11 September 2007
I think I've found the paradise that Milton lost. It's in La Robertsau, a neighborhood of Strasbourg. And I get to go home to it every evening.
I live in a very nice apartment: spacious, bright, clean, and home-like. My room is on the smaller upper floor, with my bathroom and a play space. When I got to my room, there was already a down comforter on the bed, a desk and chair, and a plant welcoming me to my new home. My window looks out over the neighborhood, with lots of trees and nice homes and apartment buildings and parks, and not too much traffic. The cat comes to keep me company, and a few familiar books on the beside table, and many dear letters with dear words written by dear hands.
But the best part about this place is the family I live with: Sabine and her ten-year-old daughter Celia. I visit with them in the evenings when I get home, sometimes playing games with Celia and sometimes watching the news with Sabine. I like to talk with Celia about her studies, and she likes to ask me random questions about English and the US. Her second favorite occupation right now is playing with the cat. Sabine smiles easily, talks a lot, and relates to me as person-person rather than person-child, even though I can't understand everything she says, and she knows that.
I cook for myself, which has not been as enjoyable as this summer when I also cooked for other people and also had time to think about what I wanted to make and cook it. My meals are fairly simple since I haven't been able to access my newly-opened French bank account yet, complete with BCA stipend. Once I do get that, though, I'll be able to better budget my meals and think and cook. Right now, I buy lots of fresh vegetables (although I haven't been to the farmer's market yet), good bread, and good cheese. And tomorrow I'm going to lunch with a couple new friends who are also vegetarian. We just figured out that we had that in common, and we felt a little more empowered in this meat-based more-German-than-French cuisine, and so we decided to have a celebration of sorts. Did I tell you that Saturday night when I moved in and my host mom made a welcome dinner, it was a typical Alsatian meat-and-potatoes dish? I ate and enjoyed it, after explaining in broken French that I really don't eat meat, and why, but that I do make some exceptions, and that everything would be just fine...I'm sure it was an endearing moment.
She likes me anyway.
And I like her, and being here, and living in this place.
Posted by Colleen at 6:56 PM