An evening of Politics and Fusball with ze French

September 17 2010



Last night we had an evening out with a crew of young Parisians. Going out for an evening with the locals of any foreign environment is always a rich and memorable experience for me. When you think how rare it is for a group of friends to allow you into their circle, invite you over for a sip of raspberry infused bourbon, and then out to a café for the evening, it really sinks in for me just how valuable travel is. When walking down any avenue or boulevard in Paris, anywhere you look, you’ll see cafes packed with Parisians all facing out towards the street and in lively conversations with their partner. This is a cultural different I’ve witnessed between the States and France. The youth of France seem (while idealistic) much more plugged into the politics of their nation. I’ve always wondered what it is that everyone is continually talking about. After an evening out with a group of recent French grads who are starting their own life in Paris, I now have caught an inside look. And to me, that’s exciting and rewarding.


“I didn’t talk to zee gurlz, but I plaid a lot of ze fusbool” Simone says as he preps his shot. His next move is a blur and I only know what happens by the *tink* of the ball hitting the back of the goal slot. The kind of skill this guy exhibited on the foosball table—while breaking a sweat, I’ll have you know—is obviously only acquired after countless blisters picked up from the textured nob handles that extrude from the table. I know I’ve said this before, but I love watching people in their own environment; whether it’s the creeper at the roller rink who’s 35 years past his window where it was fun to be there, or those who have their own bowling balls, whatever they’re doing is a big part of their persona, and it is always interesting to catch a glimpse of it. Well, this Frenchman enjoys foosball and I couldn’t keep myself from laughing after he would score goal after goal to the chagrin of Bertrand who was manning the goal.


 That night we were invited to the “house warming” party of Bertrand at his apartment to happen the next evening. I put it in quotes because they had moved in 6 months ago, but are only now getting around to having people over. His room mate is France’s expert on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and works in La Defense for the government. One time, Bertrand explained to me, his roommate had locked the door with Bertrand inside, and he couldn’t reach him all day because personal emails and cell phones are absolutely prohibited. The necessary beauracracy of a government—especially France’s—is absolutely mindblowing. I’ll look forward to more politics tomorrow. 


Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine

Happy Backpackers

This past weekend a group of my friends and I decided to go to Budapest, but wanted to go with a group because we were unsure of what we wanted to do and how to plan our trip. Booking the trip through WSA was the best idea we ever had. It was basically all planned out for us (excluding flights). It was great because there were plenty of things planned for us that were included in the package, but there was also a bit of free time for us to explore the city and do the things we were most interested in. I really enjoyed the caving and thermal baths we visited during our trip! Also the hostel that was booked for us through WSA was great and our tour guide, Bogi, was amazing! I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone and am happy to say that I will be booking more trips with WSA in the future!

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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