Good morning! It's 851am here in the city of Bordeaux, France! My first entry in English! Yay!
Due to popular demand, I have started a blog! I was originally going to start it after I got my laptop, but it looks like that is going to take some time, so hello from the home of the Chaperts! =)
Alright! I have been here for 1 month and 10 days! WOW! And I think I JUST reached the point of adjustment! (To each his own pace, okay?!)
I am having a bit of insomnia (went to bed at 2 and woke up at 8, bummer) so I thought I would write in this blog.
Here is a funny aside that will show you a bit of the difference between where you are and where I am:
The Utility of Newspapers on the Bordeaux Tram
Every morning I take the tram to the university 'campus' (the universities here look like a cross between high schools and Chabot, well at least my uni does-- I go to Bordeaux III, aka Anarchy City, but they are all so nice I'm not afraid of them, I may become one myself) and it is JAM packed. There is nothing I have ever seen like it, except for stuffing clowns in a car! Or that one Snickers commercial! It's CRAZY!! You are literally just smushed together. One morning three trams passed me before I could get into one (and I was the last one in, and only because I shooovvveeddddd). Okay! Back to the relevance of the title. There are newspapers stands around the tram stations, it's great, everyone is always reading together on the way to school! :) Anyways I always take one from the (sometimes smiling) paper person, and I chirp 'Bonjour' and 'merci', happy to get my shield. Yes, SHIELD!! Haha Je vous explique ('I'll explain' pronounced: Zeu vooz ekspleek) One morning on the tram I was smushed against this one man, who regrettably smelled less than fresh, and who was taller than me, so every time he exhaled (his smoker breath) through his nostrils and mouth I could feel it on my hair. Ewee!! So I took my handy dandy newspaper and covered my head. HAHA
Episode 2, last night on the tram ride to church I grabbed a sports newspaper (not that I'm interested, because there is no baseball here in France, boo) I was flipping through it, and I saw this guy... treasure hunting in his nose! EWEE!! He was seriously going at it. O_O I was so groddied out I had to block him out of my line of vision with the newspaper.
So, yes, read the newspaper. Especially on the tram.
So! It's true! The French greet with kisses on the cheek! (Do not actually plant one on their cheek unless you mean to, and usually not during a greeting, unless it's family it seems) At first, I was so a wk a rd , but now I am almost pro! It's funny, French students are very careful because they know I'm American so I usually initiate (with girls!). But, they are not big on hugs here. Which to me, is like a breath of life!! I would like a hug and not an inadvertent one from that guy on the tram. Haha! True story, I was in a (not so) romantic embrace with a mysterious man on the tram because it was so crowded! Haha (And yes, ladies, French men are very lovely to be smushed against. Well, most.)
That's another thing! The men here! MINCE! ('Dang!' pronounced manse- silent e at the end) So stylish and well-groomed! My friend from the EAP program (who I actually met at the airport before I got to France, but that's another story) Katie and I believe that French men are not better looking than American boys but that the fact that by middle school they wear pea coats and when they're older have BEAUTIFUL eyebrows, it enhances class. SO! Yea. (I have yet to see a baggy college sweater. Although, I have seen sweats... quelle horreur! :P)
Wow. Am I covering all the bases yet? Oops. I forgot. My friend Isabel inspired me to write this also for the sake of my parents! So here is a bit about me: I am fine! I feel so much happier lately now that classes have started and I have made friends. :) Even when I was miserable here I could always see that you were supporting me, and that you offered me this fantastic opportunity to study in France, so I will do my best. I love you, Umma and Appa!
So how was everyone's VALENTINE's DAY??? :D Yes, they do celebrate it here, Christa. Lol
I handed out candies (yes, not even the French can stop me from handing out candy) and was in a happy happy mood! Why? It's le jour de l'amour (day of love)!!! <3 Haha, okay I'll stop. Yea, I felt pretty single, BUT it was so great! On my way home from school I saw hordes of men running into bakeries holding bouquets of flowers with bottles of wine in a bag (the paucity of commas means this actions was completed simultaneously by one guy haha). So cute! Sigh, I love that stuff.
That night, I went to the Central, a pub/bar near Gambetta (near the centre-ville, a prettier part of town) with some people from the English Club at school. Hey! No judging! I spoke in French for most of the evening while they spoke in English. My gosh, if my French were as good as their English... that's my goal! Anyways, we all sang karaoke haha! I sang Come On Over Baby (by C. Aguilera, bien sûr! <-- 'of course', pro. : bee-ahn sioor) with Narcine, the girl who invited me and also a karaoke fiend! She is so funny! Mostly everyone sang a song (LAURENCE, la prochaine fois, tu chanteras une chanson, avec ou sans une boisson!) very fun! Let's see there was Narcine, Laurence, Pierrick, Michaël, Guillaume, Marlène, Chloe, Mariad (sp), Rachel, and me! It was nice to get out and relax, classes are so stressful. Well, not the classes, but choosing them! Haha, Seriously, embrace online registration and required classes. Right now, I am trying on classes like clothing (and none of them fit quite right).
Last night there was a lovely dinner at church and a great message! The passage was from Matthew 7: 13-14. (Go read it!) The message was geared towards people who would like to know more about accepting Christ, but I think even believers should hear the message. I am at a point where I am wondering if what I want and what God wants is the same. I am meeting so many new people who are so different (so far, I made friends with a Rasta girl, a Communist/Socialist, etc) and I wonder how I can be myself and at the same time be tolerant and not all haughty? (I always have to make sure I'm not looking down on others, and at times if I am or not or ahhh) Oops. You got a glimpse into my complex thoughts. But yea, whew!
Mmm.../Awww!! I just finished the last of my Bordeaux cookies that Unni sent me! (Thank you SOOO much for the care package, I love snacks and magazines and the ring-- I wear it everyday on my cross necklace!) When I get mi portati ('laptop' in Spanish haha) I will call youuuu!!! MUAH MUAH!!! (oh yea, say 'bonjour' to Sabu for me, please!)
Alrighty! I have been writing for more than half an hour! I hope I am not completely boring you, a girl needs to keep a bit of mystery! ;)
GROSSES BISES (BIIIGGGG KISSESSSSS),
Michelle, Elley, Jini, Jini-boo, whatever you call me behind my back
here are some photos from aforementioned Valentine's Day:
Narcine et moi!
Marlène, Pierrick, Michaël, et Narcine. of course it's a Celine Dion song! =)
Guillaume and of course, Narcine ;)