After school today as usual, I met the girls. There is a different market happening each day in the Place de la Comedie. Yesterday it was degustation, heaps of marquees with foods from different regions. Today it was handbags and shoes from Italy as well as clothing and jewellery. It was hard to resist buying some of the bags as they were really good quality and not too expensive.
We walked in another direction and found an area full of brassieres (how unusual) and luckily we chose a great one that served "plat of the jour" including a dessert for 9.90E. It was a scrumptious meal of paella, salad and baguette followed by a dessert of petite cakes including the macaroon and a petite coffee which was tres enjoyable.
At Alliance there are only three of us in class. Lots of classes happening, mainly young people from all over the world. The building is old and in the mornings when we buzz the huge double doors at the entrance I can hardly believe that I am here. The walk up to the second story on the marble staircase past the enormous light fittings, stained glass and old wallpaper is breathtaking. The teacher is a young pretty girl, she is great, of course there is no English spoken in class. If we get to something really difficult she will draw it on the board instead of saying it in English. Every night we have a bit of homework. The pace of class is about the same as in Adelaide and I am re-doing most areas which is good. This morning when we arrived she said we are having a 10 minute test !!!!!! I cant wait to sea the results tomorrow. HA!
One of the students in class is Josh, he is living in the same house as me. He is 26 and is here on a scholarship. After 4 weeks in Montpellier he is doing 4 weeks of french in Bordeaux and then off to South Africa for 3 months study. He has studied economics at college and worked for the peace corp for two years in Guatemala interpreting for the Indians in their Mayan language as well as Spanish, both of which he is fluent in. Its great having the two of us in the house. Kate thinks he is just an over achiever.
The other student is Lois, a Jewish woman aged 61 from New York. She is a college Professor as is her husband. She has written a few books on education and is working on another. She and her husband holiday in France for a month every year. They rent an apartment. They both write. She speaks Swedish, Spanish, Latin and of course New York Americano which I love. She is really nice and right from the first class we hit it off.
Off course when these Americans have a conversation (they know every detail about their history and the dates each president came and went) I just go into an internal panic that they may ask me something I don't know. Thank goodness I bought a copy of our national anthem with me. You think I am joking....NO.
Ma hosts Monsieur Paul and Madame Francene are also academics. He was a journalistic professor at the Montreal University. She is still working in an office but I cant quiet work out where as of course NO ENGLISH!!!
Every evening at 7 dinner is served. Paul refuses to accept help. We have wine with the meal. Always a plate of cheese after the main course and then a small dessert. Never coffee or tea after the meal. Last night they had guests from Montreal (french people who happen to be their daughters future in laws.) They served them wine and spirits with pate and chips whilst the female visitor played their grand piano. Then they went to a restaurant leaving Josh and myself with a cooked meal on the table. We polished off their bottle of wine. The wine here is good.
I have tried to take photos of the house and the street below which is paved in marble, cobblestones and tiles. Its a long Rue full of boutiques. Early in the morning it is very noisy from the street cleaner, the rubbish collector and any vendor who can not receive a delivery after 8am.
Hope you have the feel of the place. Cest Tres bien!
Love Ros, Kate and Kim xxx