Friday, 14 December 2012

Circus, Champs-Élysées, Chartres and Cinema

Is it Christmas yet? If not, it feels like it should be. I’m really quite tired as are the majority of my students. I’m not sure that students in England would cope with the 8-17.30 school day.

The week before last, a few of us went to the Cirque de l’eau, apparently Europe’s only water circus! It was a strange but very entertaining show with clowns, acrobats, balancing acts and animals. I would really like a sea lion. They seem like the kind of animal that everyone needs in their lives.

The next day I headed to Paris to see my friend Céline. After an early start, I finally made it to Saint Lazare station where we met up and went to Starbucks. Oh Starbucks, I’ve missed thee so! What followed was an absolutely crazy day of running around Paris hitting tourist site after tourist site and walking up seemingly every stair case in the city. We went to the musée d’orsay and Louvre art galleries (I prefer the Louvre), the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysées and Montmartre. We found a fairly quiet little restaurant for dinner and had a much-needed sit-down before heading to Chartres for the night. When we got to Céline’s place, we were greeted by her awesome cat Lucie Fer. Lucie made me miss my own cat but she was lots of fun to play with and slept quite happily at the bottom of my bed.

The next morning, we looked around the beautiful cathedral in Chartres before it was time for a quick lunch and a train back to Le Havre. The train from Paris to Le Havre was absolutely hellish and I was so glad to be home when I arrived back in the city in the evening.

I’ve been to the cinema a few times recently. With Natalie, Sam 1 and Sam 2, I saw the new Disney film ‘Les Mondes de Ralph’ or ‘Wreck-it Ralph’ in English. For me, this wasn’t quite as good as ‘Les Cinq Légendes’ but I could appreciate that it was very well-made and I did enjoy it a lot. I attempted ‘Anna Karénine’ (Anna Karenina) on my own – this was the single biggest workout of my French since arriving here in September! That said, it’s a beautiful film with good direction and wonderfully fluid scene changes – I recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

I feel like I should have more to complain about but it’s been a really lovely few weeks in France. The worst thing is that mum and dad sent me a package which appears to have been utterly lost in the post. It’s a shame because it cost over £10 to post and was full of English sweets to share with my students but there isn’t really much you can do when you don’t even know which country it’s gone missing in.

I don’t normally do this but I have found a few useful pieces this week so thought I’d share.

Dêpechez-vous! is one I’ve started using a lot more in the classroom. It means ‘Hurry up’.
When you go for a coffee with your lovely French friends and they say C’est pour moi when you’re paying, they aren’t asking you if you’re paying for them. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It means ‘It’s on me’ or ‘This is my shout’.
Archi- means ‘ultra’, ‘so’ or ‘very’. I found this out this week and since I discovered the meaning I’ve been hearing it everywhere so I think I was just blanking it out before. It can be put in front of both positive and negative adjectives.

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