Alright, my title isn’t great but I’m new to this.
A bit of introduction is needed I suppose. I’m currently in France, on my second semester of Erasmus and one of my crazy friends talked me into writing a blog.
So far it’s been alright, no hilarious stories about me fucking up with French, misunderstanding anyone or generally getting into French bother. I’ve been here 2 weeks and I don’t really know anyone yet, though that’s to be expected as I’m horrible at approaching people. I can chat away if someone talks to me but I just don’t have the metaphorical balls to introduce myself. I’ve made a deal with the same crazy friend that this week I’ll make some friends. I will, I promised myself that too, I’ll put myself out there and hope for the best. I sound like a nice, genuine person when I say things like that, that’s not the case; I’m quite the asshole, which is also one of my issues with approaching people – will I like them or not? Or have they already said something which makes them a dickhead in my mind? It’s my own fault but I’m a big believer in first impressions, which is ironic as my own is, no doubt, terrible.
My friends say they like my ‘hate everything’ attitude, and, while I don’t like to complain, I do throw around the word ‘hate’ a lot, even when things are mildly irritating but I do like France, on the multiple bus and train journeys it took to get here I saw some countryside, and it was beautiful. I’m a country girl, I love grass and fields and trees etc. but it is particularly picturesque here. (I had the word ‘nice’ instead of ‘picturesque’ but I had an English teacher in secondary school who hated the word, and I do mean hate, and she’s given me a bit of a complex about it, nevertheless I’m about to use it in the next sentence.) The town I’m in, Tours, is nice too. I live near the centre in an area that was flattened in the war and was rebuilt quickly for housing and has since been turned into student accommodation, but the old town and the centre are really quite pretty.
My accommodation, a room in student halls, is ok, it’s small and the standard student style but what’s weird about it is there seems to be no-one on my floor. I swear I’m the only person who’s used the showers since I arrived. I’d love to say that I’ve had mind-sex with some hot guy I meet in the shower every morning (ok, I made that term up, I mean the type of guy you see in the showers and you give each other the eye every day but you never speak and maybe a fabulous time of shower sex will be had, or maybe not) but that’s not the case and that hasn’t happened, disappointingly. I hear people from time to time and I go out into the corridor and it’s dark, as usual, and there’s no-one about, as usual. Maybe we have ghosts.
I have done some socialising, in that I visited the closest (geographically) friend to me last weekend, and it was great! She’s just moved to France from Austria too so we had a good catch up and, as she has friends, we got drunk! She’s in Lorient, which is very small, but has a lot of Irish pubs and Irish people so I was happy enough. I didn’t realise how much I missed socialising until I went there and I hadn’t even been here a week by that stage.
I started classes last week, great first day (this is sarcasm, I wish it had a font, it doesn’t, and this is the only time I’ll be pointing it out so good luck with figuring out when I’m joking), actually I did fuck up, I had 2 classes – about 4 hours’ worth – last Monday, it took me an hour and a half to give up looking for the first one and 45 minutes looking for the second. The building is like Hogwarts (sorry to any non-Potter fans); the corridors, or stairs, or something changes every time you take a step. The rooms, as maybe you can imagine in France, have no order and I can’t figure out the pattern. You think you’re going the right way – looking for room 140 – you see room 118, then 126 and think ‘thank god, at least they’re going up’ and the next room is 107. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?! It’s not logical or numerical, I have no idea how to navigate this one building, in which, conveniently enough, I have all of my classes. The classes themselves, once I found them, were alright. I had German to French translation, which wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had but I need a little challenge. We don’t have to get credits here, which means we don’t have to sit exams (there’s the minor issue of the dissertation in French but anyway) so we can take any classes we want, most of mine are cop-outs but I wanted to keep my German up so I took two translation courses and two French-English ones too, which aren’t too bad at all. The others aren’t really worth writing about as I chose lectures so I sit on my laptop and play games most of the time. Not the point of being in a foreign country, I know, but everyone would do it if they were told they just had to attend 12 hours a week, do no work or any exams – really though, what would you do? I know what you would do; bring your laptop and play games. Or go on Facebook, whatever, not the point.
So classes are fine there’s just the small matter of this dissertation which has to be on something about the region I’m in. I have NO idea what to write about and my proposal is due in two weeks. I’m fucked. I might do it about wine, as the Loire Valley is pretty well-known for its wine, which is a bit of a cop-out too as, in my mind, I’ll just get to drink wine all the time. I don’t even like wine, but I would do it for the sake of not picking ‘the French education system’ or something equally boring.
I’m aware that I sound very lazy about learning but I think it’s because I have no idea what to do with my life and when I think about it I just go round in circles so I’m floating through uni and hoping for the best. Not a good way to see things but I’m also afraid that trying my hardest won’t be good enough to be an interpreter, which is what my degree will be in, eventually.
Well that was deep and depressing. I’m off to find some cheap, French wine to lighten my mood a bit and obviously to study for my paper… Au revoir.