as for my weekend, i've taken on a bit of sightseeing and leisure. we don't really have any "devoirs" (homework) yet so this is perfectly fine! so, on saturday, i decided to go see le parc de la tête d'or, and i did it alone just to get some quiet time and do the things that i wanted to do at the park. you know sometimes being with other people means giving up your freedom to choose, at least to a degree, because you have to consider the desires and sentiments of others. all that said, it was very nice getting lost (yes, lost) in this HUGE park full of flowers and grass and trees and water. here is a glimpse of it, but it doesn't come anywhere near doing it justice.
as i found my way so i could leave and walk home (it's like 5 blocks away! can anyone see this is my new favorite place?) but not 10 yards from the gate i heard my name -- it was a couple girls from the program. i joined them, sat for a while as they waited for their group to arrive. and then we all went to see some animals in the zoo; yes, there's a zoo in the park! upon making plans for the evening, we parted ways and i showed them how to get to the metro. i took a fat long nap that felt so luxurious and upon waking up, i got a text and was invited to dinner with some friends. so i went! i got "lost" 4 times in a row even though i knew where i was going -- i just couldn't figure out which way was north upon exiting the metro! but i got there, it was a salmon restaurant. i got the salmon lasagne, which was surprisingly good :) after spending quite a few hours eating, i got in touch with the group from the park about where and when they were; i walked to their metro stop 5 minutes before they arrived to meet up. and then we went off into la croix rousse, which is a hill, but also a very lively and cute quarter. we went to this bar which was so fantastic! it was tiny, but the music was all the 80s top 100, and the dj -- oh, she was hysterical, dancing wildly and lip syncing passionately to every single song, even acting out some of the lyrics. she had this huge blonde wig, too, which just made her into this delightful character! -- i danced for a while, got a "demi" guinness (i don't know if they say that in the states, but it means it's small), and shortly after left with a few girls. we were tired, wanted fresh air, and needed sleep. fortunately, the place we stopped to rest was a 15 minute walk from my home, so it was by no means unmanageable without public transit. the other girls split a cab back to their place.
as for today (sunday, dimanche) i slept in, spent the morning doing mundane things, had lunch, took a catnap. and then i was just itching to get out into the fresh air, so i decided i would go to the river and people watch or read a book. unfortunately, i forgot my book. and my ipod. so i had nothing to do but browse.... the book marché by the river!! i saw an antique version of a book i wanted (les fleurs du mal by beaudelaire) but it was pricey. then i saw a paperback 1€ version and contemplated buying it but couldn't find the vendor. so then i just explored the quai (road by the river) and sat watching the sun glint off the waves. after texting a friend i felt i had an hour to burn, so i went back to buy that book, but the vendor had packed up his booth. just as i was thinking i was so bummed and should have just gone for it and how simple it would have been, i saw a book reflect the sun briefly; it was kind of alone on the table, standing out whispering my name. i will admit i hesitated thinking it was probably some book i didn't care about, but as i went to pass curiosity grabbed me and there, in front of me, was the book i wanted. the front is gilded (no, it's not antique, but it's gorgeous and smells like a book ought to). i asked how much and the vendor said however much, so i offered 5€. he said "you can give me five and that's great, or six and i'll give you any other you want, or seven, or you can give me your heart if you want to give me your heart" it was so cute i decided i'd just give him 6€ for the heck of it. it's less than i would pay anywhere else, anyway! he was blessed, surprised, grateful. and i walked away with a lilt in my gait and this lovely book in my hand. i went to starbucks for coffee because i knew it would be open on a sunday. as i burned the hour, i was invited to dinner again! since my other plans fell through, i took the 2 minute walk to the place they were and we had a delightful dinner. i had the "menu lyonnais" which includes the local specialties: a salad that has like bacon and croutons and an egg over easy; andouillette, which is a sausage tastes wonderful despite what it is, in mustard sauce (so good!!) and potatoes; and desert du jour (i chose tiramisu). the chef also gave us granita on the house when we had finished eating. we all had great conversation, so it was a lovely evening spent with lovely people. je suis contente.