Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Bonjour Madame"

Time for another update!

Yesterday was pretty eventful - at the Dickinson center, the morning featured a THREE HOUR LONG exam (written, oral, and listening) to see what the class needs to improve. Death. But, after that, we were released for two hours to explore the area and locate some nourriture. Some of the Dickinson peeps introduced me to Casino, which is the local supermarket chain. Pretty much like a French Stop and Shop or Giant, but less generic. Then, I joined up with three other friends and found a crêperie for lunch! Délicieux! After that, we met up with another professor for a guided tour of Toulouse center.

The professor started by showing us around the Jardin des Plantes, which is beautiful (of course). I went to find my camera and - au mon deiu! - I had left it at the crêperie! So that was terrible. Au revoir, camera. But the tour was pretty cool. The professor told us all about the history of the city, and how it is built in a circle filled with labyrinthine roads for better fortification. Also, he showed us most of the major squares and roads, so that we would never be totally lost! The man even quoted Bob Marley ("My feet is my only carriage..."), to explain that he hates cars and usually just walks everywhere. There's a seven story parking garage in the middle of the city. He brought us up to the top. From there, you can look down onto most of the city, and see church steeples as well as Les Pyrénées in the distance.

After the tour, I decided to walk to the other side of the city to relocate the camera. One forty-five minute walk later, and the place was closed. Good times. So, instead of meeting up with Dickinson people as planned, it was time to go home and shower. I had a lovely conversation with the host momma, who told me to let her know if I needed anything, because here "je suis comme ton mère secondaire." Love. As I was leaving, the host poppa said that I looked "tres élégante!" Double love.

That night, I met up with a bunch of Dickinson folks to check out the city some more. We ate some fantastic Italian food, drank some wine, and talked about how it still hasn't sunk in that WE LIVE HERE. One of the girls texted a friend from home to find a decent bar, which we located with the help of google maps. Basically, a fantastic night.

Today went pretty well. First day of class with another professor. She is determined to prepare us for taking classes in France. A pretty intense undertaking. Then, back to the crêperie to retrieve my camera. THEY HAD IT! For lunch, I picked up some samosas and picknicked with the Dickinson peeps. After that, more orientation to discuss the cultural differences between France and America. Hint: there are a lot. But that's a post for a later time.

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