~written 8/28/10, not posted due to lack of internet access~
11:20 pm Toulouse time, 5:20 pm Boston time.
As far as host families go, I believe I won the lottery. The flight from Amsterdam to Toulouse was only 1.5 hours. I had been messaging a friend at the Amsterdam airport, discussing how fantastic it would be if my host mother was standing in the arrivals area with one of the signs limo drivers use to identify their clients. Madame de Maillard was waiting for me at the baggage claim, “KIM” sign in hand. Needless to say, she is awesome. We drove home (HOME!), and she gave me a full tour of the house. (Note: all books on French culture advise that you will probably not see the kitchen, private bathrooms, or bedrooms of your host family. Apparently, this family does not adhere to the stereotypes.)
MA SALLE A CHAMBRE
My room is in the basement of the home. I have a full-size bed (SCORE), a desk, and a spacious closet. I have my own bathroom too, which is pretty exciting. The French have a different setup for their bathrooms –Mine has a sink and a shower. The toilet is in a closet across the hall. There’s a cool little door that leads to the backyard just down the hall.
The afternoon began with lunch, which consisted of salad, cheese, melon, bread, and a delicious tarte à l’onion courtesy of Madame de Maillard. The only other person in the house right now is Madame de Maillard’s Maman. Both of them were very interested in learning about me, as well as sharing about themselves, their families, and France. After lunch, we drank du café with chocolate, and decided to faire le sieste, only confirming my belief that I belong here. I spent that time unpacking, reading a great information packet provided by Dickinson, and sleeping for 3 more hours. Dinner meant more salad, more melon, a kiwi (which I learned has more vitamin C than an orange), and zucchini which canard – duck!
After dinner, I watched a French TV show which appeared to be across between “American Idol” and “Who wants to be a Millionaire.” Then, Madame de Maillard offered to show me around the city. We walked around part of the center of the city. She pointed out historical landmarks, as well as her favorite shops and cafés. We ended up getting some sorbet, then headed home. As this exciting day comes to a close, jet lag is beginning to catch up with me – time to sleep. But tomorrow sounds promising. I’ll be meeting the rest of the family, and going to dinner at a chateau!