Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
I'm almost done.
Less than a month left.
I don't know how I feel about this- half happy, half sad. It's going to be incredibly difficult leaving here, that's for sure. But I'm going to be glad to see my sunburnt country...
^^This manages to explain everything that I love about Australia in one poem.
I spent the past week (the last holidays) venturing out quite a lot. Friday and Saturday nights were spent chez Michele as Sat we partied the night away for my departure, Mimi, Kiki and Henri's birthdays. It was pretty freaking awesome. Monday to Thursday were spent in Brive at Bryani's house (another Aussie) with the immortal gang of Aussies- Gemma, Georgia, Bree and myself. I love these girls more than I can possibly describe and was actually extremely upset to leave them. We spent an awesome couple of days together- some of the best this year. I then went down to my IC's house- Evelyne- who is my exchange contact basically. There's no tv or internet at her house but it was lovely to get away for a while and spend time with her. The past few days were spent horse riding at a course. I love riding, but there are certain people that I just cannot stand due to their obsession with what level you have- it annoys the hell out of me that they don't seem to understand that the point of riding is not how good you are. I love to go out riding on a trail ride and that's it for me- that's what really makes me happy. But each to his own, I guess.
Monday, October 18, 2010
France is currently filled with people protesting in the streets and striking over the retirement age which has just augumented. Some petrol stations are no longer open and trains and planes are not circulating too often. If this keeps on going then food is going to be hard to get and I won't be able to get home. Being a foreigner will not be a good thing. Am hoping this stops soon.
VIVE LA FRANCE!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Crabtree and Evelyne
and to come...
everywhere else that lets me apply over the internet...
It's weird to think that I'll be coming home soon.
I packed a box today to send.
Marie-Anne died my hair on Thursday. I slept over at hair house and slept in the middle of her bed (sorry). And now I'm getting sick thanks to her.
Going to see my host niece next Sunday... this exictes me. A lot.
I love Philosophy.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
If you want a year of crying, anger, depression, miscommunication and anxiousness, go on exchange.
If you want to be yelled at, go on exchange.
If you want to understand nothing, go on exchange.
If you want to sit in your room alone, go on exchange.
If you want to be frustrated, go on exchange.
If you want people angry with you, go on exchange.
If you want to not be able to express yourself, go on exchange.
If you want to sit there and wonder what you did wrong, go on exchange.
If you want to be accused of doing something wrong, go on exchange.
If you want to attach yourself to someone, only to have them reject you, go on exchange.
If you want people to hate you, go on exchange.
If you want the hardest year of your life, go on exchange.
One wonders why I did this year.
At this point in time, I do too.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Life currently consists of:
Waking up at 6am then staying in bed until 6.40, when I jump out of bed and begin racing to be ready.
Getting to the school bus ten minutes early so I'm not one of the unlucky few that arrive last that have to squash up three to a seat or have to wait for another bus to come. (This happened twice in my first week. This will not happen again).
Arriving at school dead tired although super excited to see my amazing friends, and listening intentively until 10am, break, where I eat Speculoos with Mimi and Kiki.
More intense concentration until 12, where I eat some postively disgusting canteen food.
And yet again we get some concentration from 13.45 until 15.35... where I once again eat Speculoos with Mimi and Kiki during break.
More work! Until 16.45.
Bumming around/studying, depending on my mood, with whoever is there, usually the epic Florian.
Dinner/being annoyed by my host parents (lovingly).
Study for about three hours.
And occasionally some horse riding and dancing.
In other words, my life consists of school work.
And for the first time, this makes me happy.
I love school here.
First EF meeting this weekend with the new exchangers... YAY!
Oral exam tomorrow for my work experience. No yay.
15 on my exam? Belly button done with the host mummy. YAY! For having a super cool mum.
Monday, September 20, 2010
TWELVE POINT FIVE, BITCHES!
This week I had my first ever test in which I was marked equally to the other students (not just on the way I wrote, but on what I wrote). And I got 12,5. Which was better than a fair lot of the class.
My life is now complete.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I find it hard to have meilleur(e)s ami(e)s in Australia. I have ami(e)s, that is for sure, but most of them have a meilleur(e) ami(e), who is not me. I guess my sister is my meilleure amie over there.
Over here, however, I have somehow managed to find three people that make my life amazing (and my host family, but I'll talk about them another time). These are Marie-Anne, Michele, and Florian.
Marie-Anne (otherwise known as Kiki)
This girl is INSANE. She is unique and special and I absolutely love her. I don't care what anyone says, she's amazing. Kiki has this joy for life that just shines out of her and it definately shows when she laughs. When she laughs, you do too- it's contagious- and also very... interesting... you start off my laughing at her (in a loving way) but end up laughing with her. Apparently when I first met her I had an expression on my face as if to say... oh crap... she's MAD! But we talked and she wowed me with her amazing flute-playing skills, and I'm proud to say that she is without a doubt a meilleure amie.
Oh Michele, what can I say about you? You always bring a smile to my face and you always let me hug you. Your explanations when I don't understand a word can be highly amusing but always make sense. She's the one ready to help me when I'm about to kill myself because I don't understand l'Odysee or philo or maths or Spanish or or or... Mimi was one of the first people in my class to really be friendly to me, not to her gain, but because she's just adorable like that. And she is always there to discuss our nutty philo teacher (Devil: Do that! It's good! Angel: Don't do that! It's not good!) or to hurry up Marie-Anne and Henri and discuss the possibility of throwing water/mashed potato on them. Je t'aime TROP FORTE Mimi.
When I first met him, I didn't know what to think. He was the dark silent one that never said a word in class, but I got to know him because of the ever-awesome Flora and Salome, and we both took the bus which meant that there was someone that I was able to hang with and annoy =) As I got to know him though, I realised that Florian is one of the most awesome people I have ever met in my life and my year wouldn't be the same without him.
And I have a lot of other awesome amis that I've made, French, Kiwi, Aussie... from everywhere. Thanks. You guys made my year.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
I have a host niece! Eight weeks early and born by caesarean, she's in the neo-natal clinic but going well. Sarah Geraud, 11-09-2010.
Time is getting on. I've been here for eight months and nine days. I leave on November 26, which means that I have no desire to count the number of days left. Why? Because it is too short.
In our philosophy classes, we've been discussing time and existence. We ask WHY, not how. Why do humans try to contol time? Notions noted : Time is one of the only things that humans can't control. We live either in the past or the future- by dreading or looking forward to things in the future, or by looking back to the past, with regret, or holding onto it and refusing to let go because it was better then. But it's kind of stupid of us, because we can't change the past, and it's not sure that we'll be around for the future. You could die. Tomorrow. Today. In two seconds. You don't know. I don't know. And we never live in the present.
This year, I lived in the past for a long while, constantly thinking of Australia, holding on, refusing to let go or change. My host family picked me out of this, shook me off, and changed my life. I lived in the present. But now, stupidly, I can't stop thinking of the future. Why? Because I can't control it.
I've changed. Let me just put this out to everyone in Australia, right now : I am not the same girl I was when I left. This means I refuse to put up with all the shit that goes on. And if you annoy me, you'll know it. Things like saying hello and goodbye are important. I am my own person and I do not apologise for who I am. I hate being told what to do if it's not in a respectful way. I live my life the way I want and I don't make any apologies for it. I know that I'm slightly repeating myself, but exchange involves a lot of repeating. What I'm trying to say is that I don't think many people are going to like the new me. I think I'm going to lose a lot of the people that I was once close to. I don't know how I feel about this. All I know is that I'm a better person than I was when I left Australia. I hate who I used to be. I'm finally good in my skin. I owe everything to my host family. They gave me my life back and I don't know how I will ever be able to thank them. And I wouldn't change that for everything.
So I'm trying not to think about saying goodbye. I'm trying not to think about the fact that my year is slowly drawing to a close. I'm just making the most of each day. I'm dancing through life with some of the best, most amazing, wonderful, incredible people I have ever met.
Carpe diem. It'll change you forever.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sorry if my English is a bit crappy at the moment, I'm definately in French mode at the moment. But I'll try!
All of the exchange students have arrived. It's great to see their excitement, their smiles and happiness as they realise that their lives here are only just beginning. I keep on telling them, make the most of your time here and value every second, because before you know it, your time will be up.
I only have three months left here. Time passes quickly and I don't know how I'm going to handle it the day that I return to Australia. I'm good here. I'm not stressed, I have an amazing family, wonderful friends... life is good. I've grown a lot. No longer am I the shy baby that wouldn't speak her mind and lived to make everyone else happy that I was when I left Australia. I live differently. I'll tell you what I think, what I like, what I hate, I'll speak to everyone and everyone, make my own decisions... and most importantly, I don't live for other people anymore. I live for myself. Does this sound selfish? Perhaps. Maybe it is. But I need to be good in myself first, and then if it brings me pleasure, I can make other people happy. So I made the concious choice- my life is mine, and it's me that chooses what I want to do with it. And that is why I think that upon going back, people will not be impressed by me. But do I care? No.
La rentree de classe was yesterday- in other words the return of the school year. I'm in Terminale, or in other words, senior year, and my timetable is really quite insane...
- Eight hours of philosophy
- Four hours of history-geography
- Two hours of English literature
- Two hours of exams (per week)
- Four hours of French literature
- Three hours of Spanish
- Four hours of English
- Two hours of sport
- German classes when ever I can fit them in (which needs to be discussed with the teacher)
What exchange has taught me is to NEVER complain about the work in Australia... My mindset is now, think Aussie work is hard? Try doing senior year in another language, where you are at school for at least ten hours a day. Now that's hard. By senior year in Australia was a breeze compared to this.
It was great to see all my friends again, and surprising to see who out of them I was excited to see the most. I think I have got the most amazing school ever and really will be sad to say goodbye. But for now I'm just going to value the time I have with them.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So, what's happened since my last post? Well, MAJOR Culture Shock. Ha. That's fun. Not. But I got over it with a kick up the bum and major help from the best host family ever.
I finished off the school year by dressing up as a cowgirl and dancing YMCA, Bet On It and doing the Haka in front of the entire school, because I'm totally cool like that. I love small private schools... I actually think that Notre Dame is the best school I've ever been too. We might not have all the facilities and it may be old and whatever, but it's MY school, and damn, I love it there. Some of those people are incredible.
Then I did work experience at SNCF, the rail company here. I did it because everyone else in my class were on exams, but I didn't do them, so work experience was suggested for me. It was actually quite cool. I learnt a lot of things and talked to heaps of people =) i also had to do a rapport de stage, or a report, on it. This is not work experience Aussie-style. It's work experience French-style. Which means a report detailing everything that you've learnt and how the company works and the history and everything. Which ended up being 23 pages long. I spent hours and hours on it and I have to say, that I'm damn proud of what I've done. And if I don't get at least 10 I will cry, which is no joke. I also got a deal with my host mum, being that if I got 15 then she would come and get her belly button pierced with me, because she's scared of needles but I really wanted her to come with me. I love her! Coolest host mum EVER. So now we are playing the waiting game.
July was spent travelling Europe... I love the casual manner in which I say that! I flew out of Toulouse to London on July 2, to meet my mum and sister. The UK Border was very scary with the whole interrogation thing going on, but two hours later I was through and jumped on my sister in greeting. We went straight to Becky and Mike's house- my mum's friends who live near Gloucester. They live in a tiny little typically English village and it was lots of fun to see that =) Then it was off to London to be typically tourist. Truth be told, I think London could have been a lot better, but there you go. We also visited places Harry Potter was filmed and walked in amongst the rocks at Stonehenge... and I saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago and Legally Blonde on West End. i heart Legally Blonde, talk about AMAZEMENT. And I met the main actors/actresses, which was pretty cool. (THE PACKAGE GUY! ...If you don't get this, get yourself to London or New York and watch the show). Then it was off to Paris, which was once again pretty awesome, especially EURODISNEY! We were really lucky because on the day we went there, it looked like it was going to pour down with rain, so there was no one there, but it didn't rain, not one drop. YAY! It was amazing, I love Disney. After that it was direction: Barcelona. This was my favourite place on the whole trip. I loved it there... the people, the culture, everything, and I can't wait to go back to Spain one day (hopefully) and be able to explore of the beauiful country. There were also some interesting experiences with the language, like when I mooed at the shop assisstant to try and find out of the meat was beef... it worked though! Kind of... After Spain, we returned to my house for a little so Mum and Sam could meet my incredible host family. It was really weird seeing them together and I think my mum and Evelyne got on really well, which was great. Then we headed over to the Cote d'Azur for a couple of days. We based ourselves in Nice and visited Cannes, Grasse and Monaco. This meant awesome times on the beach, lots of photos and an epic cactus garden. I cried a lot when I said goodbye to them at the airport, the blubbered in the train, but got over it after two or three days. So all in all, the best July ever.
In July it was also my 18th birthday, yay! I had a small party with my family, with pink, purple and pirate balloons, a pink tablecloth, pink glasses, pink and white napkins and flowery pink plates. It was awesome =) Two days later, the village party started up, which last for five days, and on the first night I had my two best friends here, Marie-Anne and Michele (better known as Kiki and Mimi) over to party the night away. And party we did.
August has been relatively calm... lots of work on my report and lots of going to the pool with the host mum and sis. And I'm not scared of water anymore which is pretty cool... It's actually the main way I've exercised in the past month. Yes, I did laps. Of a pool. Voluntarily. And I bought myself some pinkn goggles which are uber sexy, because the chlorine was killing my eyes. Weirdest thing ever here though... you're not allowed to wear board shorts in the pool because apparently it's "unclean"...
About four days were spent at Nini's house, who is my host mum's friend. She's absolutely adorable, Spanish and has a dog that waddles... I kid you not. It was incredibly relaxing just spending time there and sleeping, and I even got to hold a frog that we caught =)
Bryani from Sydney came and passed three days with me, which was quite epic to see and hear another Aussie =) Had lots of fun cruising Toulouse and Carcassone and watching A Very Potter Musical- only the best youtube thing ever. Watch it. Seriously. You will not be dissappointed.
And so now I'm on holidays at the beach =) My host family found another host family through EF for a week or so, so I could see how another family lives, so I'm here for about 10 days, and it looks to be great, they're incredibly nice =)
And that about sums up the last three months... waiting excitedly for the next exchangers to arrive (August 28!)
I LOVE my host family.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
In case you can't tell, I'm well and truly into the 'culture shock phase'. Please someone... tell me that it gets better! I can't do anything in this country without wanting to cry or being anxious or stressing. Fuuuuck that.
Okay, rant over. Let's see what good things there are now... I guess it's been a while since I've blogged, hey? =S
I'll start with Easter. We (being my host family) went to this tiny little random country town called Boule D'Amont in the middle of no where (actually, near Perpignon) where my host dad's family have been for years and years. At the moment though, all that's left there is Claude, my host uncle, and his five year old daughter, Any (Annie). We left the Sunday at about midday day, taking two hours to drive down. It was gorgeous, really different to where I live, and like a mini holiday =) We walked around the village (taking us like, five minutes, tops... I'm not exxagerating) and met some old family friends. It was truly one of those French country towns, except there wasn't even a boulangerie (and you know that in France, a town is miniscule when there's not even a boulangerie!) The night was spent playing cards and Trivial Pursuit with my host family, equally more bonding with these amazing people and a very late lights out. At nine am on the Monday, we were up and searching for Easter eggs... in the garden, that the Easter Bell bought for us. Yes, Easter Bell. Not Bunny. I thought it was weird too haha. Then it was off to the village for the fete, as in celebration. Basically we ate, drank and talked a lot... I had my first Easter Omelette ever (a tradition in Ariege) and took a heap of photos so I would never forget.
I also recently had school holidays... again =) We have them every five weeks, once again leading to my love of France. These ones I spent in Strasbourg. I left on the Sunday early morning with my host dad taking me off to Toulouse because there were no trains going from Saverdun (the closest train station) to Toulouse... of course, SNCF were striking. Praying that this wouldn't cause any problems, I got on my train to Montpellier with no problems. I had a three hour stop in Montpellier, which I spent by getting lost, interrogated by a random drunk, getting really hot, finding where I wanted to go, trying to find a toilet (I love you Macca's) and then waiting and the train station paranoid someone would steal my luggage. All in all, three hours well spent (I'm not actually joking- it was beautiful and an awesome adventure). Then, my train to Lyon was packed- people were even standing in the isles... Thanks SNCF. I did have a seat though, luckily and wasn't too badly affected. The train station at Lyon was horrible... people EVERYWHERE. I simply walked out and sat outside for fifteen minutes, before going inside and finding my next train to Strasbourg. This one was luckily quite empty which meant quite a relaxing ride until 10.20 pm, where I reached Strasbourg and was met by Isabelle, by host cousin.
I had a fantastic time at Strasbourg... I stayed with Isabelle and her boyfriend, Jeremy, two of the nicest people ever. I was also taken out around Strasbourg by Elodie, Isa's friend, who was incredibly kind =) Strasbourg was so different to Toulouse. I saw the most amazing cathedrale ever, Alsacian-style houses, 'La Petite France," rode around on trams and learnt that it's actually not too hard to get around a city I don't know by myself. I even went to Germany one day =) Lots of shopping was done (read: WAY too much shopping was done), as well as lots of sleeping in and lazing around. Basically I had an awesome break and a wonderful time... I love Strasbourg and was so glad to get the chance to go. I was meant to come back on the Friday or Sunday, but due to the lovely SNCF strikes (still going!), I decided to wait until they died down a little to come home without a problem... so got back on the last Friday of the holidays. I didn't realise how much I missed my host family until I saw them again, and was incredibly happy... I love them.
The last weekend of the holidays was the first village festival. Basically it was a mini version of the Royal Show spread out around the village. They even roasted a cow on a spit (yes, a cow. I'm not exagerating). I rode around on a tractor for like two hours and there was lots of liveliness and music and talking and food. There was even a black swan (yeah Perth!!). And probably the best part of the entire weekend? It was warm enough for me to wear a dress =)
School was back to usual, with the only change being that I've actually understood French lit for the past two weeks.
May 1st was the 'fete du travaille.' I'm not exactly sure what it was for, but basically 'mugeut,' a type of flower, was sold and we ate and drank a lot at my host brother's house. We were up at 5.30am the Saturday morning to drive to Toulouse and catch the train to Bordeux, then to Angouleme, where Sebastian picked us up and drove us to his house. We spent the day talking around the table with the family which was great. I was freezing cold that night though so slept really badly... then got called silly in the morning for not waking someone up that night for a blanket... I was trying to be nice... oh well. Sunday we recommenced the eating, then at midday it was back to Angouleme, Bordeux, Toulouse and Mazeres . All in all an extremely tiring but fun weekend.
Next weekend it's off to Chambery to see Mini, a fellow Perthian on exchange... I can't wait =)
Monday, April 19, 2010
What we have to remember is that there is always something good that comes out of it. Take my worst day so far. Something great that came out it was realising how much my host family actually care about me. And maybe I really am starting to become a part of my family.
Monday, March 15, 2010
What else is there to say? Let's see.
My last week of the holidays was pretty good- mostly staying at home in pyjamas! But nice to have a break. Then it was back to school...oh joy, school. But yeah it was ok, I guess. I'm really starting to figure out who are my friends here and who aren't, and as well as that, I'm beginning to have closer relationships with people- they are 'amis' rather than 'copains'. I got my first ever 'bulletin', with and average of 14. 14!! Yay! People who don't know the French school system, 14 is good. Very good. I also got 19 in one of my English tests (which means FREAKING AMAZING work, like 120%), but then got 10 in another. But I did pretty damn well. It was a vocab test on all the words they had learnt from the beginning of the year (like over 600), then we were given 200 words to translate. They had to be the perfect word that the teacher wanted as well, he didn't want any synonyms...loser. And I was only given like, a week's notice to study. So yeah, I think I did pretty damn well.
Last weekend was awesome. I started off my singing in Spanish at my school's open day... yeah now that was interesting... We sang La Bamba and danced, and luckily I didn't make a total fool of myself. I think. My IC (as in the person in charge of me), Evelyne, came to the open day and afterwards, we all (as in her and her husband and me and my family) went to eat lunch, then I went home with her to wait at her house for Lily, her exchange student, Chelsea and Anna (two other exchange students). At Evelyne's house, there is no tv or internet and no phone signal either. It's actually really interesting to see the way that they live and how they entertain themselves...but still, I don't think I could stand it for a year, so here's to you, Lily. I was the only Aussie against three New Zealanders, which was an interesting experience! Haha. Oh, and Vegemite totally wins over Marmite. Anyway, we all bonded very quickly, as most exchange students do, because we understand what we are going through, I guess. Sunday we slept in... a lot! And then we went off to these gorgeous castle ruins on top of a hill, from the 13th century, I think it was! It was incredible. We took lots of photos and fell over in the mud and snow a heap. One of the best parts of tyhe weekend though, was when my host family came to pick me up and my sister ran over to me and gave me a huge hug... maybe she doesn't hate me after all! I think we are getting to have a real sister relationship now haha.
Then the weekend past was pretty cool as well. On Saturday, I went to Toulouse with a bunch of French and German people, as at the moment there are Germans at school doing a mini exchange. Didn't buy anything but had fun looking at clothes and being in the city again. That afternoon, I met my host brother, Gary, who's twenty five, at the train station and we went to Atyka... where I got the cartilage in my ear pierced =) Hopefully there'll be more to come! That night Gary, Stephenie, his girlfriend, her family and me went to see Holiday on Ice, and ice skating show, which was awesome- I love watching skating! It's so pretty. Then I slept over at his house, and on Sunday we drove back home and they had lunch at our place. All in all an epic weekend.
Cartilage in my hurt hurts like a bitch but so worth it =) Actually it wasn't too bad at the time, it's just the fact that I am a tool and keep on hitting it accidently when I'm doing things. Nice one Kirsty. I'm paranoid about getting an infection as well.
Basically life is pretty epic. Fracne is amazing, God is great.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I just had one of those moments. I'm having one of those moments.
I'm in France. I'm doing an exchange. I have friends. I have a host family. I'm speaking French. I live in Europe. I'm living my dream. I get homesick. I get tired. But I'm here. And I'm gonna get through this year and come out with memories to last a life time. I can't believe that I've been given this chance.
I'm gonna give it everything I've got.
I have one year. That's it.
Why waste it?
They never said it would be easy.
Just that it would be worth it.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I have been blessed with probably the best host family ever.
They laugh and joke and are just wonderful people. They know how to explain things to me and they don't mind if I get homesick or upset. They quickly learn about me- my likes (ie apple cider) my dislikes (erm...hardly anything!), they are patient with me and my French, they listen to me, they let me make mistakes and then correct them (nicely!) and give me so many opportunities.
I was so scared that they were going to be horrible- who wouldn't?! But instead, I got this family that I am going to be so so sad to leave, and I really hope that we will always keep in touch.
But in the meantime, I'm just going to love my time with them.
Merci for being the most wonderful host family ever!!
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
It was cold, in case you can't tell.
- Being sick really does show who your friends are.
- If you're an exchanger, the best thing that you can do is hang with people from your host country. Other exchangers are great, but there's also the issue of that you shouldn't go out of your way to find people that speak your language...and only talk to them. Even if they aren't really your good friends, talk to French people. In French. It's the only way that you're going to make any progress in your language at all. Sorry. End of rant.
- Climate change makes you sick.
- Some teachers just really don't care.
- Some teachers like wearing brightly coloured children's scarves.
- Some teachers don't do enough buttons on their shirt up = hairy chest = ew.
- Four year olds cry. A lot.
- Snow is cold.
- Snow is wet.
- Bronchitis should go die in a hole.
- It's quite easy to forget your first language.
- It's also quite easy to begin speaking your language brokenly with an accent so people understand you better.
- Crepes au nutella rule the world.
- I have the best host family ever.
Yes, I am still sick. And I am still bored. My sister is still at home as well. And she is still crying at every second moment. My medicine still tastes like crap. And I am still searching for entertainment.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
And I'm going to write about my daily life, because before I was here, this was what I loved hearing about most.
I start the day at anywhere between 6 and 6:30, depending on how energetic I feel. Usually I lean towards the 6:30 side, meaning that I have to rush as fast as I can so I don't miss the bus. My alarm goes off at 6, then every five minutes after that. I then get up, turn on my computer and read any messages left. Why? Because during the day when I'm bored I can then compose the replies in my head. Although I know if I didn't do this it would make me not have to rush so much. Anyways. I then go downstairs (praying that I don't fall like the first morning) and step on certain floorboards as to not wake anyone up. I hope. Breakfast is a bowl of cheerios, and bread with nutella. Then back up to my room to pick out clothes, then shower and brush teeth (this is usually when I start rushing). Back up to my room for my bag/anything else I need for the day, race downstairs, grab an apple, 'a tout a l'heure' to Evelyne, who has usually just woken up and is in the kitchen by this point, and race down the stairs, out the door, and, depending on what time it is, running or walking to the bus stop. Usually running as I'm paranoid about missing the bus, which leaves at 7.15.
On the bus I usually try to sit by myself, mainly because it's kinda awkward sitting next to a random, but also because I possibly fix my hair and makeup on the bus. *Cough* To get to school, it takes about 20-30 minutes, depending on traffic etc. I then walk about five minutes to school, and this can range from, mm, it's a nice morning, to fml, get me out of this freezing cold. Good old France. Anyway. I get to school at about 7.45, and go through to the 'lycee', or high school area. I walk through to the bathroom and check that my hair and makeup are ok (because I don't have a mirror on the bus, haha) and by the time I am done, Flora and Salome are usually there. If not, I will go and put stuff in my locker etc or say high to other people.
Then it's time for school! The day starts at 8.10, but this depends on what classes I have. This is my school week:
8:10-10:00: Science (one week biology/geology, one week physics/chem) I understand chem. Wow.
10:00-10:15: Break. We usually stand outside, for some reason I haven't quite figured out yet, and share a kitkat.
10:15-12:05: French Lit. This is where I sleep. Ha. We are currently reading Rousseau, Les Confessions, and I couldn't even tell you what the book is about. Neither can the people in my class.
12:05-14:40: Break, as in lunch. I go with Flora and Salome, and usually we sit with some other people, which is nice. Lunch can range from not bad to totally gross, depending on the day. I have a healthy diet of bread, yoghurt and water.
14:40-15:35: English. The bane of my existence. This consists of an extremely hairy teacher that doesn't do enough buttons on his shirt up with bad breath saying words that don't exist forcing me to read out things in French, which I hate. I'm fine talking with my friends, kind of, but reading out stuff in class? No. Also, the teacher cannot speak English. 'So is the car.' 'The car has good road-holding.' 'Egypt is the craddle of civilisation.' I'm not joking.
15:35-15:50: Break, again with Flora and Salome.
15:50-17:40: English litterature, pretty much. At the moment we are reading My Antonia, which is kinda disturbing but still quite good. I love this teacher, as he actually cares whether or not I am following the lesson and is always like, 'this is just to give Kirsty a bit of vocabulary!' and makes sure that I understand, and asks about how school is etc. Oh, and he can speak good English, very proper, but good and with the poshest English accent ever. He'll also ask me if that's what I say, and doesn't mind if I correct him which I did once- I can't remember what it was but it was just a phrase he said incorrectly. He was like, 'oh, you are right, of course, my mistake.' I wouldn't dare correct my normal English teacher. Oh, and he self-corrects all the time, which I like- he's not afraid to show that he makes mistakes.
9:05-10:00: French. We're reading Tartuffe and I sort of get the general idea. I think the teacher likes me, at least.
10:15-12:05: History/Geography. I would love it, if not for the teacher. We learn about a lot of different things and I can't wait until I actually understand so I can learn.
14:40-16:45: Maths. For the first time in my life, I actually understand this class. But they are doing stuff I have already done. I think the teacher hates me, she doesn't even acknowledge me. Then again, she doesn't really do much teaching in class either, other than, 'no, you're wrong.'
09:05-10:00: Spanish. I'm doing this class because I would love to learn Spanish, but I don't think that's going to happen. Oh well. I'm learning Spanish myself...I got a children's book out of the library the other day, 'My First Spanish Book!' and can already say some basic sentences. Class kind of gives me a feel for the language though- pronounciation etc.
Wednesday is my short day, so I have nothing else that I have to go to! The bus leaves at 12, so usually I just walk around Pamiers- again, good exercise. I also love to explore.
Wednesday afternoon consists of either socialising, or staying at home bumming around. I don't mind either, and I love the whole idea of an afternoon in the middle of the week off.
08:15-10:00: Education Civique, Juridique et Sociale. Basically political and legal studies, as far I can figure. I'm meant to have this every second week, as every other week there is a two hour test on whatever subject, but obviously I can't do them, so I go to ECJS with the othe class- so I have one class a week with Flora and Salome, yay!
10:15-12:05: French. Two hours. Enough said.
Time for my big walk! I spend Thursday afternoons walking places- like to McDonalds, 40 minutes away, just to take a photo because I'm cool like that. Or to the park, which is gorgeous, if small.
10:15-12:05: Sport. I actually haven't properly done this yet. Why? The first week, I went through the classes with Michelle. The second, we were not at schoo, instead at Toulouse for a thing about universities. This week, my teacher wasn't there, so for some crazy reason I went with Flora and Salome and did sport with them. And it was surprisingly fun because no one took it seriously, it was a laugh and we just had a good time and sucked. We played handball, which is a pthetic sport, in my opinion =P And they all found it hilarious when I screamed when the ball came my way.
12:05-14:40: Lunch. Woot.
15:35-16:45: Every second week, English. Yay...
At 18:15, it's time to catch the bus home. There's about a five minute walk to the bus, but I'll take a small walk around Pamiers usually, just so I get some exercise in my day, if I haven't gone for a big walk before.
I get home at about 6:45, and eat dinner pretty much straight away, which is quite simple, usually just pasta, or some meat or something nice, but small. I also have bread (with Vegemite!) after dinner, and what I think is pureed apples- at any rate, I LOVE it. After clearing the table, time for hot chocolate in the kitchen with my family. Sandy then goes to shower and I talk to Evelyne, until it's either time for a tv show, ie Bones/NCIS/whatever, or until I go up to my room and reply to emails etc. Bed time should be around 10 but is usually a lot later, which is not good for me. I have to work on that...
Friday nights I have dance, which is at the cinema, about 200 metres away- weird I know, but they have a stage. It's good, very easy and not a high standard, but the dances are okay- we are currently learning dances for our concert in June, yay! So far there's a Bollywood one (which I actually totally love), and three contemporaryish type ones, to a random song, Pirates of the Carribean, and a song by Rhianna. I'm just glad to get out of the house and do some exercise, and meet some new people.
Saturday is different each week, but in general, I sleep in, I wash my hair (how boring haha), go buy bread, and talk on Skype with people back home. So it also tends to be my homesick day, but oh well. Also we spend time with family-Gary or Sebastian, my host brothers, who happen to be like 30 haha, and their families will visit, today we went to the grandparent's house etc.
Sunday, we get up early in the morning to go skiing! This is both a good and bad part of my week. Why? Well, good because I'm in France, skiing, obviously haha. And bad because I am freezing cold. I've skiied a couple of times and have only falled two or three times, yay! But I'm really scared of falling so I don't really ski down anything too exciting haha. After ski, we hope over to Andorra, just for a bit of shopping- we buy cigarettes and other groceries there as the products are cheaper because they don't have tax.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Let's see. Things I've learnt include that when EF say you'll be in Paris airport for six hours with someone taking care of you, they actually mean twelve hours with someone who has no idea what they are doing. "Yes, you'll be going to Toulouse by train. "Train? But it's only one hour. And the others have a flight that arrives and leaves at the same time." "No, it's a train." After much insisting that he check, "Oh, you're right, it's a plane." Duh. Also, host mummy knows best. As in, it's going to be cold today, wear your jacket. You're going to be hungry, take some food.
I totally love my host family. My mum and dad, Evelyne and Bernard, are totally awesome- they are extremely patient with my French and very encouraging. They correct me when I say something wrong, but not in a mean way, just a 'we want to help you' way. I always laugh when Evelyne speaks English (she really doesn't speak much at all haha) just because she sounds so happy when she gets a word right and it just sounds amusing. But I don't laugh in a mean way =) Anyway, they are wonderful and always laughing and joking. My host sister, Sandy, has hit her stubborn stage so there is a lot of crying, especially in the beginning when she got jealous of me. That was bad. However, now it is all going good- she's (kinda) accepted that I am here to stay!
School is good. I started in my second week here, because there was too much snow to go in the first week, when I was meant to be going =) I was terrified, of course. I've learnt that being the new kid really isn't easy, especially with the language barrier, and I think I'll always be the kinda random, weird, not-many-people-like-me kid. However, this doesn't matter. Exchange has made me so much more confident and I have discovered that as long as I have one or two close friends, being 'friends' with lots of people is fine.
Several things I have learnt about being the new kid:
- It takes time to make friends!
- Every new kid will be taken in by the 'popular' group in their first week or two.
- Every school has their populars.
- Everyone else will not like the populars.
- Then you'll get taken in by the incredibly enthusiastic, oh, new kid, be nice be nice, I want to get to know them type people (usually me in Australia). This is great, especially when you're like, I don't like the populars, so who do I hang out with? For some people, they end up becoming friends (my bestie in primary school was the new girl in year 4, I still remember her first day...).
- Then you'll find people that you really do like hanging with and they will develop into friends. And you'll have your little jokes and your daily routine and such.
School is okay. It's school, you know? Haha. I don't really have many classes, but the days are super long- I'm there from 7:45- 6:10, that's when the bus arrives and leaves Pamiers. Yeah, fml, I know. But during my breaks I can walk around Pamiers, which makes it all good. I try to walk a lot to get some exercise, and also so I can explore. Today I walked for 40 minutes to McDonald's, and then 40 minutes back again, just to find where it was, to take a photo, and because I felt like it. Haha.
It's amazing because in Australia I never would have been so daring. I would have been like, no thanks, I'll stay at home, but here, I am already so much more open. I will go into a cafe and order something, I will talk to people I don't know... I was terrified of having to ask someone if I could sit next to them ont he bus, so guess what God did a couple of days ago? Yep. I had to ask. And He's made me do it quite a few times since, and now, it's fine. All it is is a seat =) I really am growing.
What else? I have a dance class I go to every Friday night now, yay. Also, ski every Sunday. Once ski has finished, it'll be horse riding and maybe ice skating. I love the oppurtunities that I am given here. Last Wednesday me and Lily, another exchanger, went over to Andorra for some shopping, just because we felt like it...gotta love Europe =)
Also, I really want my mum to come visit me, just so she will have some idea of my life here and what it is like etc. Hopefully it will be during summer and we will get to Spain and England, which I really want to go to. And then she'll be here for my 18th as well! Yay.
Basically, life is good, exchange is good, all is good. I miss Australia, but that's a story for another day.