So it's 12 days til I touch down in Paris (or 11 maybe with all the time changes), but I feel like I'm already off. My family and I left for Washington DC on the ninth to go to my cousin's bat mitzvah, we leave today for the North Carolina shore, in a week I'll be off to Philadelphia and then New York for a few days to visit friends, and then I'll fly to Europe out of JFK. But I'm living out of suitcases the whole time. Packing was an absolute nightmare. I had to move out of my apartment in Berkeley so I had to bring all my stuff to Idaho with me to store in my parents' house. When I got to Idaho, I sorted through everything and packed what I didn't need in their basement. That left me with two huge bags of stuff for my year in France. When I packed them into suitcases, each ended up weighing 49.5 pounds (the limit is 50 pounds). It took endless rearranging and re-weighing to get each bag to weigh 49.5 pounds, as you can imagine, and then when I got to the airport I found out that our scale wasn't perfectly accurate and had re-rearrange. But I made it this far in one piece, as did all my luggage, so no complaints.
I'm trying to keep up my French, but it's hard, even just for a month. I was taking two classes in French last semester, and by the end had really gotten a lot more fluent. But today it took me five minutes to remember how to say "on the way to" and I keep second-guessing the gender of words. I'm re-reading Kiffe kiffe demain but reading is not speaking. One part of our brain seems to control our understanding of written language, and another part seems to deal with language orality.
Anyway, DC has been good: lots of museums and bat mitzvah parties. The rabbi got mad at me for talking during the rehearsal (my sister and I started playing the penis game, but instead of saying "penis," we said "rabbi" -- great fun), and I got pretty trashed at the party in the evening, so I'd say all in all it was a success. I've also bonded with lots of cousins I never see and am currently dodging my grandmother who's assigning housework to all idle guests. There's a brunch starting in about half an hour and a little packing (packing, packing, I am always packing) left to do.
A toute a l'heure! (no accents on this computer)