Tomorrow, I will have been on this island for one month.
WHAT. No. Surely I just left Georgia last week. Really?
I mostly find this amusing because I feel as though I've done very little work. (Which, to be fair, I only officially 'worked' for one of the four weeks I've been here... life is so hard.) It also makes me realize that I only have 6 MONTHS LEFT. While that seems like forever, I know how fast one month went. The next six might go even faster. It helps me remember that there's so much I need to get done. I have a cool little to-do list that I might post later that has things from "go skydiving" to "eat a lychee" and everything in between.
Before I do all of those things, though, I'll recap the past week!
Last weekend, Eileen (fellow American) and I hopped on a bus to St Pierre, where we spent the day layin' on the beach, eating some incredibly fabulous pasta and partying it up with other assistants. Some of the assistants in St Pierre bought an apartment unfurnished, so it was really awesome seeing how they'd furnished their apartment with odds and ends.. my favorite, by far, being the tire that they found on the side of the road that they thought would make a fantastic chair. It's a bit bouncy, but it certainly gets the job done.
We had our first night out in St Pierre, where I learned that you should probably invest slightly more than 3,50 euro on alcohol unless you're cool with drinking something with a taste akin to cough syrup (and I'm not talking about the good cough syrup like Robitussin, I'm talkin' like that horrible stuff you have to take to clear mucus out of your throat that burns all the way down. Absolutely vile.) and also that a party immediately becomes 400 times classier if you bring bread and cheese. Roquefort has never tasted so good.
After the girls generously offered to let the northern crowd crash at their house, I awoke with an unexplainable hankering for chicken tenders. It was actually painful. We talked to the gas station to pick up a pain au chocolat for breakfast, but it just didn't satisfy. We started walking up the hill, looking for something else.... when we saw it.
Yup, I'm down with that.
I thought, when I came here, that surely Reunion was obscure enough to avoid the long-reaching tendrils of America's favorite fast food chain. Nope. Not at all. And while Rachael and I gorged ourselves on our respective quarter pounder and McNuggets with fries on the side, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little grateful.
Saint Pierre was an awesome time, and the rest of the week in Saint Denis has been nothing short of lovely. The beginning of the week passed without much incident, aside from our discovery of a cute little tea shop near Jardin de l'Etat, where they served somewhere close to 100 types of tea, coffee, and hot cocoa. We spent our time drinking tasty tea, making plans for the year and swinging on the awesome swing-chair in the 'Indian Room' of the coffee shop.
Then, on Wednesday, Kayla and Jesse, American and Canadian assistants, hosted an early (for Americans)/late (for Canadians) Thanksgiving dinner for everyone!... with a twist. Since they couldn't find turkey, they cooked chicken. They couldn't find cranberry sauce, so they stuck cranberries in the stuffing instead. Their creativity was AWESOME, and the food was nothing short of incredible. It was especially fun introducing Thanksgiving to the Brits, who have no such thing, and who spent all night asking questions about the food, the traditions, and the pilgrims.
We also indulged in some incredible gelato, which pretty much sealed the deal on our day.
At the same time, I may not take the bus at night for awhile. (Read: ever again.) I want to reiterate this, though. This one, ridiculous instance doesn't make Reunion a terrible place. Not at all. I love it here. The same thing could have happened in a metro in Paris. Or a bus in Boston. I'm not saying that it didn't suck, but I don't want people to think that this place is horribly "savage" or "out of control," because it's not. It's just not. Next time I write, I'm gonna make a list of common misconceptions about Reunion, because I swear if I get one more comment like "are you gonna get rabies?" or "do you have running water?" I'm going to explode.