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Je suis une faux pas

Written on: Sunday February 18th, 2007

A journal entry from: Rouen Exchange

Sweat pants? No.  Exercising in public? No. Catholic church service?  No clue.  Thats right, I would say I offically gave myself away as a North American this week. 

Lets start with going out in public not once, but twice in my sweat pants.  You see, I discovered that it is more economical for me to run places than take the bus.  Hence, faux pas numero un.  I happened like this.  Monday, I needed to get money from the bank and then wanted to do some grocery shopping. Unfortunately, the bank near campus is currently under going renovations so I ran into town in the morning, carrying my shopping bag and sweat pants to change into.  Also while in town (still in my running clothes), I stopped at the train station because I had lost my student discount card.  Interestingly, I started talking to the woman in front of me who was originally from Ontario (Cornwall) had married a man from Montreal and then moved to France with their family a few years ago. 

Second time I was caught in sweat pants:  I was alone in Rouen all weekend so had a bit of free time so I decided to run to the grocery store to grab a couple things.  I must say, it is definately spring here. - I could smell it in the air, I swear.  Not only was I in work out clothes, I decided that on my walk back, I might as well do some resistance training with my shopping bags in hand so started doing some bicep curls as I walked - talk about American multitasking!

Lastly, I went to church at the famous (well, you problem don't know about it so maybe not THAT famous) Cathadrale in Rouen.  This is the church that Monet made many paintings of, around 30 but 9 are unfinished.  First of all, it was a French church service -  obviously.  Secondly, it was a catholic church service.  I am neither.  The start was alright since we started out with a song that had words printed in the program.  From there on, I was pretty much lost.  Although, I do believe that the serman was about La Paix de Dieu - the Peace of God.  Anyways, an interesting experience.  Question for any Catholics out there.  Is there communion every week or did I just pick a lucky service?

Also this week, there was what is called a "Running Dinner".  To explain, teams of international students and French students signed up. The international students were then e-mailed the addresses of 3 groups of French students.  We went to the first address for the entree (appetizer).  We were served cabbage salad with apples and walnuts, ham roles with cream cheese type filling and carrot sticks.  We then moved on to the second address for le plat (main course).  This was my favourite stop because there were really cool people here.  I actually met a guy who may be coming to York next semester.  They served us crepes with guyere cheese, ham and egg.  I don't which flavour it was but there was something I didn't like.  Lastly, we went to the third address for dessert.  This was the home of 3 boys so I guess it was no surprise that it was a store bought apple tart.  Still good though.  After that we all met at a bar.  Essentially, the night was French people fed us, we provided them with drinks and got to meet a lot of really cool people.  I wish there were more Running dinners. 


From Aunt Mary M. on Feb 25th, 2007

Having lots of fun reading your blog...sounds wonderful. We miss you!!

From Jess on Mar 2nd, 2007

Enjoying hearing about your adventures Beth! Where are you off to next?