In Chambéry, I have rented a room on the upper floor of a house owned by an old couple who sometimes invites me down for crepes and tea. Another girl lives with me, a French student at the local university named Marie. She is a bit younger than me, but, in a stereotypical French way, turns out to be super kinky and progressive when it comes to sexual relationships. She is involved in a love triangle with an older married man and his wife. The situation is never fully explained to me, but becomes painfully obvious when they come over and have weird, loud group sex in Marie’s room. Nowhere to escape to from my room on the other side of the small apartment, I turn up my miniature TV as loud as it goes and scribble away furiously on my vocabulary lists, copying down word after word that I don’t know.