Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 2

Sean got home from the Vatican surprisingly early on Tuesday. We thought, because his flight was scheduled to arrive around rush hour on the night before a bank holiday (Armistice Day), the traffic would be monstrous coming back from the airport. Everyone in Bordeaux complains about the traffic on the rocade, the highway that goes around the city. And we had our share of experiences with the traffic last year. But, for some reason, everything went smoothly and Sean was home much earlier than expected.

The weather on Wednesday was rain, rain, and more rain. Owen and Sean played in the puddles outside our house at the Observatory. In the afternoon, we took Luis (a new post-doc at the Observatory from Chile) and his wife, Elise (an American!) to Auchan for some shopping. Auchan is like the French version of a Super Target – a gigantic supermarché where one can purchase anything from tomatoes to televisions. And, in addition to Auchan, the complex is home to several other stores, a café, and a hair salon. Despite it being a holiday – or maybe because it was a holiday – the place was packed!

On Thursday evening, we ventured out into the city to meet the Bordeaux-USA club. The club meets every Thursday evening at their headquarters right in the heart of the city. This week was quiz night. We had so much fun! The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. There was a good mix of French natives and Anglo/American natives present. The trivia questions were quite interesting, ranging in topics from literature (who was the last American and the last Frenchman to win the nobel prizes in literature) to film (movies directed by Quentin Tarantino) to geography (which presidents appear on Mount Rushmore) and politics (of all the US presidents since 1981, which one was right-handed). Our team one thanks to the Sean’s vast knowledge of Serge Gainsbourg songs and Asterix books. And Owen held up his sunny disposition thanks, in part, to a seemingly endless supply of popcorn provided by the club. We will most likely be attending their Thanksgiving feast in a few weeks.

Other than that, the week has been pretty quiet. We got cell phones on Saturday – that was exciting! We went to Auchan and But we are still trying to figure out how to get our email to work on the phones so it has also been a bit frustrating. Facebook seems to work so at least we can update our status and let people know how we are doing. :)

Words of the week:

un jour fèrié - holiday

volaille - poultry

gésiers - gizzards. Despite how appetizing the duck meat looks in the package, if it says gésiers on the package, do not be fooled - it will be tough and crunchy.


  1. Hi Marisa (and Owen and Sean)! Great to hear how things are going. I am so happy that there are some new folks for you to hang out with as well and playmates for Owen. You seem to be in a nice position of being new there, but also having some previous experience from the sabbatical. I will dream of the adventures you are having while I am in my concrete shared office space. No cell phone reception in here and no Facebook due to the computer policy. Zut alots. (And j'adore the new vocabulary lessons!)

  2. Miss you guys! Wish we could visit soon....alas we have some news that will keep me from traveling much... :)
    Will send you a note on FB!
    love to the raymonds!

  3. Peut etre de "gésiers" vient notre mot "geezers" to refer to old guys.

    J'habite a Boulder. J'ai vu votre blog in on a Maine Runner's blog that was on my sister's blog.

    I teach Spanish but as you can see I'm forgetting my French. Peut etre vous pouvez ecriver un peu en francais, oui??