As of la semaine dernière, I am the proud owner of a French phone from the Moyen Âge. Pas exactement, but as it does nothing beyond texts and calls, it may as well be. With a provider whose name I cannot pronounce. Bouygues, anyone?
Après the first full week of classes, a group of us decided to end la semaine with a trip to Strasbourg, the region’s capital. We bought a map, and followed the suggested tour until we hit la cathédrale (see below for photos). Selon my guidebook, the cathedral is “one of Europe’s finest Gothic cathedrals” (peut-être) and “owes a great deal of its charm to the pink sandstone from the Vosges from which it was built” (doubt Laurence* would agree with that…)
After wandering around the cathedral, we saw the Palais Rohan (not quite on the same level as Versailles). I then walked to the Botanical Gardens, only to discover that ils étaient fermés until 14:00. Then came a wander to La Petite France (très jolie), followed by les Ponts couverts and le Barrage Vauban.
Back in the centre-ville, après a small collision with une cycliste, I went up the cathedral spire. For those who don’t want to climb the (according to Google) 332 stairs to the top, see below left pour le belvédère. I then ended up back in Place Kleber (below right) before meeting up with les autres assistantes and discovering what the (very French-sounding) “knacks” are. For anyone who is interested, they are sausages.
Sunday involved researching the British système d’éducation, an acutely awkward franglais exchange with a teacher who lives in the same block, and une soirée with cheese and wine (which my Dad found hilarious since I neither eat French cheese, nor drink wine…!).
Monday morning reminded me of why, de temps en temps, I hate technology. Having spent a couple of hours the previous day preparing une présentation about school en Angleterre, I then discovered the computer was en panne. My lesson didn’t fall apart completely, but it would have been nice with the pictures. In my break between classes, I bought ‘une souris’ (not literally!) from la boulangerie: I am not entirely sûr what it was, beyond a cake-y substance with something resembling custard in the middle… The day ended with a class suggesting we should have un pique-nique and drink wine in class…non merci!
On Tuesday, we decided to see a film as part of Colmar’s festival du film. We chose the free screening of La Famille Bélier – which turned out to be an AMAZING film! It was probably le premier film français that I have actually understood, and found funny and good at the same time. (For anyone who wants to share my enjoyment, here is the link to la bande annonce: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEgw97vpkDM )
Wednesday brought an unwelcome text from la banque, saying I was overdrawn – how could that even be possible when I haven’t used the account?! And then I remembered: it was that monthly fee just for the privilege of having un compte bancaire. La panique hit again on Thursday morning, upon receiving already-opened post from home with the contents missing. French postal system, je t’aime. (Sense the sarcasm). My colleagues at school were all really helpful, and although the stuff is probably lost for good it could’ve been worse. In the afternoon we spent a lesson watching a video on weird facts about England, such as:
1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament because if you do you are entitled to a State funeral.
2. In Chester, it is legal to shoot a Welsh person with a crossbow, as long as it is done within the city walls and after midnight.
3. Aliens are not permitted to invade the United Kingdom without a license.
Other entertaining facts also features, but these were mes faits préférés. [To see more, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIFGdVwpeE8 ] At the end of the lesson, I was given some chocolates by a student to “welcome me to France”…très mignon!
As of 13:50 today, it is les vacances: woooooo!
*This refers to Laurence, my boyfriend, not Laurence, my (female) responsable.