13 juin 2013
Bon anniversaire à mon père. Il a soixante dixneuf ans! (Happy birthday, Dad!)
Normally, we begin class at 9 AM. This morning Mariette had many errands to run, I think. She came back to the apartment about 9:30 AM. Then she prepared something to eat later and also made a phone call. It was about 10:15 when we stepped out for the day. We walked many streets up to the Cimiez quartier (neighborhood). We walked and talked. She asks me a question; I attempt to answer. I know too many big words in English so I forget there is a simple way to say things with the French words that I know. The prepositions are a challenge!
We walked up to what was once a Russian chateau, now it is a University of Nice for the Sciences. What a beautiful setting walking through what was the “backyard” of the old home. During the school year, the grounds are off-limits to all but the students, but now anyone is welcome. There were ponds with fountains and scuptures and stairs that climbed up, up, up to the neighborhood above. C’était très jolie. We passed the Chagall house/museum and the music Conservatoire. I remember riding up this way on the bus the last time – it seemed like a l-o-n-g way then - today it did not seem that far away. As we made our way back down the hill, Mariette is giving me sentences to translate from French to English. (I don’t think I’m getting much better – I really want this to become easier.) We stopped at a café for a (you guessed it) café! This is an espresso in a little demitasse (cup). I always need to add the packet of sugar, then it is very good. The young woman who served us expressed that this was her first day on the job. She was willing to remake the cup if it was not good, but it was just fine!
After a salad lunch, Mariette started my laundry. She was going off with her daughter Roxane for a job interview, which went well – I found out later. I went off to see “The Quartet” at the Mercury Theater. I got in at the senior discount price – OK, in a year and a half I will legitimately be a “senior” anyway. (Crazy thought!) The movie had French subtitles, but it’s a British movie so I had no trouble understanding it. I did attempt to read the subtitles, but they all seemed too formal for what was actually being said. The message was “live life – don’t let it pass by at any age.” It was cute and funny and touching. I recommend it.
After the movie I did a little shopping – I was looking for the new Fragonard shop along the Cours Saleya. Eventually I found it and made a little purchase, then headed home. My feet were tired and I was hot. The day had turned quite steamy. I stopped at a bank on the way home to get the rest of the cash I would need to pay Mariette for the week. After counting it out for her, I ended up with just 20. The dollar is not doing too well against the Euro. Today it is $1.33 against one Euro. This is actually about what it was two years ago when I was here. But a Euro is not considered that much, as we say a dollar is not worth much. However, being aware of the exchange, I am cautious about throwing too much away on little things that I don’t really need.
Mariette and I arrived home about the same time. She made a lovely supper of mashed potatoes/broccoli, a slice of ham, and bread with Camembert cheese. One small square of dark chocolate finished it off just right.
The evening is mine, and I hope the rest of the day belongs to you, as well. Have a great one.