ok so the first day at the archives did not go so smoothly. could have been better. besides not understanding the important how-to french instructions for how to use the archives, and finding out that the entire section that is relevent to madagascar is unusable because there is “a mushroom problem,” i did manage to request two documents. unfortuately for me, when i received them, i found out that they were both completely irrelevant to my topic of research. one was on the various beetles of madagascar (really cool pictures, but of absolutely no use) and the other was an ethnographie that gave french colonial “explainations” of malagasy mariage and also described “l’union libre.” so, i spent the bulk of the afternoon copying interesting relevent articles on forests and wood in madagascar that i have no idea how to locate. completely despondant, i tried to use their computers to do some research online, only to hear an intercom announcement, which, although also indecipherable, i fear said something like, “everyone who has been here since roughly 09h15 must please leave because it is nearly 14h30; so i leave.
so tomorrow i will try again, if only to amuse the people who work there. for now i am avoiding going back to the hostel because there is a group of adolescent boys who harass people in the halls and my talkative roomates, the brit who snores horribly and hates the french and the french woman who woke everyone up in the middle of the night screaming that someone else was sleeping in the bed she had apparently claimed. also i am very hungry because i dont have enough grant money rationed for 3 meals a day, so i have orange juice for lunch and smuggled powerbars for dinner. thankfully, it is a blisteringly hot and sunny day here is aix and the tourists are buzzing like flies.
if tomorrow sucks too then i’m going to the beach.