Friday, July 22, 2016

Going to Class

Pages From Jan's Travel Journal: Tuesday, May 17, 2016

It was a laid-back kind of day, with not much going on. Both Darcy and Mathieu had to work, but I had made plans to meet Darcy at the university where I would be able to observe one of her classes. It was a lovely, sunny morning. I nibbled a cupcake for breakfast instead of going out to the boulangerie. They looked so good, I just couldn't resist! Darcy had baked the dark chocolate cupcakes late the night before as a birthday surprise for her friend and colleague, Jeffrey, whom I looked forward to meeting. I was to locate Darcy at one of the university tram stops around 11:00. 

I spent the morning hours writing emails home and playing with Azur. He loves hide-and-seek, but one must always be cautious with him, as he may pop out and unintentionally scratch! He always makes me laugh. I also straightened the house a bit before packing up the cupcakes and setting out for the university. 

Darcy in her office at the University of Orleans.
I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in on the conversation class which Darcy taught. There were quite a few students there and it was a pleasure to meet them all. One young woman gave a presentation about her home country, Vietnam. She had brought along many visual aids with beautiful pictures. We were all allowed to ask questions after her speech, which she answered in English to the best of her ability.

We didn't have time to linger after the lesson. We were to meet Jeffrey for lunch at a restaurant several blocks away. We arrived in good time and were there before Jeff arrived. It was an enjoyable lunch at le Bunny's. Darcy and Jeffrey recommended the fried chicken, which is difficult to find in France, but I chose a croque monsieur instead. I did try a bite of the chicken and found that it would have been too spicy for me.

Darcy and Jeff seem to have an easy, comfortable friendship. They had some catching up to do, as they hadn't seen each other for a while. Her friend told stories of the recent flooding around the area where he lives. Jeffrey was touched that Darcy had brought cupcakes for his birthday. The dark chocolate cake and the rich cream cheese icing were a big hit! After we rose to leave, we all had a nice conversation with the Muslim owner of the restaurant. Darcy and Jeff often eat there and have become very friendly with him. I wish I would have caught his name, because he offered me a job! No, seriously, when he learned I was from America, he asked about the political situation there and I jokingly told him that if my candidate didn't win, I was planning to move to France. His eyes sparkled as he laughed and said I was welcome to work in his cafe. 

A recent photo of Darcy and Mathieu.
Darcy and her friend had to return to work, so I rode the tram to the stop near Halles Chatelet and then met up with Arno. We had a lovely time chatting and drinking peach-vanilla tea. That evening, Darcy made a wonderful pasta dish with duck mousse, truffle oil, cream, Parmesan, ham and bacon. And for dessert? Cupcakes, of course!    

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