Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Culture Shock... a gay piece of crap that I never want to see again. Go away please. I hate you. You're a bitch.

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 =)