Translation: awkward turtle. Aka a phrase used frequently to ameliorate awkward tension or describe something awkward that just happened. I’m not sure if the french actually use it, but we use it frequently.
A lot has happened so I will just jump right in.
1. I got my french cell phone! I was hoping to be able to put a new SIM card in my American phone but it didn’t work and that’s probably good cause I wouldn’t want to have my phone stolen. So instead I get a state of the art pay-as-you go phone, and it looks like this…and so do all of them in our program…
2. I also purchased my bus pass that has my picture on it and all I have to do is scan it when I get on the bus. The buses in Aix are pretty nice, the bus I take is a short bus which makes me laugh a little and it gets very crowded in the evenings but it also drops me off right by my apartment so I don’t mind, although I do feel bad when I almost fall on people cause I don’t know how to stand up while it turns yet…
3. One of the harder adjustments I’ve had to make is to not look at people while I’m walking around. I’m used to at least looking people in the eye and normally smiling even when I don’t know them, but in France that doesn’t happen, and if you do it to a guy who looked at you first then basically that means your interested in them and are obliged to talk to them (and then turn them down because they guys love getting rejected here for some reason…)
4. I walked to school for the first time today all by myself! Cathy and I walked there on Saturday and Sunday but I’ve taken the bus since I’ve been afraid of getting lost (which of course I did), but I managed to get there in a relatively timely manner. I’m hoping tomorrow to try again and I have hope that it will be better. The route I want to take goes through a lovely park so hopefully it works out and I can take some pictures.
5. Part of one of our orientation classes has involved practicing pronunciation in the form of French tongue twisters. They make very little sense but are just as challenging as ones in English, but luckily we don’t have to say them as fast as possible. It does require reading out loud which I had conveniently forgotten that I have a terrible time of in English, so it’s been especially hard in French. I have been practicing reading aloud in English (like a 2nd grader) since I tried to read an article to my friends freshmen year of college and failed miserably, and started to get better this summer practicing at work, but it hasn’t helped much for french. Hopefully I improve quickly.
6. I have started to make some great friends here. I went with two of them to the store to buy notebooks and folders and stuff and then we sat at a cafe and people watched. We all immediately thought of the scene in Gilmore Girls where Loralie and Rory are watching people pass by while they are eating at Luke’s and pick out three guys as options for them to marry. As the first one passes they can either pick that guy or reject him, as goes the second. If they reject both they automatically have to “marry” the third, and usually it ends up being an old man. Regardless, the game is always entertaining and it was particularly fun to be able to bond over watching the passing frenchmen (who we concluded all more or less look arrogant).
Overall this week has been full of adventures and challenges, but good. I am enjoying my time in Aix and look forward to all the future adventures (and misadventures) as well as making new friends. Tomorrow we get our french language partner, I’m hoping I find someone who is nice and has nice friends so I can meet some real french students!
Time for some chocolate! Bon soir!