Now to come back to our sheep (yes, that’s a phrase here)

Now, where did we leave off with these “Rules of the Game”? Ah yes…

…#9: Always compliment a boy on his velo. If you want to make French friends, apparently this is what you’ve got to do! During an ever so unnecessary group meeting on Monday night, we were told a story of a girl who met a boy while she was buying a baguette (so French) and who walked outside, made eye contact and said “Hey, nice bike.” He, of course, reciprocated and they came to talk. She then asked him, after 30-45seconds of social graces, if he wanted to have lunch with her. He did. So he bought his baguette (he’s French) and off they went. The next time, he brought his friend Boris. It was there that Boris met Kelly, and eventually, they got married. Moral of the story: compliment someone’s bike if they’re outside your local patisserie. Authors note: I just learned that Kelly and Boris have divorced. With this new knowledge in mind, make your choice of whether or not to speak to the boy on the bike. His best friend could be a heart breaker.

Rule #10: Be an ice queen. Apparently, French guys like this. For the two boys in our program, they must also play the role of Ice Queen. The validity of this rule is still being tested…

(Are you getting the idea that our director just wants us all to find husbands here?)

Rule #11: Abroad is abroad. We’re here to explore, not study. This mentality so eloquently put by the one and only Christina Houser has dominated my actions thus far in France. But after receiving a rather abrupt letter from the Abroad Office about my grades transferring – something I choose to forget quite often – I guess I need to come back to my moutons and lance into my studies. But not before partaking in Rule 12…

Rule #12: It’s always acceptable to get drunk off champagne with your host family, even if it’s after wine class on a Wednesday, and especially if it’s your host brother’s birthday. And so was my night last night. After having been certified in the degustation of wine – certificate and all! – I came home to find apertifs and a bottle of champagne waiting for me. Merci, David!  It’s always a little awkward being drunk in the presence of a freshley 45 year old “brother” and his 60+ year old mother, but things definitely got interesting when I smiled a little too big when David, describing Amsterdam, said: “il y a des coffee shops partout.” I laughed (nervously), he laughed (knowingly) – but c’mon, everyone knows why college students go to Amsterdam. I downed the rest of my champagne and he promptly refilled me. And so it went for the rest of the bottle.

Rule #13: No feet on the seat! Another encounter with the French but this time I was lucky enough to be a bystander while my friend Jamie got verbally smacked for having her shoes on the seat on a public bus on our way back from Prague. The couple in front of her, having only just sat down, turned around and expressed their inner rage at her infuriating actions! “Do you do that at your house?” She took her feet down. I’m not even surprised anymore – or I shouldn’t be – this kind of thing seems to happen pretty souvent.

Rule #14: Balls exist. At least, this weekend they do. I’ll let you know how this goes…Marie Claire’s last student passed out in our bathroom (naked!). I hope to fare better than her. The way I see it, if I can make it through Mardi Gras clothed, I can do this. And yes, parents, I make it through Mardi Gras clothed – albeit, in neon.

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