Bored in Bordeaux

Trip Start Nov 04, 2008
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Trip End Mar 15, 2009


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Where I stayed
Mark's place

Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Thursday, November 13, 2008

Heya,
It's grey and dreary and I'm buzzing around like a mad cat in a treehouse.  Haha or a bee in a bottle.  Or a ferret in a rabbithole, a terrier in the backseat, a rat on a wheel.  Or a maddi in a room.  Mark's more like a rat on a skewer.  This morning he slept for 13 hours.  It was pretty hilarious actually, Viv called us which was lovely, and then after than I wanted to go for a run.  Mark rolled over and said "Well, I'm not coming".  So we came to the conclusion that I'd go for a run and then when I got back he'd wake up.  Satisfactory for all. 
I've been for two runs now.  Yesterday afternoon I decided that I was eating far too much to remain sedentary, and therefore should probably move further than to the kitchen for more brie and bread.  I decided this, unfortunately, at the same time as I decided to steal half of Mark's second lunch, so I had to wait for an hour before I left.  This put me in the deliciously ironic situation of running through the primary school's end-of-the-day pick up, and apparently the scheduled entertainment for the afternoon was a sweaty, red-faced foreigner with her pale legs protruding from running shorts.  Who knew?  So anyway, I headed through there, then past the train station to the main street, then up the hill to the church which has been positioned on a hill since ancient times to look down on everyone.  Of course, it being the afternoon before a public holiday, the place was crowded as anything, and once again the entertainment was provided by this idiot in running shorts with red hair. 
So I finally wandered back down the hill and coaxed myself back into a canter, jogged around the back to avoid the main street, then headed back to the apartment...just in time to hit end-of-school for the senior high school, where the entertainment was a silly Australian puffing through the crowds.  It serves me right, I guess, for waking up at seven and deciding that the streets were too deserted to get up and go for a run, then going back to sleep.
So today I headed off again, and it was not quite as crowded, which was nice, but people still stared at me like I was crazy.  I asked Julien (the English teacher that Mark and I live with) whether women ran at all in France, and apparently they do, but perhaps not in Terrasson.  Oh well.  This morning's run was good because I just grabbed pain au chocolat for our breakfast and was back in 35 mins or so.  The lady at the pātisserie was very kind.  I don't know about everyone else, but for me, running often contraindicates thinking, and this morning I don't think I'd snapped into language mode before I ran in and tried to speak French.  She just looked at me pityingly as I panicked over having exactly too much money to pay for the food (rather than too little) and then used the opportunity to get rid of all the 2 and 1 cent pieces that had been accumulating in her till.  It's astonishing how much 15c can be when it's all in 1c pieces.
Anyway, there's really not that much happening here.  I'm just addicted to bread and cheese, and am getting steadily fatter.  It was tempting for me to take time-lapse photography of my tummy and post it on here, but I thought that perhaps the world has enough disturbing photographs already.  My French is not getting much better, perhaps because Julien speaks very good English, and so there's really no need for me to speak anything other than English.  I've got to find somewhere to socialise with French people so that this opportunity's not completely wasted.  Mark suggested that I join a French knitting group or something.  I don't know that there are any, though.
I climbed a tree today!  And I didn't fall down!  That's new.  Um...Yep.  And Mark and I have two days off, because today's a public holiday and he doesn't have work tomorrow, so we're just cruising around.  Today we walked and missed the only open shop, but went and bought tickets to Paris for the weekend.  We're going to head off on Friday and stay till lunchtime on Sunday.  I'm hoping that 48 hours is enough to do Paris, but I really think that we'll be pretty sick of museums after that, and we can just cruise around the streets and get dinner and look at the Eiffel tower and hit up the markets, so it should be fine.  We've got a list of things to do that are neatly divided into two categories - 3 days and more than 3 days.  Every week, we've a long weekend, which is pretty exciting.  Now the only thing holding us up is money...
Living here is actually fairly expensive.  It's pretty amazing.  Just things like basic household commodities and food are fairly exorbitant.  Julien summed it up really well with "What do you expect - we're not near China".  It makes me instantly glad I stocked up on crappy discount goods at Teks before I left, because they just don't exist here.  On the other hand, usually things are manufactured much more carefully, and the majority are made in the EU, which is delightful for me (the snob).  I guess sometimes you just have to pay for quality.  Or not, as Mark keeps on cursing, with his dodgy umbrella.  It cost €6 and the $2 ones in Australia put it to shame.  Oh well.
And now I've descended into monotony.  I'm sorry.  I promise I'll only write in future when I actually have something to say.  I'm going to go and find pictures for this to make it more exciting.
Much love,
Maddi (and Mark)
xxx  
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