I was a little hesitant to hand over my key, but what other choice did I have? I told him I would drop my key in his mailbox in the morning. We made a little small talk and then he went on his way. About 10 minutes later, I heard a knock and my landlord was back at my door...with a beautiful flower arrangement for me! He said it was to thank me for being so understanding and accommodating. The sweet-smelling flowers made my day!
The next morning, I dropped a note and my keys off in his mailbox. In the note, I thanked him for the flowers and asked if by chance he could have the workers also remove a dying tree that a previous renter had left on our balcony. I didn't know if it was something they could help me with (it was entirely too heavy for us to move ourselves), but I thought it was worth a try. When I returned home later that evening, not only was the scaffolding gone, but so was the ugly tree! THANK YOU, LANDLORD!!!!!
While the scaffolding and tree were being removed, I was at my first day of substitute teaching at an international school. The kids do part of their day in English and part of their day in French. Obviously, I was teaching the portion of the day that was in English. I had 3 different groups of kids throughout the day - 5 year-olds, 6 year-olds, and 10 year-olds. They were very well behaved and wore cute little uniforms to school.
The highlight of my time there was lunch with the English teachers. It was interesting because the French teachers and the English teachers eat in separate rooms - never together. I was a new audience for the English teachers (who are mostly British), so I got to hear all the complaints they have against the French teachers. I was cracking up hearing everything they had to say. I think my favorite piece of information is that the French teachers drink wine at lunch! I absolutely could not believe that!
Finally, on a totally unrelated note, I would like to share a bit of trivia I learned this weekend. Many buildings in Paris used to look like this:
They had timber faces, which turned out to be very prone to catching fire. Sometime in the 17th century, people were told they had to cover this timber with plaster. The plaster acted as a fire deterrent. Imagine the loads of plaster needed to cover all the faces of the buildings (the building in this picture has been restored to show what they used to look like). This is where we get the term, plaster of Paris. Interesting, huh?!