if any of you were wondering.
I hope everyone had (or has, since the day is not yet over) a great holiday, and I hope you all find some really killer deals at Target or wherever the hell tomorrow.


New Direction

Bon soir, everyone. It is 5:30 PM here. Very gray and very rainy.

I just got home from school. I had to bike because my alarm clock broke and I woke up at 10:00. Whooops! But this means that I got to ride my bike through the misty French countryside this morning, and doing that doesn't bother me one bit. Riding home uphill in the rain wasn't as much fun, unfortunately. But now I'm in my cozy house with a cup of tea and Les Simpsons is coming on TV in 15 minutes. Tout va bien. Later tonight my friends are coming over and I will make them Fried Egg Pasta, a super awesome thing we used to have all the time at home when I was in elementary school.
Check it:

Change of subject:
So I was thinking. About my blog. My life as a blogger. I think it is time for a little change...
Right now I do not write on here very much. I would like to change that a bit. Not a whole lot, because why would I want to spend my year in France blogging about my year in France? How stupid. I would prefer to spend my year in France in France, if that is alright with you all.
So what I would like to change is this:
I'm going to try to write shorter, more regular blog posts. And incorporate more interesting things than just my personal sentiments. Instead of writing broad, all-inclusive posts, I'm going try to keep things a little more solidified. I call it microblogging. That is a term that I have invented for it.
I'm having a hard time articulating this idea I have of my "new direction." So if you don't understand you'll just have to wait and see, I guess. It will be good, trust me. Change, as they say, is good. Change is also hard (I should know, look what I'm doing), but I have faith. We can do this, readers. Yes We Can.

Alright, let's go!

Les Simpsons! Fried Egg Pasta! France!

A toute à l'heure,

I'm fully aware that I didn't invent the term "microblogging." That was a joke. Ha. Ha.


Love and finding a home

Hello. Hi. It's me, (Vi)Nora. I am not dead. Au contraire, I am very much alive and too busy LIVING to be bothered with things like blogging. But seriously I apologize to all of you out there who I know live to read my blog. I have been selfish and neglectful.

Let's seeee. Where I left off, we were in the middle of fête-ing and grève-ing. The strikes have died down and are basically finished around here. The fêtes, on the other hand, are not finished. This is Bretagne, after all. Things must be celebrated.

This past Wednesday was my birthday and Tuesday was my host sister's birthday. We are the same age- born exactly 14 hours apart. How weird is that? And our dads were born on the same day too. There is some serious zodiac alignment happening here I think. To celebrate, we had a wonderful family dinner on Tuesday night with fondue and cake and presents and champagne. Not only do Maïwenn and I have the same birthday, we also bought each other the same birthday presents- gloves that we saw one day when we were shopping and both really liked. Later, we both went back to the store (seperately) and bought them for each other. Pretty adorable. My friends gave me little boxes of knick knacks they had assembled for me- things with sentimental value or some kind of use or absolutely no value or use at all. I loved it.

On Wednesday night we had a joint birthday party at the house, because Thursday (November 11th) is a national holiday in France and there is no school. Too bad I don't live in France- I could have a party every year the day of my birthday, regardless of if it's on a weekend or not. Damn.

The party was a whole lot of fun. Overall, it was a very good 48 hours of celebrating our births.

In other news, since my last blog post I feel like I've really turned a corner in terms of adjustment and well, I don't know, being here. I have been saying "I love it here!!" basically since I got here, but I feel like now it is becoming more and more true. It is funny to think that I was proclaiming my love for this place way back then, before I really knew it. And I'm sure in another few months I will love it and feel that I know it just that much more.

But right now it really has become a new home. My friends have really become wonderful, dear friends, not just nice people who let me, the dumb american, tag along with them. I am actually completely in awe of the way that I was taken in by them, and the fact that they immediately liked me before knowing me. Now that my French is better and I'm more adjusted, I can come out of my shell more and we are all just one big happy clan of copines. I adore them all and feel so incredibly lucky and happy to be here with them.

I have figured out how to exist among my host family and the awkwardness of being a stranger in someone else's home has completely slipped away. They are hilarious, humorous and remarkably on the same plane as my family at home.

French flows much more easily out of my mouth and people don't have to repeat themselves quite so much. There is still a long way to go in terms of the language, but that whole problem is becoming more and more obsolete.

I just feel so unbelievably blissfully happy. It's probably really annoying to read all this gushiness (I feel annoyed just writing it), but gosh, what can I say...

France, I- I think... I might... Be in love with you.

(et je ne veux jamais te quitter)