Days 5-7

Tom has been quite ill with some sort of stomach bug since Tuesday, getting gradually worse until today. Hydration has been the hardest part: it took until last night to figure out how to get his electrolyte balance back, and while I made him eat a little bit of apple sauce (sort of, turns out that “compote” is apple sauce that hasn’t been mushed as much as we’re used to in the States, so there are mushy apple chunks in it) and have been making him lots of herbal tea, it wasn’t until this morning that he turned the corner and his body started absorbing nutrients again. Which made for a rough three days, and an especially rough last night. Tom had to get up every half-hour or so to make a run for the bathroom, which means I didn’t really sleep either. By about 4 AM, I was pretty sure that I was going to end up having to figure out how to call a taxi, because Tom wouldn’t be able to walk the six-ish blocks to the nearest English-speaking doctor’s office.

Fortunately, when I woke up this morning, he was doing much better, was much less dehydrated and out of whack, and he managed to take a nice long nap this afternoon when previously he had been too sore and feverish to find a comfortable position to fall asleep. He also ate a lot of rice today, which is quite encouraging.

So in lieu of fun travel stories (I did figure out how to buy books for my Kindle without using wireless, so at least I am slightly less stir-crazy than earlier today), A List:

Things Sophia and Tom Have Learned About France So Far
(in no particular order)

  • The best thing at the supermarket cafeteria will always be the dessert.
  • Bread is way more reasonably priced than in the US.
  • On that note…never, ever, ever buy an American-looking loaf of bread. EVER. Trust me.
  • Salmon lasagna is actually quite disgusting and will make your apartment stink for at least a day afterwards.
  • French people are way more like New Yorkers than Southerners when it comes to the manners of passing strangers on the street.
  • On the other hand, apparently talking baby-talk to puppies and small children is a universal ice-breaker.
  • If you forgot to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store, you can carry about 1/3 less groceries than you were planning. And you will have really bad blisters.
  • Apparently cora keeps its reusable bags hidden in a secret French-speakers-only vault.
  • A new landmark is always closer the second time you go there. But it’s always further when you’re carrying groceries.
  • Dorm internet policy is crappy, but the sanctioned stash of TV shows and movies is awesome.
  • Actually, you will need a French bank account.
  • There is a space between the last word in a sentence and the punctuation mark at the end.
  • Fancy scarf knots and a pixie cut will make people ask you for directions in French. They will change their minds as soon as you open your mouth.
  • Eu aromatisée saveur citron is not the same thing as limonade.
  • If you’re going to keep a blog about your travels, the ability to switch your keyboard to a French layout will save your life.
  • By the time your friends on the US West Coast are getting off work, it’s 2 AM.
  • No one will hate you (outwardly? yet?) for playing charades with them when you’re in a checkout line, as long as you say “s’il vous plait” and “merci” a lot.
  • Your built-in mic will stop being good enough for software programs that analyze your accent at random times, just to screw with you.
  • Duolingo is a way better way to learn French than Rosetta Stone, and it’s free.

Hopefully tomorrow there will be stories of our Gorgeous French City. Seriously. It’s freaking time for me to brave the bus.


One thought on “Days 5-7

  1. Mara says:

    I love that list! Was it a white lasagne? I could see white salmon lasagne being pretty tasty. Good to know about Duolingo.

    I’m glad Tom is feeling better, and I hope he continues to recover! Please give him my regards.

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