Friday, May 1, 2009

This is the part of the story when

You know those days where the rest of the world is effortlessly sunny and productive and there you are, in a shadowed corner of your bedroom, wishing it was raining and windy and dark so the outsides could just begin to try and match your insides? This morning it was like that.

I just realized the date on the calendar - May first - and realized that one year ago exactly was a Friday, if I remember correctly. It was a weekend, at the very least, and there was a big loud noisy smelly thrilling party and everything from that semester was just accumulating and it felt significant. I knew who my friends were, who I loved, where and how I wanted to move forward. And this year, this May first...I woke up with a storm cloud over me. Here it's just days, here I know once I get off this computer that both makes and breaks my life and step outside, it will be better. It's Montpellier, and the sun will be out, and beautiful hipster teenagers will be roaming the streets, and old men will be on bicycles, and on and on until I name every typical Montpellieran into oblivion.

Last night, I was eating dinner with my host mom Michèle, her friend Sophie, and the other girl here who is staying for 3 months, Mariko (I shouldn't call Mariko a girl, I guess - she is twenty-eight, lives in Tokyo and has a husband. She works at a clothes store and is always adorably dressed and cheerful) and it was fun. I actually spoke more than a few words, and Michèle commented on how much better I was speaking, and I was happy. And it's true, I feel like I can speak to people without thinking too hard about the translation.

Yesterday I took my last examen final - hooray! - and I saw words I was writing down that I didn't know in January, or even later than that, and it felt good. The french university workload is laughable compared to overachieving American standards, but I like to think I learned a lot regardless. At the very least, I can fake a French-person-speaking-English accent quite well.

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