Yesterday I went to Book in Bar, an English-language bookstore in Montpellier where they have English-French conversation exchange nights every two weeks. I was a little nervous to go, and incredibly tired from a three-hour politics class in the morning and celebrating two friends' birthdays the night before, but I'm so glad I did!
The bookstore is adorable, a worn chair of a building: it's hidden on an older, pedestrian-only street and the inside smells like tea and used books. There are a few tables scattered about; books in titles of every category spill out of shelves, begging to be leafed through. The French-English conversation was loose and casual - mostly adults and a few American students I knew from class, switching (mostly) seamlessly between the two languages. I chatted with a French 27-year-old woman named Natalie for a while, she was nice! I was just excited to actually be talking with a French person outside of my apartment; all my legitimate conversations up until now had been with my host mom and my American friends (who I try to speak French with - somtimes! But it's difficult to always do that). When the store closed and the group separated, everyone was smiling, content, happily wishing everyone else une bonne soiree.
On top of chatting with really lovely people for two hours, I drank chai tea served in a really adorable teapot. Needless to say, I'll be coming back.