Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My interweb prioritiez

Chrome finally has this right. I'm not sure why, but this really bothered me until now. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Surprisingly delicious

40c hot chocolate from a vending machine at university in France. One of the best hot chocolates I've ever had. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Looking nice and awkward at Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux

Queue, pronounced "coo". I think.

A typical conversation with my house mate, Olivier:

Olivier: Qu'est-ce que tu as fais hier soir? (What did you do last night?)
Me: On a sorti d'un fête d'ERASMUS (We went to an ERASMUS party - a party for European exchange students)

Olivier: Ah oui? Ça a été? (Oh right, how was it?)
Me: Ça va, mais il y avait beaucoup de gens et un grand queue (It was ok, but there was a lot of people and a huge queue)
Olivier: C'est quoi? (What was that?)
Me: Il y avait beaucoup de gens... (There was a lot of people...)
Olivier: Oui... (Yes...)
Me: Et un queue... (And a queue...)
-Awkward silence-
Me: Une queue? "Coo"? Un "coo"?
Olivier: Une "coo"?
Me: Oui, une "coo".
Oliver: Non, "coo". 
Me: "Coo."
Olivier: "Coo." 
Me: "Coo."
Olivier: Non, "coo".
-Another awkward silence-
Me: Ok. 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The rules and regulations of ordering a steak

I've been to four different countries in the last two months and one of the most difficult things about being somewhere new is figuring out the local customs. Even eating out for me presents a challenge; it's a mind boggling experience. When I walk in, should I wait to be seated, or am I allowed to sit at my own free will? When I'm ready to order, shall I walk up to the counter or wait to be served? What happens if I want dessert, does eye contact to the nearest waiter/waitress suffice, or should I clap my hand and yell 'garçon'? (no that's actually really rude in France, only people in Hollywood films do that). When I'm finished, do I ask for the bill and pay at the table or proceed to the front? Am I meant to tip, what is an acceptable tip? 

This is the stuff they don't teach in university or language school - how to behave. You can't be Australian in France and that's the problem. I could be the most obscene, offensive, disrespectful person in France and I wouldn't even know it.  

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Brighter Lights

Playing Patrick James on repeat while I stare out my window at this. I'm home sick and I don't like today very much.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

5 degrees and Bordelais Rosé

I've been braving the cold, wind and rain since I arrived. One broken umbrella, two pairs of thermals, several swims through 'the shortcut', a near case of frostbite and a sore throat later, I've decided that if there's one thing I could change about this city right now, it would be the season. 

But the weather isn't the only thing I've been battling. It's only been one week, and I've heard the line, 
We're in Bordeaux for a year  
more times than I've heard Gangnam Style in the last six months. The general consensus seems to be the same, if one is in Bordeaux for a year, one must be plastered every night to enjoy it. But being drunk isn't particularly novel to me, and my days of being a drunken mess every Friday and Saturday night are for the most part, behind me. I'm less excited by the night life than I should be, but there's nothing wrong with that and I wish I wasn't made to feel bad for the fact that on a -2 degree night, I'd rather sit at home, hanging out in my PJs, listening to good music. 

I think my willingness to explore les soirées de Bordeaux will only increase with time, but for now, I'm content with settling in and absorbing the French culture little by little. This is a picture of my first Bordelais rosé!
Yvecourt 2010, 11€

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

"Shit, this isn't what I thought this would be like..."

This was my constant thought from the second I left Sydney to the second I arrived at what would be my new home in Bordeaux, 17,300 kilometres away from my friends and family. One week ago, I arrived at my apartment feeling the emptiest I've ever felt. You see, when I was a naive 17-year-old and it came time to choose preferences for university courses, I looked at the International Studies degree and saw an exhilarating, liberating future. On my own, I could probably live my life exactly the way I wanted now, I thought. Up until that point, and even until now, I had struggled with the feeling that no one saw me as an adult; as my own person who could make the right decisions for myself. I was constantly trying to prove myself and to my constant dismay, I was always met with someone older or wiser questioning me. So, exasperated from so many years of being the baby, I chose the degree that would take me half way across the world so I could finally prove that I was intelligent, mature and more than capable enough of taking care of myself. This is how I came to be in Bordeaux.

This opportunity would've been perfect for that girl three years ago. But I'm 20 now, and strangely, I feel like it's myself I need to prove these things to. The idea is daunting; I'm homesick and overwhelmed, but I've been doing it. I'm paying my rent, opening bank accounts, cooking three meals a day, spending more time in the grocery store than Rue Sainte-Catherine and I'm not falling apart at every given opportunity. Ready or not, I guess I'm an adult now.