Le chauffage approche!*

*Bizarre title I know, but I have literally never been this excitée in my life for the heating to work. The flat is un peu trop froid (my responsable has loaned me a plug-in heater for now, which is amazing!), and the French have a totalement weird system whereby the heating ne fonctionne pas until the 1st October, which is tomorrow, yippeeeeeee!

Last Friday night (no Katy Perry reference intended!) the language teachers organised une fête, so we (myself and Katharina, the German language assistant) could get to know them better, which was really nice. There were a lot of specialities de la France to try: la tourte alsacienne (which even has its own festival here), tarte tatin et les macarons (the chocolate ones are délicieux) parmi d’autres. My weird eating habits sont en train de changer. Everyone was really friendly and it was a great fin de la semaine!

On Saturday Katharina and I went to the market in Place St Joseph, at the end of our road, before catching a train to Munster – which is a ‘Village Cigogne d’Alsace’, aka, full of storks! The village itself was très jolie, but as we arrived at lunchtime tout était fermé. The French lunch ‘hour’ (which in real time means two hours) can be fâcheux to say the least! After picking up a map at the office du tourisme, we decided to faire une randonnée. We followed the ‘circuit de Narrenstein’, and managed to follow the instructions which were all written en français, sans problème! It would appear that the hunting season a commencé en France, and it was more than a little unnerving to hear people out shooting!


The church in Munster


The remains of the abbey in Munster, after which the village was named.


The view of Munster from the Vosges mountains


La Vallée de Munster

After obtaining une carte pour la cantine on Monday morning, we went in search of une carte SIM in town. It seems that my English accent is évident, as whenever I spoke in French I was responded to in English…merde! My desire for un portable sans engagement is fading, rapidement. We then caught the bus (which played a bizzare mélange of German country music and an as-yet-unknown genre of English music) to Riquewihr. En route, we passed The Statue of Liberty. Or at least, Colmar’s own replica. Riquewihr was une ville traditionnelle, with the typical Alsatian buildings and décor on the windows. Avec quelques heures to fill, we decided to follow a trail, which said to follow the signposts with squirrels. 30 minutes plus tard, following our very vague map on a leaflet, nous étions complètement perdues. Luckily, we had ended up on the cycling route, and came across people who were able to help us! Getting lost did give us a great vue panoramique of the countryside though, so it wasn’t all bad!


Rue du Général du Gaulle, Riquewihr


Lost in the Alsatian countryside

Later that evening (après a few flat dysfunctions) we met up with some other assistants…so far je suis la seule anglaise. It was a good evening, and we’ve all said we’ll try to talk en français next time! It’s now la fin des vacances, officially, since the induction in Strasbourg is tomorrow and le travail starts on Thursday – times and classrooms still tbc.

À la prochaine fois




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