I was going to post an image of the Alliance Française – the international French language academy that charges people a fuck tonne of money to learn French – but upon walking past it this morning, it occurred to me that the first time I went to find it I almost missed it because its exterior is so boring. I only managed to find it because I recognised the small “AF” symbol on the front of the building. The above photo of my desk is far more interesting, and even that isn’t particularly exciting. So instead, I’ve posted a photo of the metro stop that is closest to the Paris Alliance Française – St. Placide (scroll down). It’s in the 6th arrondissement, which is a pretty area. Don’t try any of the Asian food there, though. It’s shit. All of it. (True facts.)
Today was the first time I’d been in a classroom environment since May. Having travelled for so long, my French had gotten a bit rusty (not that it was ever not-rusty to begin with) and I was fairly apprehensive about starting an intensive course with people I didn’t know. Up until this point, I’d shared every single French class with Morgan, even when we were studying back in Sydney, so I’d always had someone to sit at the back of the classroom with me to make inappropriate jokes about “going to fac” (fac being another word for university) and “reflechit-ing” about stuff. (Reflechit being the conjugated form of reflechir ((to reflect)), which I would always pronounce as “re-fle-SHIT” because I am mature like that.)
I rocked up on day one with my back pack full of textbooks that I’d picked up that morning, highlighters, pens, paper, and enough food to feed a small African country. I did not look particularly Parisian. Some might even suggest I looked full-triangle. But my reasoning was a) I’m going to language school where everyone in my class will probably be a mature-aged student – like anyone would actually care, b) We’re going to be stuck in an air-conditionless room for seven hours trying to understand French grammar – we’ll all be sweating like champagne hams by the end of it – so why bother? and c) Anyone paying that much money to do the course is probably taking French education fairly seriously, so again, no one is going to dress to impress.
Turns out I was, once again, kind of wrong. And by kind of wrong, I mean I entered a classroom full of young, beautiful, Germany fashion management students who were learning French so that they could score internships at Paris Fashion Week. Errr… yeah. Dweebmeister strikes back.
On the up side, the class was actually very good, if incredibly tiring. For one of our activities, we had to write a cover letter for a job application in the field of caring for animals or something to that effect. I wrote that I had lots of experience with Sea Monkeys. This is partially true. In one of my experiences, cola may or may not have been poured into the Sea Monkey tank. (True facts.)
Now here’s a picture of St. Placide.