Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Strike!

Today there was a strike of the RATP, which is the company that runs
the metro lines, buses, and the fast trains (RER) in Paris. I guess
it wasn't a big one, because many of the buses and trains were
running anyway, but P didn't have school for some reason (though her
sister did.) I went to her house at 9:30 in the morning and spent
the whole day. We read, played card games, made lunch, worked on a
very hard puzzle (which gave me a headache!), she read to me, played
"football" (during which I kicked her hard--oops) and cleaned out a
spot in her room for the new piece of furniture her family bought at
IKEA last weekend, which they are assembling tonight. It was quite a
full day. Then we went to get Lucy and took her to school to pick up
C. Lucy is the hit of all of C's friends--they love to make her
shake hands, and she gives them all kisses. We took her to a park,
but like every park I've found in Paris, it didn't allow dogs.
ARGH! So, we decided to walk home, and I got us all hot, fresh
crèpes on the way. The girls liked theirs with sugar, and for me,
it's got to be chocolate--so Nutella. Delicious and toasty warm on a
cool, autumn day in Paris.

Tomorrow I pick the girls up at their "modelage" classes (ceramics)
at the Louvre at noon. There's no school for French kids on
Wednesdays, but they do have a 1/2 day every other Saturday. After
we head home, I'll make lunch for us and their music teacher, and
then they have an hour music lesson each in the afternoon. They have
both been working hard with me this week, so I think they will do
well. I am learning a lot about solfège from them, so it is
interesting for me, too! Their music teacher was amazed at the
differences between teaching music in France and in the US. She was
shocked that I could be trained to play and teach singing, clarinet,
flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, percussion,
piano... etc. Here they specialize in just one, but they also don't
have Band or Orchestra at school, so it's very different. I have to
say, though, these girls play piano quite well, and they both sight
read and sight sing better than I ever would have expected.

P & C's mother came home a little early, so I had time to do a little
shopping for Dr. B. He has been dealing with a bad cold, and the
cooler weather, and wanted a scarf to keep his neck warm. I found a
great one (on sale) and a jacket to match that was really cheap (7
euros--that's like $8.40 for a fleece-lined, hooded jacket). He also
wanted a smaller bag to carry his stuff in (the bag he carried
everywhere in the US is just overwhelming here) and I found one of
those, too. I love successful shopping days! We are still waiting
for the items I mailed from the US, so most of his jackets are in one
of those boxes somewhere... (I hope getting close!)

I have noticed that the cooler weather is agreeing with me well. I
hate being hot, and I really hate sweating. Unfortunately, when I
get nervous--I sweat. So the combination of heat and having to
speak, respond and ask questions in French to Parisians (who speak
faster than Manhattanites, I swear) is a difficult one. Cooler
weather, and layers I can remove, make everything work much better.
Now I understand better why french women wear scarves--if it's cold,
you are warmer, and if it's hot, you can take it off!

Made the next incarnation of "leftovers soup" for dinner (turkey,
potatoes, carrots) and now we are getting ready for bed. Lucy is
giving me the "hurry up and let's go to bed, Mom" look, so I think I
best sign off. À demain!


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