So these past few days have been really busy. Like I said in my last post. Saturday and Sunday were the heritage days in Paris (les journees du patrimoine) and they occur only once a year. It is a really big deal and the French really appreciate and value their heritage. Most of the government buildings that are generally closed to the public, open their doors to the world. And for the most part, everything is free.
Anyway, Saturday I went to the Assemblee National, the Centre Pompidou, and we went to a concert of 17th century music at L’oratoire de le Louvre. The national assembly was very cool, the building had esquisite details in every room and all the details were painted in gold leaf. They had a string quartet playing and in the courtyard they had some french military guys playing french horns. It was really wonderful. At the Church of the Louvre the concert was amazing. We went to the centre pompidou after and it was free because of the heritage days, we lucked out. After the museum closed I walked around paris because it was so beautiful outside. The weather was perfect. It was nice to see some of the nightlife before I headed home.
I got up at 6am sunday morning and went to the Moulin rouge for the last Heritage Day. We waited for 4 hours to get in. We were even close to the front (it didn’t open until 9, but then we waited until 11 to get in.) It was the first time they have ever participated in the Heritage Days, and it was free to enter. I am glad I went because they told us when we went in they said that this is the first and last time that they are participating in these days. It is the 120th anniversary and they wanted to do something special. We got to go and see the whole theatre and then they brought us back stage to see all of the costumes and the dressing rooms and everything. We even got to go on stage. It was amazing and worth the wait. Even the people that pay to see the show don’t get to see what I got to see. And it is the only time they are ever ever doing something like that. What an opportunity. It was incredible, we got to take lots of pictures, but we weren’t allowed to take pictures backstage of the costumes. Oh well, they were still amazing. We also went to the Insitut de France. It is comprised of 5 academies. The most famous one, the academy francaise is the institution that decides everything about the French language. They explain the usage of the language and its proper intentions. It identifies the language of French and everything to do with speech, spelling, meanings, usage, and the fields in which it is used. They are the entity that decides what is French and what is not French regarding the language. This building is never open to the public except for these two days, so it was really cool to go inside. We did a lot and it was really fun. I am glad I got to do these things. It was really lucky that I was here for these days.
I had my orientation French class Monday and yesterday then I just hung out and went to the gym to keep in shape for hockey. I have been quite sore the past few days, it is starting to wear off a bit and I am almost able to walk normal again.
Today I had class in the morning, then I went to my university for a tour. It is called Paris 8: Saint Denis. It is in the north of Paris, only about a 25 min metro ride from my apartment. It was much bigger than the universities that are located in the middle of Paris. I really liked it. The area seemed very nice, although like I have said all along, things are always more difficult in Paris. To register for classes we need to go to each department to register for differnent classes. For example, you need to go to the FLE department to register for french as a foreign language classes and you need to go to the history department for history classes and the art department for art classes. It is a pain in the butt and very inconvient. Anyway, I found the office for international student relations, it was a cute little office in the adminstrative building. There were little cafes all over the campus and in european style they all had beer. I really enjoyed my visit.
I have to go back to the campus on Monday to register for classes. I get my student ID card either tomorrow or friday so then i will be able to register for classes. There is no huge rush because classes don’t start until October 8th. I am going to do lots of travelling and sign-seeing until then. Anyway I have a little work that I need to do. I will post soon. Byye!