Written on 06 September 2009 at 7:40 Montpellier Time
I awoke this morning to the sounds of Sunday cleaning. My roommates and I have a three-week rotational schedule. When it's your turn, you responsibility is to clean the common area. Luckily, this wasn't my week. I straightened up my room, ate lunch, and planned to look for a ride to the beach. "Ce n'est pas possible," my roommate informs me. On Sunday, mmost of Montpellier shuts down, including the buses responsible for me getting to th beach. I was bored. When you are in a situation like mine, no tv, no internet, just books, barely understandable conversation, and your thoughts, it's hard to find a way to waste time. You can only read and write in your journal for so long. I had to get out of the house. I thought I would walk, follow the tramway tracks to the center of town. It is about a forty-five minute walk from where I live to the center of town. Everything my roommate said was right. Monday through Sunday, all the streets, from my neck of the woods to the center of town, are bustling with people. Today, there was hardly anyone, cars or people. On the way into town, I only saw two open shops and , in town, the only places open were cafés and the train station. The contrast is amazing. The same places are jam packed with people throughout the week, young and old, college students , professionals, they are all there. It felt like I was on Notre Dame's campus one Saturday afternoon, the day they play Michigan at home and was one of the unlucky souls who couldn't get a ticket or would rather gaze at that golden dome. In short, no one is there, you the place to yourself and a few other. The early afternonn was beautiful, bright sun, blue sky like always and very comfortable. After walking around a little bit and checking out the prices of train tickets to different cities in France, I thought it would be best to do something extremely French, something, I am sad to say, I had not done yet. I grabbed a cup of coffee, actually two, the serving siwes in France are extremely small, took a seat at a table in the middle of the Place de la Comédie and lounged for awhile. I could see why such an acticity is so beloved in France. The temperature, the architecture, the vacancy, the beauty, all kept me in my seat far longer than the duration of my cup(s) of coffee. I was in a trance, looking about, thinking of whatever crept into my mind. It was this moment, and a later one at the park this evening, I realized this wasn't so bad. I have thought that before but it has always been strongly countered by a feeling of loneliness or a lack of confidence. Sure, some things are up in the air right now. I spenk franglais, find it difficult, if not sometimes impossible, to understand native speakers, my apartment has troubles, and the cpmputer situation is up in the air. Yet, for once I overlooked these, I finally found my natural confidence in the good side of things. I realiwed, perhaps it won't be so bad to live here for a year after all.