Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jours Cinquante trois – Cinquante sept.

Jours Cinquante trois – Cinquante sept. 23/10/10 – 27/10/10.

Saturday afternoon, Sarah, Rosalind and I grabbed some extremely delicious ice cream/gaufres in Centre Commercial V2. (Nutella ice cream? Mmmmmmmm.) After spending a decent amount of time chatting, I bought a hair straightener and a pair of earrings. At night, several of us went to dinner and then went out to The Saloon with Christine, her boyfriend Steve and his friend Jason. The two are visiting for two weeks and one week (respectively). They’re both really nice, and now the three of them are off in London doing tourist things, headed to Edinburgh in the morning. Christine has been completely beside herself with excitement, and they seem to be having a great time. I’ll be off to London on my own in just three weeks (!!!), so I’m really very happy that they like it so much. Anyway, I had some strange salad for dinner, complete with bean sprouts, corn, green beans, bacon, chevre on toast, and an interesting dressing that I didn’t exactly like. It was an enjoyable night all the same.

(Steve, me, and Australian Mark)
(Sarah, Mark, Jason, Steve, and me)

(Brian and me)

Sunday, I really can’t recall what I did, but I do distinctly remember going to the post office with Sarah on Monday, trying to find a fax machine in order for Sarah to send in her application things for studying in Jordan next semester. I’m really at a bit of a loss for what else happened. Oh well.

Tuesday, Sarah and I woke up bright and early, grabbed some yummy pain au chocolat variation pastries and made it to Lille Europe train station with just several minutes to go before our train would board. Trying to use the automatic ticket retriever was a bit of a hassle, since my card didn’t work on the first machine and sent me into a bit of a panic. World-traveler Sarah, genius that she is, simply tried my card in another machine and saved the day. Our train ride to Calais made no stops on the way and we reached our destination within a halfhour. We stopped for tea and hot chocolate, wandered down to the théâtre, wandered some more, went into the mall, decided buying berets at H&M was kind of a cop-out, wandered some more, found a restaurant full of elderly British people, meandered up to the actual beach, almost got slapped in the face with a man swinging around a fishing rod on the pier, had more hot chocolate (and a cherry coke) and a chocolate dipped meringue that was legitimately huge, went back out to the beach for approximately 4 minutes before heading over to get fish and chips and a kebab, wandered back into town, changed our train tickets for convenience and 2 extra euro, sat down in some bar restaurant where the barkeep didn’t like us at all but served us our thé aux fruits rouges anyway, and then went down to get back on the train. While we were waiting, a father and son approached us and asked if we spoke English. We assured them we did, and got to talking. They were from Mexico, needed help understanding how exactly to start using their Eurail pass. Though we weren’t of much assistance, once we boarded the train, they came and found us. The four of us (Sarah, Jorge, Jorge, and I) spent the entire hour and a half talking about all sorts of things. They were wonderfully friendly and it was a good ending to our relaxing day out in Calais. Sarah and I were exhausted when we arrived home at Triolo, but I wanted to get my letter. As things unfurled, we ended up talking to the night-desk-guy from Senegal and two Kurdish men from our residence hall for more than an hour about the United States, school, languages, and all sorts of things, I suppose. What a day.

I’ve done relatively nothing today, besides go to Subway with Lauren for dinner. It’s only the second time I’ve had Subway, and I really don’t find it very exciting.. I totally studied a bit for my History of English class, as well as did some corrections for DEFI. I’m waiting on a few friends to try and put my winter break plans into motion, so I hope they get in touch soon. I am also trying harder to support Lille’s bid to host the French premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and sent a picture of myself from Halloween at Iowa two years ago and a video of me talking in (very poor) French about my (very poor) French and my (very great) love for Harry Potter. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, Bonnie, Maria and I will be rising early and taking a train to Tournai and onward to Brussels. We’ll do some touristy things in Brussels on Friday, spend the night, go around a bit Saturday, and then head out to Tournai, one of the oldest cities in Belgium, conveniently located between Brussels and Lille. After a day spent in Tournai, we’ll be home again Saturday night. I’m really excited to go see the cities, and I’m sure it’ll be great fun with Bonne. Plus, we’ve sort of agreed to speak only in French if possible (Bonnie is Dutch and Maria is German, but both, of course, speak flawless English as well…)

Hope everyone is having a good week. Today marks the beginning of my 9th week here in France (if I can count properly, anyway..)

Pictures of Calais will come once I get ahold of Sarah’s. Hers were better than mine. :]

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jours Quarante huit – Cinquante deux.

Jours Quarante huit – Cinquante deux. 18/10/10 – 22/10/10.

OFII appointment :

Mainly ridiculous. X-ray, height, weight, eye exam, 5 questions concerning my medical history and current state of health. Paper stamped into my passport. Simple.

It did, however, involve about 20 minutes of travel each way on the tram and metro, and a good hour and forty-five minutes of waiting, outside of the fifteen minutes of the actual exam.

In any case, my visa is fully valid now, I can leave and come back into France as much as I please, and the paperwork is complete. So that huge weight? Off my shoulders.


Nothing new to report, outside of classes being finished until November 2nd. I turned in my first official grade for my History of the French Language course this Tuesday, and will have exams for translation and History of the English Language the first week of November. I’ll have to watch a French movie and write a summary and reaction for my DEFI class, but .. that can wait for now. :)

Club Angellier Halloween Party:

Thursday night, the English club hosted a party at an “American” bar called The Saloon. I dressed up as a “crime scene”, as I received a very belated, very hilarious birthday present from a penpal of mine in England earlier that morning. I did speak with a girl from my translation classes for quite some time, and she was more than friendly, which was nice. No one in our translation courses ever really speaks to us, but Aurore tried to explain that they’re mainly just intimidated by us. Preposterous. They speak our language better than we speak theirs… En tout cas, the party was fun fun fun, and I had an excellent costume. Here is your proof:

(Christiane, Karina, Tayna, me and Gaz.)
(Christine the Cat and Colleen the Crime Scene.)
(Ridiculous photo.)
(Clemence! Our ISEP mentor, if you will..)
(A photo with Saskia, in honor of those that didn't occur at Brian's party.)
(Jeremiah, Saskia, Laurent, and me!)

Wednesday night, Sarah, Christine and I made some absolutely delicious quesadillas, and then followed it with some Kinder Bueno bars (probably the most delicious candy bar to be invented ever by anyone period), wine, and Love Actually. Tonight, we had our hands at making chicken and dumplings, made Gaz buy us chocolate :D, and stuffed onto Christine’s bed to watch (read: suffer through) Superbad. Brian decided to come over, so it was nice to see him, and we were able to bid a fond farewell to Gaz since he’s leaving to go back home to England for the vacation period.

Speaking of, my plans have indeed fallen through. I may, however, be going to Brussels and Tournai with a few other Erasmus students from the Netherlands and Germany next Friday and Saturday, and in between now and then, I’ll hopefully find something to do with Sarah, as we’re both going to be hanging around, and I’m not sure how many others of my friends remain..

In regards to friends, I’ve finally come into ownership (so I may have stolen the photos from others, oh well..) of some older photos from events earlier on, but which are nice, happy photos that I’d like to share:

(FINALLY A PICTURE WITH KATIE DANAHER. –If you knew how sneakily she avoids photos, you’d be excited too.)
(Taco night at the Katie-Georgie-Laura residence.) (Rosalind's Birthday Breakfast.)

The heating is finally turned on in Résidence Triolo, and I’ve been sleeping much better ever since. I’ve ditched the sweater on top of my pajamas, but have retained the woolen socks. I think that at 2:30am, it is now time for those woolen socks to slide onto my toes and for me to hit the hay.

Bonne nuit, goodnight, and go Phillies!