Hello loyal readers. Last week, it was brought to my attention that there were some questions about my experience here in Paris. I have not forgotten you. Here are your questions with my answers in a Q & A format.
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By the way, the questions are from Ms. Mason’s fifth grade class, and I made them into questions for “interview.” Here we go:
Class: Are all your classes taught in French?
Me: Yes, all my classes are taught in French. I have three classes and the professors do not speak any English to us. In fact, the use of English is discouraged in class. There are many students from other countries around the world, such as China, Vietnam, Germany, Indonesia and Japan. Not all the students know English, so it would be unfair and impractical for the professors to speak to us in English, when a lot of their classes are filled with non-English speakers.
Class: What is it like living with a family other than your own?
Me: It’s not bad at all. I live with Martine and Xavier. They are both really nice. As far as any major differences go, I can’t say that there are any. I get fed, and my clothes are washed. They talk to me a lot and they treat me well. There is less stuff that I have to do around the apartment. I don’t wash my own clothes or do any chores, but I still keep my stuff in order. I try to be neat. Living with them has been fine and I adjusted very quickly. I haven’t really “lived” at home for a few years; I’ve only bounced around my parents’ houses during holidays and breaks from college. I actually haven’t stayed with a family this long in a few years. The last time I stayed with my family for longer than 3 months was my last year of high school. I think I’ve adjusted well. Oh, I have a roommate, Sean, from New Jersey, and he and I speak in English to each other all the time. It’s nice to be able to revert to your own language.
Class:Do they speak English, and if so, how much English?
Me: Martine speaks some English, but she speaks French about 98% of the time, and this is what I wanted. This is why I wanted to live with a host family. Xavier speaks English, and he talks to me in English about 70% of the time. He knows that I want to improve my French and I try to speak French with him a lot. I’ll ask him what certain words or expressions mean. In fact, he’ll ask the same of me. There are plenty of times when he’ll ask me to clarify or explain an English word or expression.
Class: Have you seen any famous monuments?
Me: Of course! I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower. In fact, I’ve been there 3 times. The lights were just changed a few weeks ago. It’s a sort of Christmas theme now, so it looks pretty cool. I’ve also been to the Arch de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre Dame (absolutely stunning). I’ve also been on tours were we saw the house were Edith Piaf lived and where Victor Hugo stayed while he was in Paris. There are tons of eloquent churches in Paris and all have a neat little history. I’ve been to a few places outside of Paris, including the Palace of Versailles, Normandy and Mont St.-Michel and the Loire Valley (wine country).
Class: Which foods do you like in Paris and which ones do you miss from the States?
Me: There’s this food called a gallette, which is like a wheat crepe with cheese in the middle. The gallette is folded over the cheese and an egg, over easy, is placed on top. This is any mouth’s dream. Sure, I like crepes and nutella as well, and having a bagette or fresh bread everyday is very nice too. What do I miss? Honestly, I miss junk food. Cheap junk food and cereal. That stuff exists here, but with my diminished buying power, it’s hardly anything I buy or eat now. I want an apple pie. The French don’t make pies; they make tarts. Big difference. So if you’re like me, and you wanna get your pie-fix, you gotta stick to the “Made In America” stuff. You won’t find it anywhere else. A hot apple pie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream…
Class: Have you been able to watch any American TV in Paris?
Me: Yeah, in fact, I’ve been watching a ton of American television shows. The internet is such a wonderful friend. I’ve been able to keep up with all my favorite shows such as Californication, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and House. I’ve been watching too much television online, but I love it. I’ve also been keeping up with the news back home, so I’m still on top of everything before my friends are. I’ve also got four fantasy teams to keep track of on ESPN, and if I win my next football game, I’m in the playoffs. So yeah, I’m watching a whole lot of American stuff, all online though.
Class: Did you bring your Playstation 3?
Me: Haha! I never had a Playstation 3. That would be my little brother. I had an Xbox 360, and, sadly, I sold it along with all my games because I needed some extra money before I left for Paris. That’s a bit of a sore issue for me. I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Madden.
Okay. I hope I’ve answered some of your questions. Keep ‘em coming.