First Timer

by Nic Olson

I’ve been here less than twenty four hours and have already done everything I thought I would. Art show at a cafe downtown. Bluegrass show at a pub near the house. Internet on my laptop at a coffee house. Fumbled with French language and customs. Bought groceries. Ate cheap slices. Got lost. Rode the Metro. Saw a dude get thrown out of a bar and a fight ensue. Walked more than I have in the past month.

I forgot how exhausting languages are. I hope/plan to learn some/all of the French language, but sitting in a room trying to understand three Francophones talk about anything is not easy. Sitting in a room not trying to understand three Francophones talk about anything is not easy. It’s exhausting. But perfect. More time to think my own brilliant thoughts. And now I only understand about 25% of the conversations around me, so there is 75% less time shaking my head for the halfheaded things they say.

Yesterday when I arrived, I was terrified. I sat in my apartment alone, more nervous than I’ve ever been, not having a clue what to do next. So I had a nap. Woke up, and I was slightly soothed. Went and bought groceries and some cheap slices, practiced some French and I was further soothed.

I just saw two men walking, one looked strangely like Carbo, the other strangely like Koivu with face piercings… Too bad one lives in California and the other doesn’t wear puffy NorthFace jackets, or I’d be set.

Some dude that smells of smokes and sausage sat next to me. I should probably go home and cook dal..