Friday, March 21, 2008

It's great being an exchange student.

St. Patty's day at Johnny Walsh's

Me and my Kiwi friends. AKA New Zealanders.

At Rachel's 22nd birthday at a Piano Bar. (me, rachel, carol)
photo credit: rachel

Me and Sergio at Rachel's partay
photo credit: rachel
So besides this week being more work-filled than usual, meaning I actually had work to do, it's been pretty great. Been hanging out with some cool people and exploring Lyon a bit more. Last weekend went to a cool Moroccan tea house/hookah bar called "Orienthe" which reminded me of good ol' Kasbah back in Austin, which is the same thing, but the tea here was a million times better (didn't think that was possible!). I was informed by my friend Karen that I was with that went to Morocco last month that it was authentic Moroccan whisky---no alcohol involved since it's a Muslim country, but it was just tea, mint, and sugar--yum! Also went to Parc de la Tete d'Or again and checked out the elephants and bears this time! It happened to be the prettiest day I've experienced here in Lyon thus far, so it was a perfect day to be there. Saturday was nice, too, and I went to a salon du the (tea room) in Hotel de Ville (cool little neighborhood) that literally had a 20 page menu....there were specialty teas, juices, ice cream, coffees...but I so overwhelmed that I just ordered a chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) that I didn't even want. hahaha, oh well. Next time I go there I know I'm getting the vanilla ice cream+fresh orange juice combo...yum!

This week was mainly spent working on a project for my geographie regionale class on the EU--really great class. Me and a German girl, Alice, that I met through my old coloc (roomie) Sarah did our project together. We had to research the relations between Maghreb, basically some countries in Northern Africa (la Tunisie, le Maroc, l'Algerie et plus) and their economic relations with Europe. It was funny to research because Sarkozy, the French president, is proposing this new accord with Maghreb for better trade and relations, etc., but it becomes more and more apparent as you read on that no one, not even Maghreb and definitely not Europe is latching on to the idea...great to do a project on a soon-to-be non-existent idea, eh? It was great though because Alice and I spoke mostly French when we were together (because she speaks English as well---like nearly everyone in europe) and it was amazing the improvement in my French that I felt throughout the week and just the ease of speech that started. Also saw a French movie called "Les Femmes de l'Ombre" about women of the French Resistance during WWII, and it was awesome cause I felt like I understood nearly everything!

On Thursday though we had to present our project in front of our discussion class of about 40 people, which had to have been one of the most intimidating things EVER....presenting in front of all French students in a language that is not my own...I just prepared myself mentally for the possibility of laughing and talking--I mean I'll admit it's funny/ cute when foreigners speak your language...luckily no laughing occured though--Alice said she saw them flinch ever so often at our perhaps atrocious grammar though...There was this one row of guys that I noticed were quite attentive at the beginning, but by the end their faces were turned every which-way staring off in to space...I'll admit it was very boring since we were just reading out of this 10 page document that we had to write for it...I'm so happy it's done with now though!

I suppose my reward for that hard week of work (hours upon hours in the library researching a non-existent topic) and the main reason for the title of my blog is that I realized on Wednesday that I will not have school until the 1st of April...muahahahaha! We have Monday off for Easter, and my classes on Tuesday and Wednesday were all coincidentally cancelled and THEN I'm headed to Barcelona from Thursday morning to Monday morning, so I'm definitely PUMPED about that! Josh, (friend from Texas) and Jesus (Spanish guy who was studying at Texas last semester) are going to show me around the whole time, and Jesus is going to take me salsa dancing! (we went a lot back in Austin) friend Izzy will also be there. So it will be a super weekend I'm assuming.

As for other travel plans, I'm looking into going to Prague, Budapest, Italy, and Nice for my 2 week April break....trip of my dreams! Orginally wanted to go to Greece but it was trop cher...oh well, as long as I end up at a beach SOMEWHERE I will be more of this cold, cloudy business! Although the longer I'm here in Lyon the more I love it---I'm just sad that it doesn't look like anyone is going to make it here to visit me :( Now that it is spring all these beautiful flowered trees are blooming, more people are out shedding their coats for spring jackets, and cafes put out tables and umbrellas in the Place de Terreaux--feels more "European" and it just creates a general atmosphere of "le bonheur" or just having a good time. I will surely miss France and am starting to get somewhat upset whenver I think about leaving. If only I didn't have obligations back home this summer (and the complete lack of money to stay!!!!) I would search for an English assistant job. Ugh, I don't want to leave! I just love Europe! Travel is so addicting--sometimes when I'm here at home in Lyon I start missing the sound and feeling of being on a train or the ridiculous uncomfortableness of sleeping on an airport floor or the ability that one develops while traveling to fall asleep anywhere in any position...good skills to learn. Now my main goal in life is to make/save enough money to travel where I want-next on my list in Australia and India [Aunt Susie...should we talk? :) ]. I feel like it's an attainable thing if one saves enough. Perhaps not as many late-night ice cream/Kerbey Lane runs when I get back home? We'll see. As for now I need to go to sleep because I'm getting up way early to meet a couple friends at the markets on the Saone for Easter. It's suppose to snow, but let's hope la meteo is wrong! A bientot et je vous souhaite de joyeuses fetes de Paques!! (Happy Easter) Bisous a tous!

1 comment:

s/doss said...

You're getting so much cooler than me. Nice vacation... i mean, study abroad program. Do you even do anything?