first i will begin by wishing my dear cousin, friend, and roommate mallory a very happy birthday. twenty years of good times together. a birthday surprise for her a little later.
now, every once in a while something occurs that pulls me out of the quaint, perfect, picturesque paris and sends me straight into the dirty, graffitied, sometimes even scary paris. every big city has its downfalls and although it is easy to overlook, paris is no exception. though this is a very rare occurrence, it happens. this morning was noteworthy because it was just a continuous downward spiral. not-so-great things just kept happening. let me explain.
1. if i don't ever post again it is because of the disease that was coughed onto me this morning on the train. a very drunk, probably homeless man practically fell into the seat across from me at 9,00 this morning and began coughing the most disgusting, phlegm-filled, gnarsty cough i have ever witnessed. the smell of the alcohol on his breath practically slammed into my face and i literally wanted to cry. when he wasn't coughing he was gargling, slurping and/or sucking in the most strange and unappealing manner. i was about to get up and change seats but before i could he got up and drunkenly hobbled to the next row. gross.
2. after we hopped off the train and ran away from the coughing wonder, we saw another crazy, probably homeless man who was talking to himself. we literally ran into him as he was practically hitting himself in the head and going crazy right there in the train station. we booked it out of there fast.
3. in our haste we, as in emily and i, ended up going up two different escalators and i watched as another man coughed up who knows what right at emily's feet. she was passing him as he excuse the expression, hocked up the biggest loogie i have ever heard. it was everything i could do not to bust up laughing as emily sprinted up the rest of the escalator in disgust and i stood in wonder at we could have so many awful encounters in one day.
4. we had almost made it to the church when another crazy man started talking to us saying all kinds of strange things. we picked up our pace and he started following us talking, yelling, and blowing his nose into a large stack of napkins he was carrying (not sure what is up with us and unappealing bodily fluids/functions today). at this point we were basically running and he was still following. we even changed our normal path to school and luckily ran into a few other members so we had so company and felt a little safer.
we made it to church sufficiently creeped and grossed out.
i love paris, but i cannot deny that this adventure has its times that aren't so perfect. mind you, within minutes i was swept back into my little parisien dreamland as i sat in church listening to the beautiful music and wonderful words. if everything were perfect it really wouldn't be half as exciting.
i was in an especially good mood at church today because i got to teach a primary lesson. in french! they needed some extra help and i happened to be in the right place at the right time. it was the best church experience yet. i helped teach the 8-12 year olds and we had a grand old time together. although it can be a little sad when you are trying your best to tell a bible story in french and an eight year old steps in and rattles it off perfectly, it was a great learning experience. just like my grandpa told me, their french is slow, clear, and easy to understand. they are patient and just all around darling. they also sang in sacrament meeting; it was absolutely precious. after church we all got together for a big potluck, which was delicious of course, and then the mission presidents gave a fabulous little fireside. by the time church was over i had forgotten all about the morning events, and i couldn't have been happier.
though not a first for france, a first for the frock.
the frock goes to church! i'm getting creative with my limited wardrobe.
i went up to meet the darling mission presidents, turns out sister staheli's maiden name is 'bodine' so we were kindred spirits from the get go. they both gave lovely talks.
after church i took emily to see the view at the end of our line.
that street lined with trees is the one we live off of, and the eiffel tower is in the distance.
a windy day in the pretty park
i love park benches.
now this is what dreamland paris is supposed to be like.
em and i and the neighborhood castle.
when we left the park we ran into police,
and now for mallory's birthday treat.
as you know i was in primary today, so i told the little kids about my dear cousin mallory and asked if they could help me out. they are absolutely darling. 'joyeux anniversaire' malpal! i sure do love you! enjoy your extra special french birthday treat....
and now, the moment you have all been waiting for....
NANNICK! live, in her own kitchen. lucky you.
dear, dear nannick just had an operation to remove a cataract, and that is what she is talking about. she is telling us how she can finally see colors, and see clearly. with the other eye things are still 'fou' or off. she will have the other one operated on in a few months. isn't she absolutely adorable? love my little nannick. so glad i caught this moment on camera.