France #11: On the Politics of a Mosquito

Isaac ’24, recounts a day full of “learning and discovery.”

Today, we started off our language groups using the futur simple and futur proche to discuss our plans for the future; however, in an increasingly familiar manner, the discussion morphed into a debate over the branches of the American government and their efficacy. Fortunately, this transformation was not completely tangential, as we then worked in groups to create mayoral campaigns to address (pseudo-) constituents’ qualms with the city of Arles. Platforms ranged from the eradication of all the vexing mosquitos in the coastal city to mandating larger glasses for water in all the restaurants in Arles. If all were just, Isaac, Lillian, and Masons’ mayoral campaign would have won the greatest number of votes, but alas, in true political fashion it was the campaign with the most amorphous platform that won the ballot.

After our political exploits, we headed off to lunch in two groups. One group ate at La Maison du Gourmands, while the other was slated to eat at El Paseo. Unfortunately, the latter was met with the harrowing revelation that the restaurant was closed and instead had lunch at Le Tambourin, where Sammy ‘24 had “the best burger of his life”. I am inclined to mention that this “burger” featured a piece of chicken in lieu of a beef patty, and leave it to the reader to decide if this should even count as a burger. The group at La Maison des Gourmands expanded their epicurean horizons with a stew that featured meat from Arlesian taureaux

The group’s day ended with a visit to the Musée Réattu, where our guide, Elizabeth led the group on a tour of the museum, explaining the eras and movements of art that it presented. The Chambre d’Écoute, the tour’s final stop, served as the coup de grâce. The room was an exhibition of a sound recording taken by Iga Vandenhove, and heightens the observer’s sense of sound by depriving them of all other senses. The contents of the recording then transport the observer into the Amazon Basin on a boat drifting down the grand river. After the day’s scheduled events came to a satisfying close, the group went to the Place de la Republique for some (more) desert before heading off to their homestay families. 

In all, today was yet another day replete with learning and discovery. All that’s left to do is look forward to tomorrow and hope that another bird doesn’t poop on Daphne.