I will pop a cap in your ass.
05.10.2009 11 °C
It irritates the shit out of me that 4 weeks into this whole study abroad thing and Lille 3 still has failed to process my monthly stipend into the bank account that they opened up for us. I have yet to pay my rent for the month of October. That's a fail.
Honestly, last week had been sub-par. After the rush and excitement of the first month or so, staying busy with all the nit picky things I had to take care of (I still have nit picky things to take care of... like trying to save 50 Euros a month on my rent... shit...), trying to sort out my classes, trying to basically sort out everything, things are starting to slow down. And even though I haven't completely sorted out everything, I still feel rather odd. Quite frankly, I don't know where that paragraph is going so I'm just going to drop it.
It's starting to get rather cold here. Rather unexpectedly. Being brown and growing up in the South, I've come to realize that how necessary the sun is for me (Rose, I'm turning into you...). No joke, Saturday I stayed in, partly because I had a lot of things to take care of and homework to do but also because the outside world just looked miserable and gloomy. I've been freezing in my own room, usually wearing sweatpants and a hoodie of some kind, just hoping that one of these days the radiators will be turned on and I can finally pump heat into my room. They say that in this region of France, it's not often very sunny, but that's ok since the people here have the sun in their hearts. Well isn't that just dandy. Let's hope I can scrounge up some sun in my heart as well... (actually, I do find that saying rather sweet).
It drives me crazy that the weather just so abruptly turned horrible. October reared it's ugly head and that was that. No gradual sinking progression into the cold. Just instantaneous. The last weekend of September was spectacular, not just because of what I did, but also because of the weather. Along with hanging out at Perrine's, Sabrina and I went and explored a part of Lille, mainly the Citadel area and the free zoo. Yes, Lille has a free zoo. It's not much and we covered it in about an hour or so but we did see some funny looking animals (some I swear I've never seen before) as well as some of my Indian buddies, mainly in the form of peacocks.
Sabrina's failed attempt to get near a duck on the loose.
The weekend before that one (yeah, I know, try to keep up), was the Journées du Patrimoine. Basically, it was a weekend dedicated to events and museums being completely free, in Lille and elsewhere in France! Well, some of them required a reservation, but regardless I was able to go to the Musée de Beaux Arts, some strange half-ass museum on music and the Palace Rameau although it contained some weird form of modern art, was actually quite interesting. Andrea, a girl from Uruguay who lives in Triolo, took this picture on my camera. I'm not quite sure why I like it so much, but whatever:
Yesterday involved a little excursion out to Arras. I'm not sure how I ended up going; I was invited by this adorable German girl, Anna-Sophie, that I only met about a week ago, and decided to tag along. It was definitely nice to go out and see a different part of the region, something that isn't Lille and isn't as big or as confusing. Arras was small and although there wasn't terribly much to see, it was quite pleasant to walk around and see the influence on the art and architecture (there I go again on art and architecture...). I went with 2 German girls, 3 Dutch girls and an Italian. Quite the blend of cultures and languages.
If there's one thing I've noticed, it's that every one of the exchange students knows English. Every single freaking one of them. And it drives me up the wall. Maybe it's best that they know so that when there's something that an Anglophone doesn't know how to say, it can be said in English. But still. It drives me crazy. Actually, it just makes me jealous. Although I do know Hindi and Punjabi, I'm still jealous. I have yet to meet an Indian person here. I'm craving to just so that for once, I would be able to speak to someone without anyone knowing what the hell I'm saying. I've noticed that coming from an English speaking country can sometimes automatically mean you're going to be lumped up with all the others... and that your French is most likely shit. It just kind of makes me wish I were German or something. Or at least wish that I still retained my Dutch.
So... now that I'm done with my mini "rant" on being American/British/whatever, let me continue with Arras. It was nice to walk around, even taking a tour into Les Boves, these very dark celler type things and underground passageways where many people hid during WWI.
Arrras has the definite feel of being damaged during the wars. We went past this Cathedral that definitely retained some scars.
We went up to the top of the Hotel de Ville where it was positively freezing! I said to Teresa, one of the other German girls, while taking a picture that, she was indeed quite warm. These pictures are the result:
I still haven't caught up with everything. Still haven't described my language escapades. Still haven't talked about much of anything. I seem to end every post like this, but whatever. It's the truth. But keep reading! Leave me love!