So…I kept a journal while I was in France, and I’m going to start posting them, as written, no changes or edits. =) So…Here’s week one of my Journal From Chez Vous!
Day 1! CHEZ VOUS!
So we finally made it to Normandy. Flight number one form Atlanta was 3 hours late, then we couldn’t land on time and we missed our connection to Paris…So, 4 hours late we finally made it. When we got to the airport and got all of our luggage and stuff, we thought we were lost and we were a little freaked out, but then a woman walked right up to us and it was Pia. (It IS pronounced Pe-ah!!). She seems really nice, but not very talkative. She drove us the 3 hours to Franceville (no, that’s not a joke, its really called franceville) but on the way we stopped and had a picnic lunch. Hello weird thing number one! The lunches have two sandwiches in them, on baguettes. One has ham, and the other is just lettuce and cheese. (I took them apart and put them on the same..so American.) but what was weird…is that they use butter like we use mayo! The sandwiches have a thick layer of butter on them! And its really good!
The town is so adorable. (I’ve only been driven through it…but still.) It really is the text book France that I never thought existed. There’s two bakeries, a fish market, a post office, a little walgreensish shop, and best of all, a BEACH!.
I’m really excited about this type of living…No cars, No cell phone, no walmart. Its just simple and comfortable and sweet. When we were driving, I actually saw a man just carrying a long baguette. It warmed my heart.
The house is exactly like I expected. 4 floors. The bottom floor is the kitchen, dining room, and Office. The main floor is the café bar, living room/lounge, and class room. And then the 3rd floor (In france is called the second) there are bedrooms. Same for the 4th. It has an ALMOST spiraling staircase that goes all the way up and down that’s woden. Outside, its yellow with blue/green shutters (and in france they ACTUALLY USE THE SHUTTERS.)
The people are great so Far. There’s only 9 of us and 6 are from east Tennessee. Everyone seems reallyfriendly right now and I’m excited to spend my time with these people. My roommate is Pauge. She’s 21 and she goes to lee university. She’s pretty great. Steve and Pia are really cool.
(From the airport) “For your safety, all unattended baggage will be taken and DESTROYED!”
Day 2 –Orientation-
Today was good. I made friends with two of the girls, Joy from Thailand and Becky from Canada. They’re both pretty awesome and I’m really glad their here, ALL of the girls are like..super high maintence except them, so I’m glad there are Real people here that I can relate to.
The food here is absolutely wonderful. French bread all over the place! Ha ha. 3 course lunches and 4 course dinners, absolutely WONDERFUL cheese! Ha ha.
Today while we were walking, Joy ran into a sign
I also had my first real éclair today. It was wonderful.
I’m pumped for class to start tomorrow. The prof is really awesome.
BY THE WAY, it’s SO cold here! I expected warm but its like..in the 50s and there’s wind form the beach…so Jason’s going to mail me a jacket and stuff. I really don’t know what I’d do without him.
By the way again…the toilet paper is pink. I’ll try to remember to add a picture here when I put this on my blog. Ha ha
Day 3 –Class started today!-
Class was great today. It’s mostly review for me so I was able to work a few chapters ahead so I don’t get stressed out later on. Steve told is that days 11 through 18 are normally the absolute rock bottom for people, so I want to be as ready as possible for those days. I don’t personally think I’ll flip out and be stressed or what ever, but it helps to be ahead right?
Becky, Joy, and I went to a small café that’s two blocks away to study today. The both ordered a beer (I had water thank you very much) ha ha but I DID try Joy’s beer and it was surprisingly good! I HATE beer at home so idk what exactly was different, but it was. We also met an English guy. He just walked up and goes, “Excuse me ladies, but your obviously American…” and we talked for a bit. But I HATE that I’m “obviously” American. I don’t want that image because people associate that with a lot of bad things. It’s not GOOD to be American. We’re stupid and annoying and loud. I really want to learn how to mirror the French culture and fit in without being “obviously American”
I’m also really irritated with two girls..but I’m trying SO hard to just push it off and get over it. We’re only here for 6 weeks and its only day 3. This group of people will NEVER all be in the same place at the same time ever again after June 19th, so we have to make the best of what we have. I don’t want to walk away from this experience disliking anyone.
Day 4 –Divine Qui!-
Today was much better than yesterday. I felt way more accepted, I guess, compared to yesterday..I’m trying to salvage this thing with Paige before a fight breaks loose…So I drew her a picture. Ha ha
I had SO much trouble reading with Danielle today!! I could NOT say “Abielle” which is French for “bee” BuZzZz” but I FINALLY got it like..4 hours too late. Ha ha. Let’s see if I can remember how to say it tomorrow..
We went for a walk today to the nature preserve that’s about one and a half kilometers down the beach and it was really pretty. While we were there we looked at this historic monument that was used during world war II for the soldiers to hide in and shoot towards the beaches. It was really awesome but my ankle absolutely KILLED! Its swollen now, but it will be fine I guess. The good thing about my ankle hurting is that it gave me a chance to like..walk slower with one of the girls and really get to know her. Her names Jenna and she’s absolutely wonderful.
Dr. Gray is coming tomorrow and I’m SO excited for him to get here. He’s super sweet and he’s bringing me a long sleeved shirt and a hoodie because it’s so cold! But today, it was surprisingly warm!
Becky is so funny..I’m so glad I’m getting to know her and joy! Katie is also really great to. Crystal is really reserved…so I don’t know what I really think of her yet. I know she’s the oldest one here, capping the group at 25. I’m the youngest by the way by one year.
Vocab quiz tomorrow, first exam on Friday and then another quiz on Saturday. I don’t know why I’m so surprised by how fast pace the course is..but I am. Tomorrow we switch to all French days. Trying to get pumped because I know it will REALLY help me, but I’m pretty nervous actually. We go all French from breakfast to dessert at dinner. We’re allowed two “comment dit on”s an hour. (How do you say…) and we’re allowed to speak English while were on our excursions. But absolutely no English within earshot of French people no matter what time. So I guess we’ll see how it goes.
Day 5 –En Français!-
All day French was SO tough! I ended up speaking a lot more English that I wanted to…and I signed that I spoke 100 words in the book after dinner…But there’s always tomorrow to improve I guess.
I have my first big exam tomorrow over chapters 1, 2 and 3 in out book so I really need to get some sleep!
Dr. Gray got here today!! I’m so excited for him to be here.
<About Taylor Swift> “All her songs are like Pick up truck and he drove away with my heart and I have blond hair” …”I guess I can’t really relate because I don’t write a journal”
Day 7 -so tired!-
I have so much to write about I’m not even sure where to begin.
My exam was really good yesterday. Right now most of this is review so I was able to study a small amount and still feel really good about the test. I also got a 19 out of 20 on my vocab quiz! I absolutely LOVE my professor. She’s so wonderful. She grew up in France and she’s married to a Canadian man and now she lives in Canada. She is just SO funny and SO adorable. I really wish she were my prof for both courses. =(
I’m also growing to love Danielle more and more every day. At first I wasn’t so sure because she doesn’t speak much English and she pretty quiet, but now…I love her SO much! Tonight, before I came upstairs, she hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and I wanted to just snuggle her. She’s amazing.
Speaking of amazing people…Pia and Elvira are two sisters that work here as well. Pia came to Chez Vous as an intermediate student (like me) and after she graduated from College, she came back to work. The two sisters are from Austria and they’re both trilingual (WOW!). Pia is the girly girl, and Elvira is definitely the tomboy of the two. They’re absolutely adorable together. In the morning services Elvira plays guitar and Pia plays bass. They live together in an apartment a few blocks away. Pia is so sweet to talk to…she reminds me a lot of my friend Sylvia. I haven’t really gotten to know Elvira as much, but I know she’s pretty awesome. We talked last night about cameras and about music…She was kind of a miracle worker because Jenna and I dropped my camera in a sand castle and it wasn’t working! But Elvira got it back into perfect shape!! (so wonderful)
Dr. Gray is here…I said that in an earlier entry but I didn’t really comment on it as much as I wanted to. (I’m SO tired that I really am having to force myself to write) But I was SO excited for him to get here. Words cannot express how much I adore Dr. Gray. He’s just an amazing professor and teacher, and a really good person. He cares so much about his students it just blows me away. I sat and talked to him tonight for about two hours actually. It started out with him asking me if I was ok, and if I needed anything. But we ended up talking a lot about Chez Vous and what I like and love about it. (I really don’t have anything to complain about right now) and we talked about France and I told him I wanted to move here and stuff like that. I think today I decided for sure that I want to declare a double major. I love everything about France’s language and culture and lifestyle…and the fact that Dr. Gray is such an amazing prof just further comforts me in that decision because I know that if I put in as much work as he does, I’ll be just fine.
I’ve gotten some really good pictures so far..but for some reason my batteries wont charge…so I may have to buy batteries…ugh
Today during the all-French periods, I hardly spoke English at all. I was extremely proud of myself. I really want to sign the other side of the book!!
Our first day of church is tomorrow. I’m not really sure what to expect. Steve told us today that if we were to stand on the beach with our back to the ocean, and drive 45 minutes in EVERY direction, we would only come across 4 churches. The church we’re going to tomorrow is a Baptist church (I think it’s the only one of the 4) and he said it’s very traditional..so we’ll see how it goes I suppose.