Now that I’ve officially finished classes & exams (well almost, I have one short assignment left), I’m trying to soak up the last two weeks of my time abroad and get ready for what’s sure to be a challenging summer.
More so than this time last year when I was getting ready to return to the US after a semester Lyon, I feel ready to go home. I’m looking forward to seeing friends and family, living in an apartment and being able to cook for myself, being in an actual city instead of Jouy on the outskirts of Paris.
I’m still living here in Jouy, and the weather is finally starting to improve! It still rains a lot, but at least today is nice and sunny. I’ve also been learning (very poorly) the metric system because it’s difficult to communicate in Fahrenheit and miles when everyone else uses Celsius and kilometers. So today is about 12 degrees which is decent weather but not as warm as Charlottesville.
I’ve been abroad for two months now, time is flying by! I’m happy to be in France, especially now as the weather is warming up (even though today is still rainy and cold). There haven’t been too many shocking cultural differences, especially since I’ve already spent an extended period of time living in France. There are some aspects that are as frustrating as ever such as the difficulties involved with taking public transportation into Paris, especially when there’s a strike or “le mouvement social”. French people are still protesting proposed changes to the labor law that would supposedly stimulate the economy by expanding working hours. Today, only one of two RER B trains were running. It took me about 2 hours to take a bus, a RER, and two metros from campus to a friend’s apartment in Paris 18, which is honestly shorter than I expected.
I’ve been in Jouy for nearly two months now and have decided to dedicate some time towards describing the food situation. Considering how much the French pride themselves on gastronomy and fine dining, it’s often a letdown to eat at the dining hall.
My family visited me in Paris this past weekend, which has been a lot of fun to show them around and see Paris through fresh eyes, as a tourist. It’s also been nice to eat great food while they’re here. Here’s a picture of the apéro (apéritif) we had one afternoon- cheeses including vieux comté, tartuffe, and couronne lochoise.
I guess it’s time for another blog update. I’m writing from my bed because I have a cold. That’s the downside of living in a dormitory, illnesses get passed around really easily. Luckily, the French pharmacy system is different than America’s, and the pharmacists are able to give out medicine that would be behind the counter in America. But still, I think I’m going to the on-campus doctor tomorrow because this cold isn’t getting better.
Anyways, the highlights of the past few weeks have been my weekend trip to Nantes (also known as 28 hours in Nantes, after the NYTime’s popular column on 36 hours in….) and the party on the Eiffel Tower on Friday.
I guess I’m already starting out this foray into blogging on a bad foot, I’m already two days late with my first post (whoops!) I think that it just slipped my mind in the chaos of the last week of visiting friends in Philadelphia, then New York, and finally Charlottesville before I returned home to New Jersey.
Anyways, as I’m about to embark on a semester abroad, this entry will serve as “a letter to myself”.