How did I get here you ask? Well when I last left you I had just met Idan Raichel at a stopover in Prague. So he got on his plane and an hour or so later, I got on mine.
The plane wasn't overfull so after we took off I wandered to the back and thought I'd take a nap on an empty row. Instead, I ended up talking with the French stewardesses for almost the entire flight. You see when they came by they asked me what I'd like to drink and I tried to answer in French. Haltingly. Okay actually barely comprehensibly. Somehow they were entirely charmed - perhaps akin to the way one is charmed by watching a newborn puppy stumble around and walk into a wall, falling on its hind legs and looking confused. But then, I give my French too much credit.
In any case they began teaching me more French, and eventually talking politics with me. It was really nice. I gave them my name and the blog address, perhaps they are even reading this. It was a nice intro to France. In generally, I've been pleasantly surprised at how welcoming and helpful people have been with my incipient and garbled attempts at French. I've also been pretty happy with the Pimsleur French lessons to which I'm listening. What I've learned from listening to about 4 hours of these lessons accounts for roughly 40% of the French I understand and 87% of the French I can actually speak. On the comprehension side, another 25% I got over the course of 4 French lessons back in April and subsequent work in the Barron's French textbook and the other 35% from knowledge of latin roots.
I took the Paris metro (first RER and then subway) to my new friend Ruth's house. She was intially an acquantaince of a friend (Marni) but was kind enough to let me crash on her couch for the evening since my apartment wasn't ready until afternoon. She's a lovely person and invited me back for Shabbat. I think I'll go, although the bed at my new place is temptingly comfortable (another thing I haven't really enjoyed except for one occasion in the past several months).
I could tell you more, but that covers most of the interesting stuff. I'm happy to finally be at a place I can really call my home, if only for 5 months :-) Night. Oh, one last thing - I've now got a working mobile, check my twitter posts for the # if you want to call me.