3 Weeks of Class, 1 Week of Toussaint Plans and 1 Night Where I Got Really Sick

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the hiatus, but I just finished up my last intensive language 3 week long class, so I finally have some time to update this blog. Even though honestly not much has been happening in my life that really calls for a blog entry, I thought that I would just update y’all on France just so you all know that I am still alive!

Like I mentioned, I just finished my second 3 week intensive language class on Friday, so starting on Monday I have a whole new schedule and am going to be taking 5 classes. Two of those five classes are going to be with the two same teachers I had before, and will be focused on learning French language, but the other classes include “French Culture” (where I can only imagine we will be drinking wine and eating cheese with bread all of class), “French Literature  and “French Art” (which consists only of random field trips to different art museums or art-y places in Lyon). All of them sound really cool, but I am not so sure I will stick with the Literature Class because I have to do a bunch of other stuff if I want to stay here for the year, and I might want to just be able to focus my time on doing boring administrative tasks (but, for the greater good of me being able to stay! FOREVER!).

Also, there is another part of my program where we have to do a huge project which consists of researching, interviewing random French people, two oral presentations and two written papers on our topic. Your topic also has to be focused on a topic that involves France, and speaking to French people, and also revolving around Lyon. Most people are doing things on “why do the French not recycle?” or “what do the French think of American politics?” but my project is examining the American influences on French rap, and then speaking with people (at rap concerts; yep, I have somehow made my favorite thing to do also part of my project) about their favorite rappers and asking them their opinions on the influences American hip-hop has had on French music. I don’t think the woman helping us with our projects really thinks I like rap music, and I am pretty sure both of my language teachers thought I was kidding when I brought it up, but I am really excited for this project because I will be actually able to do something interesting with my project instead of having to ask French people what they think about cheese, or something lame like that.

I have also been planing my trips for Toussaint (which is a week long break Europe gets for All Saint’s Day; thank you Catholic influences!) and I am really stoked about it. For the first 3 days I am going to Barcelona with my three friends from the UC program I am in, then after that I am splitting off from them and heading to Prague for the next 3.5 days with one of my friends, and THEN it is off to Berlin where we are meeting up with another one of our friends. Basically, I am becoming a jet setter (but on the cheapest budget as possible…I am taking some really sketch airlines, but at least they’re all only 80€). I am not really sure what there is to see in Barcelona except for the beach and the Salvador Dali museum, but I am really stoked for both of those things, and one of the people I am going with speaks fluent Spanish, so I am sure we will be able to get around without an issue. Also, as you can see in the picture to your right, Barcelona is completely beautiful and cool lookin’.

In Prague there are so many things that I want to see that it would be impossible to list them all BUT if you want a short list (or are just confused as to why I would ever want to go to Prague), here you go:

  1. FRANZ KAFKA EVERYTHING! I have been a huge fan of Kafka since my freshman year in high school, and have always had this idea in my head that one day I would go to Prague and see all of the sites/monuments they have for him, but I didn’t think it would actually happen…but now it is! Yay! I am definitely going to make the people going with me to have a huge Kafka filled day while we are there.
  2. Go to the Prague House of Photography. There is a bunch of random art stuff in Prague, and I hear that this is one of the coolest places to go and see the artsy photography they have in the city.
  3. Go the the Prague Castle. History! Yeah!
  4. Savarin Casino. Free drinks if you gamble? Kind of sounds like the worst/best idea I have ever heard.
  5. Hang out at the Loreto. Apparently this is one of the hugest sites in Prague because of the just plain weird religious art that is in it. It is a church and pilgrimage voyage point, and also has a bunch of jewel-encrusted religious accessories.

And then, I mean, there is so much to see in Berlin that I am not sure the 2 full days that we have there will be enough to see it all, but if not, we can always go back…right?

Besides my incessant planning for Toussaint (REALLY SO EXCITED), I have also been hanging out with all the cool people I have met here in France! Last night me and two of my friends went out to have our first meal out since we’ve gotten here (I don’t think my late night runs to McDonalds for a soda, or to random kabob places since nothing else is open really count for “meals out”) but we ended up going to an Italian place…but it was still fun anyway, as you can tell from the excitement of both of their faces in the picture to the left. Unfortunately  we did not plan for the fact that the weather was going to be about 40 degrees, and therefore ended up freezing, and the slight cold I had has since been turned into a full blown out sickness. Right now I can’t even talk because my voice is completely gone…yay. Thankfully, it is the weekend, so I don’t have to speak that much (except occasionally to my host family), and I can just work on sleeping and drinking excessive amounts of tea with honey.

Okay, and just a note on being sick in France. It is really hard to read French when you don’t have any vocabulary dealing with being sick,  it is extremely hard to find what you need to make you stop feeling like you’re about to die. I tried to buy cough drops but apparently just bought honey wax that doesn’t do anything…WHY WOULD YOU SELL THAT IN A PHARMACY??? I also accidentally drank this medicine straight that you are supposed to put in water and let it turn your water into a gaterade-y substance, and I almost puked because it was so horrible. Since then I have bough real cough drops, and luckily my host mom has some stuff to hold me over, but I don’t think that this wimpy French medicine is going to get me through this. Where are my massive amount of disgusting but extremely effective American medicine? ): Oh well, I guess I am just going to have to sleep this one all the way through (waking only to cough and drink gallons of honey) until I magically wake up and feel better.

Hopefully the next post I post will be soon(ish) and I will be able to tell you guys that I am completely healthy and have regained my voice! Until then~~~

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