Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 03, 2011: Grenoble - Lost, Shopping, Lost, Dinner, Sleepless

This morning I walked with Mark out to the Institut de Biologie Structurale where he'll be working - a charming walk through the old downtown back to the train/bus station, and then a rather less charming walk through an  industrial park type area until we got to the institute. On my way back from I got a little lost - even though I thought I was following the train tracks I forgot that I had to double back under them to stay close - and ended up wandering around a different part of downtown (which was not immediately apparently different). Eventually I figured out that it wasn't becoming familiar, so I retraced my steps and got home. But how did I manage to lose track of such a large landmark as train tracks? Baffling.

After that I had a nap, did some more shopping at the Monoprix (still catching up on all the household goods we need - have yet to find any tupperware for storing leftovers - not that there's much room for it in the fridge anyhow), figured out our phone and talked to my sister and mother, took some photos around the apartment and wrote up my first blog entry about France, unpacked and put everything away, and started to think about dinner.

Meanwhile it was getting late, and I was wondering when Mark would get home. Turns out he got lost too, although not at the same point as me. He knew he was close, but it was too dark by then to pull out the map to try to read it, so he wandered about until he chanced on a street that looked familiar. These old streets are really tricky - they don't adhere to any kind of a grid whatsoever. You think you know what you're doing, but then discover you don't.

Dinner was couscous cooked in chicken broth, sauteed mushrooms, roasted broccoli (made in the mini-oven - it worked quite well) and half a can of cassoulet. There were half a dozen types of cassoulet for sale in the grocery store - what seems like a luxurious indulgence in Canada (white bean, sausage and duck confit) is clearly commonplace here.

I think we got too smug about adjusting to the time difference - although we fell asleep easily at 10:30 we were awake again at midnight - and I'm sure I was up for about 2 hours before I fell asleep again (although I couldn't see my watch in the dark). Good thing I figured out how to use the phone to set an alarm for the morning or we would have definitely overslept.

Also worth noting - we slept with the window cracked open! It was too warm, even though I'd figured out during the day how to turn the heat down. With the bedroom on the second level all the heat from making dinner drifted upstairs, so it was warmer when we went to bed than it was earlier in the day. This feels crazy - from frigid Toronto temperatures to sleeping with an open window.

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