SO FANCY…..(Saturday/Sunday post)
1. The little girl at the Parc de la tete d’or doing Gangnam Style as she waited for her gaufre (Waffle)!
2. Getting a free SFR sim card from the lady at Internity including 5 Euros pre-paid credit! I was able to text home to let everyone know that I had been MIA because of my internet problems. My family called me and it was lovely hearing their voices and NOT BEING CHARGED TO RECEIVE CALLS!!!!! Canadian phone companies should honestly stop stealing from us!!!!!
3. Tasting even more delicious treats in Lyon! (see pics below)
4. Our first Erasmus party! Hanging out with my new friends on Saturday night was a great stress reliever after such a long day trying to deal with my internet problems… The music and atmosphere was so lively and energetic and I met a lot of other international students on the dance floor! The party lasted till 4am; I literally danced all night till my feet were begging me to stop! The only downside was that the club was so full that moving around was a mission and you could only dance one the spot (… dance moves were limited to jumping up and down or fist pumping). Also, the subway did not open till 4.35am, which meant we had to wait out in the cold till then. My train finally arrived at around 5.15am though! Needless to say, my bed was such a welcoming sight when I finally got home!
5. Going for a Sunday evening stroll at the Parc de la tete d’or with my friends! What we saw of the park, which features a zoo, a lake, and a river, was amazingly beautiful! We are definitely going back to see the rest of it, preferably earlier during the day…
6. Discovering that Cinema UGC sells a 2 month unlimited movie pass for 35 Euros, whereas a single ticket usually goes for about 6 Euros! Being an avid movie goer, I plan to buy this pass (unless I find a cheaper one) and go for a movie everyday or every other day! What better way to “study” French while being entertained at the same time!?
7. Waking up at 2pm on Sunday and reading more of Life of Pi in bed with a cup of coffee and a beignet! I have finally come to terms with not having internet for a while, and this definitely helped reduce my withdrawal symptoms! It’s a rare luxury, reading a novel, especially during the school term! I can’t wait to finish the book and watch the movie with my unlimited movie pass! 😉
8. The prospect of seeing LES MISERABLES in France!!!!! If that’s not SO FRANCY, I don’t know what is!
9. Learning how to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew! I haven’t tried it myself; however, my Hungarian friend gave me a step-by-step demo on what-to-do and what-not-to-do! I will let you know once I actually try it…. 🙂
NOT SO FANCY…..
1. The fact that there are no ruled exercise books in France it seems! (see pic below) Luckily, I had read about this before I left Canada, and I carried a few ruled books with me! So, if you are planning on doing an exchange in France and are particular about what you write on, bring some with you!
2. Spending a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon searching for a new internet provider. The process was LONG, and frustrating… none of the shop assistants spoke English! Granted, this was a great way to practice my French… I started every conversation with “Mon francais n’est pas bon, mais je vais essayer!” They were all quite nice about it, speaking slower and rephrasing themselves when necessary. My mission began at Orange, and the conversation went really well…. until I heard the quoted price/month! I promised to “Penser, et revenir…” and swiftly moved on to SFR. Again, the attendant was lovely, and quoted a reasonable enough price for more GB than Orange had offered. However, when she found out that I was not an SFR client, she informed me that it would cost an extra 5 Euros/month (prix nouveau client). I was honest this time, thanking her but saying it was “Tres cher”. My third stop was at Club Bouygues Telecom, which had an even more reasonable offer and just as I was about to scream Hallelujah! the lady asked for a RIB (releve d’identite bancaire – bank account identification slip) as one of the requirements for the internet subscription! My heart sank as I tried to explain that I didn’t have a bank account and was going to pay using either my debit or credit card. However, rules are rules, and I left the shop on the verge of tears to my last stop, Internity. At this point, I was both flustered and mentally exhausted. It therefore was a relief when the lady mentioned an offer for an SFR box, which included internet, telephone, and TV services at an even cheaper price! My relief waned when she mentioned that I would need a RIB, however, I showed her my credit card and she surprisingly accepted it as an alternative! The only down part is that she asked me to go back on Monday because there were no more boxes in stock???(I’m actually not sure if this is exactly what she said as I could not clearly understand her, plus she was getting a bit frustrated when I kept asking her to “repetez s’il vous plait”…. I still have no Internet, so I hope that on Monday, I will get this issue sorted out for once and for all! Wish me luck!
3. My new SFR SIM card has its moments when it just does not work! I would call it a PMS of sorts, where for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours I can’t make calls, send texts, or receive either! I must remember to ask about this on Monday….
4. How much people smoke here! I guess we have to get accustomed to walking through clouds of smoke in the uni and along the streets!
5. My first breakdown on Friday. I debated for a while whether or not I should include this in my post. However, I’m only human and it is expected when one goes through such a big change in life. Coming home after experiencing Part-Dieu for the first time to find that my internet had completely stopped working was my low point of this week… Especially after everything had gone so smooth all week, well mostly smooth. I was unable to reach anyone as I did not have a cell phone, the residence office is closed till Monday, and I know none of my neighbours in residence yet! After trying to connect unsuccessfully for about 2 hours, the tears flowed freely. Then I slept… the best sleep i’ve had this week! 😉