Friday, October 12, 2007

On Besancon

There is a cloudy mist enveloping the city, and all the long underwear in the world cannot stop my ankles from chattering. I am going to hide in bed, once I get off of school. I am going to keep my winter hat on, burrito wrap myself up in my blankets, and huddle with chocolat chaud and a movie.

What movie? The Magnificent Seven. That is not very French, bien sur.

Now for some analogs, to get you better acquainted with my way of life here. If Besancon were a city in the states, it would be Boulder, Colorado. It is not very big, has an environmentalist streak, and a bourgie artistic flavor. In the same way Boulder is not as happening as say Portland, Besancon is not as happening as Toulouse or Dijon. Outside of Besancon, Franche-Comte, my region, is very conservative, and the hick to yuppie ratio is approximately 7:1 everywhere else. This reminds me of living in Atlanta. There is a big university here, so the city is young and liberal. On Monday, I went to an open mic night here- they are universally entertaining, I would argue. And French slam poetry is even more hilarious than most American slam poetry.

I go to a lot of bars and patisseries. A lot of those fancy French pastry shops are about like diners on the inside, and I like to sit in a booth with a book and a tiny coffee and eat some kind of tartlette every few days. There are markets for fresh fruits and vegetables, no haggling here. The bakeries are cheap, and the breads are so, so, so good. I drink two euro bottles of wine and tiny German beers. I drink expressos and mineral waters. There is no Diet Dr. Pepper here, there is also no analogous beverage for guzzling. I miss it.

I found the main library in Besancon, which is as about like Valparaiso Public Library. There are bookstores everywhere too, though books are pricey as you would expect them to be. Pas un grand chose.

I hope the the occasional French is not annoying. I think the language is kind of hilarious- which is problematic when I have to speak it upwards of four hours a day. Maybe it is just that I always feel like I am saying something wrong, or that my accent is ridiculous. It is funny, you know, to hear yourself speak a foreign language. Oh, well. Chances of me making it out of the cloud of doom in this mountain town were never good, at least I can laugh about it.

That is it for today, I think. I have to go try to conduct some middle school orchestra. I will tell you about it later.


Andrew said...

Your descriptions are riveting, and I of course appreciated the comment about Boulder not being as happening as Portland (the Oregon one I assume). Keep having lots of great continental experiences!

CHANTAL!!!!!!!!!!! said...

Lindsay, you are going to be a French speaking super star in no time. How did you get hooked up as a music teacher? Did you tell them about your music background? Sounds like the best set up.