Hello friends! It’s once again time for L’Etudiant Etranger! I’m really happy with the response this story has created so far. I’m glad you guys like seeing Gisselle.
Here’s episode 4! We’re getting really close to the season finale, but there will be a season two! Anyway, I’m going to get on with the episode now!
Well, after the glossary at least.
We sat outside on the metal bleachers. Sweat rolled off my forehead as I dabbed at it with the hem of my shirt.
“Un soleil de plomb!” I exclaimed. “It must be at least 30 degrees out!”
Rudy gave me a puzzled look. “Well, she’s not wrong,” he laughed.
Claire weakly smiled. “I’d say it’s about 90 degrees.”
My eyes widened. It wasn’t that hot! We’d die if it was 90 degrees.
Clarice laughed. “It’s a simple misunderstanding. In other countries, they use the metric system. In Celsius, it would be about 30 degrees. And in Celsius, 90 degrees would be really hot!”
“Weird,” Rudy commented.
I did remember learning that Americans didn’t use the metric system in school, but I thought they at least knew how to use it.
“But…the entire world uses the metric system. Wouldn’t that make American’s weird for using Fahrenheit?” I retorted.
“Shh, the game is starting!” Rudy said, changing the subject.
I shook my head. It wasn’t worth an argument.
“What game is this?” I whispered to Claire.
“Football. Rudy says he wants to go to a high school game because it’s a free sports event,” she explained.
“Football.” I relaxed. I loved football. I enjoyed playing it more than watching it but watching a game with friends sounded nice.
There was only one problem – this didn’t look like football.
For one thing, the ball was in hands. Hands! That was unheard of in real football. And…it didn’t even look like a ball. Instead, it was a weird, brown triangular shape.
“I thought you said this was football?” I whispered to Claire.
“It is! You’re thinking of soccer. Black and white ball?” she replied.
“You mean this isn’t real football?”
Claire laughed. “You French people,”
“We’re weird?” I asked. “America’s the one that weird.”
Claire grinned. “Just enjoy the game okay? It’s pretty good.”
I shrugged. My list of American weirdness continued to grow.
After the game, we decided to stop somewhere for dinner. To my dismay, the Stone family chose McDonald’s.
I bit my tongue. These people were nice enough to take me out to eat, so I wouldn’t complain.
“Hamburgers!” Rudy exclaimed.
Claire joined in on the enthusiasm. Even Rudolph and Clarice seemed to look forward to the greasy disgusting hamburgers.
Obviously, I didn’t join in on the excitement. But still, I pretended to feign indifference.
“Don’t you like hamburgers?” Claire asked.
I was surprised that she noticed my apprehensiveness. It would take a trained eye to notice, given my facade of liking hamburgers.
“I’m not very fond of them.”
“Oh no! I had no idea,” she stroked her chin. “I’ll order you something other than hamburgers.”
“McDonald’s has other stuff?”
She shot me an incredulous look. “Of course!” Claire whispers something to her mother and then Clarice ordered the food.
When I was handed my food, I was surprised to unwrap a chicken wrap. I took a bite. It was actually…kind of good? The wrap certainly tasted much better than a hamburger.
“I didn’t know McDonald’s had good food,” I whispered to Claire.
She giggled. “Wait until after dinner.”
Confused by her comment, I returned to my chicken wrap.
“So what’d you think of the football game?” Rudolph asked.
I crinkled my nose. “Well, it wasn’t real football,”
He almost spat out his drink. “American football is classic! Everyone loves it!”
“Perhaps it’s just an acquired taste,” I decided.
“Well, if anyone can convince you to like football, it’s Rudy,” Clarice added.
After we finished our meals, Rudolph snuck away to the counter. Rudy and Claire shared an excited glance. I wondered what they were so happy about.
Rudolph came back to the table, juggling five ice cream cones. But the ice cream looked much lighter than the ice cream back home.
“What’s this?” I asked as he handed the cones out.
“You’ve never had soft-serve ice cream?” Rudy gasped. “You’ve got to try it right now!”
All eyes were on me as I took a taste of the ice cream cone.
It was…heavenly. Ice cream was always good, but the ice cream I was used to was thicker and denser. This was just like eating a cloud.
“This is amazing!”
The family was satisfied by my reaction and began to focus on their own ice cream cones. I went back to my own. Soft-serve ice cream was a magical thing.
A few days passed, and I was adjusting well. Americans and French did have some differences, but nothing too major. I was even starting to find that I preferred the American way of some things. Especially sales and ice cream.
But not hamburgers. Never hamburgers.
“You liked going over to Periwinkle’s house the other day, right?” Clarice asked.
I nodded. “Of course, I did! Why do you ask?”
“No reason,” Clarice commented.
I eyed her suspiciously. She was definitely up to something.
“Okay fine,” she surrendered. “We’re going over to her house tomorrow for lunch. But that’s all I’m saying!”
I scowled. More questions brimmed in my mind, but I didn’t bother asking. Clarice had made already made it pretty clear that she wouldn’t answer them.
I supposed I would just have to wait until tomorrow to see what they were up to. I hoped it was some more french onion soup.
I hope you liked this installment! It was kind of hard for me to write, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Join us next week for the season finale!