No pictures today. Good classes - lots of opportunity to talk and lots of encouragement. There are 10 in my class this week (5 americans, two australians, the others from finland, denmark and mexico!). We are in the most advanced class available, level 11, which corresponds to level C1 of the European classification system for language proficiency (I just made that up, not exactly sure what it's called in Engllish, but that gives you the general idea).
I was telling my teacher about a few small issues I have had that I have not "fought back" on, perhaps not having enough confidence in my French - there is a lamp in my room that doesn't work. I have asked a couple of times at the desk that someone see to it. Perhaps I'm being too vague. But she encouraged me to really challenge them and let them know I was unhappy. So I did that this afternoon, I got a little in your face in the desk clerk about it. The lamp is necessary otherwise the room is really dark after sundown. Too soon to tell if there will be results. He writes the issue down in the technician's to-do list, but doesn't follow up himself, so he never knows what did or did not happen. Anyway it's not a life or death matter, but a good opportunity to practice my complaining in French.
And the other day I ordered a cafe creme, and they brought me cafe au lait. Now there's really no way, even with my American accent, that they could think I said cafe au lait, if I said cafe creme. So i thought that was peculiar. And then I wonder, well, do I really know what cafe creme is? I have actually never ordered it before, but I thought it was espresso with just a tiny bit of milk. Cafe au lait is mostly milk. So I asked my teacher if I was right, and she said yes, they brought you the wrong thing, you should have told them. So under no circumstances should I let them get away with not bring me what I asked for! Look out!
A revelation here is the rose wine. It is so good. Provence specialises in rose wine, not at all expensive, and so nice. I am not sure you can get French rose in the states - well, I will find out anyway. I have had quite a bit of rose already at meals, and then last night we had a wine tasting with a local food and wine expert and learned a lot about the local wine. Of course in the States rose is not considered a high quality wine, so I have never really had it. But this stuff is a whole different ballgame. (And don't get me started on the cheese....)