It’s finally here…. It’s amazing just how unreal all this feels, as I sit here in Lyon, typing this in my room. What is even more surprising is how calm I am, and how I haven’t spoken English since I arrived here!!! Its surprising how much you can understand and how many French words you can pull out of nowhere in the right circumstances!
I am extremely proud of myself for finding my way to residence sans taxi! Oui! Inspired by my mum’s story about her first trip to Amsterdam, I took the Rhone-Express tram from Saint-Exupéry International Airport to the Part-Dieu Railway Station, and then took the metro (including a transfer) to the stop closest to Jean Moulin University- Sans Souci. This was all very straight-forward, not to mention much cheaper. However, with my 32kg suitcase, my carry-on, and my laptop bag, this became a mission PLUS an extremely good work-out! Especially that flight of steps, yes STEPS that led out of the subway. With my luck, I won’t be surprised when I’m walking out of Sans Souci one day and I spot an elevator/escalator of sorts that would have made my life SO much easier… BUT, after a lot of sweat, weird looks, and a kind French man who helped me carry my suitcase up yet another set of steps, I made it to Residence… just in time for lunch!
I decided that blogging paragraph after paragraph would not only be tiring and more time consuming. I therefore chose to approach it differently, listing 10-12 things I notice/like (see “so-fancy”) OR dislike (see “not-so-fancy”) each day! HERE GOES:
1. I’m alive! OMG, I’m ALIVE!!!
2. The amount of French I have spoken so far! I actually haven’t spoken a lick of English to anyone I met today. Now that doesn’t mean that I was fluent or anything. I’m sure if I was a French native listening to me I would be both amused and sad for myself. But seeing that I will be here for the next four months, I may as well start somewhere…
3. The amount of French I’ve UNDERSTOOD today! I would occasionally get lost in the flurry of French words that were being thrown at me. But this led to the discovery of my new favourite sentence: “Repetez, s’il vous plait?”
4. The number of times people wished me “Bon Courage” today! I needed it, and it makes me think French people are quiet nice 🙂
5. The amount of time it took me to spell “quiet” in the sentence above. The word looks more and more foreign each time I look at it.. lol
6. My dinner/breakfast/first French meal/snack/food/whatever-you-want-to-call-it! My street is lined with bakeries, and I had a hard time choosing from one of them but I finally settled on a baguette sandwich and two croissants! Now I’m not even sure whether or not this bakery would be ranked as one of the top one’s here, however, the croissants were the BEST I have ever had. Flaky, buttery, oh-so-yummy, and HUGE. I’m definitely looking forward to finding the best croissants in France!
7. The awesome lady at the International Relations office who went along with me when I told her that “Je veux pratiquer mon francais” and proceeded to have my first French conversation with me today!
8. The kind French man who helped me carry my suitcase up a flight of stairs! God bless his soul! I would not have managed yet ANOTHER flight of steps.
NOT SO FANCY….
9. The awkward moment when the French man mentioned above asked me where I was going and I foolishly pointed at the office 5 metres ahead of us. He placed my suitcase right outside said office… I smiled, said “Merci! Bonne Journee!”, and then watched him walk away only to realize that I was at the WRONG office. I stood there, pretending to look for something in my bag, smiling and waving until he disappeared down the hall then proceeded to drag my luggage another 10 minutes to the right office!-_-
10. Finding out that what I’ve read about French bureaucracy is true. I arrived at my residence at 1320h, only to find that their lunch was from 1300h-1400h. Waiting for 40 minutes did not seem like a hard thing to do, especially since I had my iPod and I needed to cool down after lugging my stuff around Lyon. At 1420h, I was still outside, starting to shiver, contemplating opening my suitcase to get another layer to wear.
11. My laptop sound not working and my internet not allowing me to go to certain sites! I can’t log on to ROSI, Yahoo!, other blogs, BBC news…I think I have counted 5 sites that I can actually go to…. I also can’t play Youtube videos, nor stream any of my favorite shows! And even if I could, my sound doesn’t work! A series of unfortunate events that MUST be fixed tomorrow!!…or ASAP…
Orientation tomorrow!! Super excited about it and discovering a bit more of Lyon. Here are a few pics I took (click to enlarge)…I must admit I am just a little underwhelmed by the views I’ve seen so far. I hope the rest of Lyon proves me wrong!… Xoxo! Stay Awesome! Dottie…