A Travellerspoint blog

It's been over 2 weeks

And I can't even keep track.

17 °C

I am sitting in my tiny tiny room in my residence hall, sincerely enjoying the fact that I now have officially obtained internet access. Pity I have to pay for it, but what can you do. This is the real world, none of that being-babied-by-Hendrix-shit. Although the university does baby us some because we are ISEP students.

Anyways, I have a lot to say and I'm not really sure where to begin. So I guess I'll talk about the basics and what life is sort of like. And I promise to update more often.

I live in this ResHall named Triolo. And to me, it is huge. For the first week or so, I couldn't even find my way around. And now, even though I can, there are still some parts of it that I haven't even been to. It's pretty much a giant maze of hallways, corridors and stairwells, none of which really seem to be connected in any kind of cohesive way. What's cute about it is that each wing/section is named after a famous French author/poet/philosopher. For instance, I live in Rimbaud, when actually I wanted to live in Stendhal. Just... so I could say I live in Stendhal. Also, I live in a stairwell. I know that sounds really weird. I'll put up a picture of it later. You'll see. It's the ultimate drunktrap. Fuck the Martin/Hardin one, this shit's the real deal. Like I said, you'll see.

I don't have a roommate which is kind of weird. Being an only child, I was always used to not having a roommate and having my own space. But for the last 2 years, I've gotten so used to having one, that at first this was a little weird. But I'm starting to like it again. I also have my own bathroom/shower/sink which is probably the tiniest little thing I've ever seen. I don't really have much room to move around since the shower area overtakes the sink area which over takes the toilet area which overtakes the shower area. You know what I mean?

There are multiple kitchens everywhere and every night I always end up cooking somewhere different. It's kind of nice because you get to meet new people when you cook, some of them you actually want to talk to and some of them not so much. Each person also has a section of minifridge with a lock on it. So no worries about anyone stealing my food. We all know what a concern that was. But I've gotten used to the idea of cooking and am, for once in my life, starting to really enjoy it. Before, I always saw it as a chore. But now that I know that I have to cook, not only to stop myself from starving but to save money, I've started to like it. Each day I seem to discover some new type of food at Auchan (this wonderful hypermarket about a 10 min walk away) and seem to get more and more creative with what I cook. It's hard, since there are no microwaves or ovens, but we make do. Recently, my newest creation has been pasta with fried mushrooms, spinich, tomotoes and goat cheese.

I don't think you understand. I love goat cheese.

But not as much as I fucking love pain au chocolats. For those of you who don't know, I am obsessed with these things. They are France's greatest creation. I mean, I'm eating one right now.

These past 2.5 weeks have been rather interesting. In the beginning, I took a placement exam and got placed right in the middle. I'm not complaining since after Grenoble, they've actually put me in the course that I was supposed to be taking. Sometimes it's easy. And sometimes it's really not. Probably a good sign that I'm in the right course. The first week involved us going to our intensive language course everyday from 9-1, just like I did in Florence. But oddly enough, time would fly by so quickly. 4 hours would go, just like that. And I can't believe how much more comfortable I am with French this time around than I was that first time. Sure, my French still sucks ass, especially when I try to talk to the mass of Germans who speak incredibly damn fucking good French.

I'm amazed that almost everyday, I've met someone new. No joke. Every single day there has been someone that I've met in a kitchen, at the supermarket, in class, in Lille. And I love it. There is so much out there, so many people to meet and get to know. So when I meet someone that I don't hit it off with, it's ok. There's always someone else.

This past week involved me going to courses and attempting to notify professors that I am an exchange student. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes not. I can't seem to figure out which books I need or what homework I'm supposed to be doing. It's rather odd. So I'm giving myself this week to try and figure out which classes I want to take, what my schedule will look like and what I need to do and buy. I'll keep you guys updated. For those of you who are reading, that is...

Ok, time for me to peace out. I have class tomorrow morning and I need to prepare breakfast, make myself a pack lunch and walk almost 20 minutes to my uni. Yeah, that's right. I walk 20 minutes to school.

Posted by ReenaB 03:01 Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Okay.

Peace out.

sunny 27 °C

There are times when a certain act will terrify you. That feeling that your life is in danger, that something is a threat to you as the adrenaline kicks in and you can either fight or run. You see the person before you pierce his gaze into you and the only thing known is that he does not have good intentions. And sometimes, you don't always realize how terrifying it really is until after it's all over.

I hate that feeling. Consequentially, I have set up some rules for myself that I plan to follow.

1) Don't be a dumb bimbo.
As in, don't go to Paris and tell someone every single detail about yourself only for that person to complain about how expensive taxis are, how we should share one, invite you to a party but secretly sell you out to the Albanians running a brothel, in which your father then has to come save your ass within the next 36 hours and kill numerous people in the process. Especially since my father has already told me that he cannot come save my ass since he does not possess such a set of skills. Well damn (If you have not seen the movie Taken, all of that would have made no sense).

2) Don't be an ass.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. Although I don't really consider myself to be much of an ass, it's still a good rule to follow.

3) Be the lion in the jungle.
I don't really know what I mean by this one but it sounds really cool. Or maybe not.

I have other goals and rules as well, but they're a bit preliminary at the moment.
For all the times I've traveled or gone abroad, I've never been for this long. Except when I actually lived abroad. So... well... kay bye.

Posted by ReenaB 11:10 Tagged preparation Comments (1)

I Don't Know Anything About My Dorm

Ok, I know somethings...

sunny 14 °C

I did some more hunting around and found a website listing the basic services offered in the residence hall (Triolo) that I'll be in. Sadly enough, the information listed looked a bit sketch, not to mention that it hasn't been updated since 2005. Sometimes, I go through these phases in which I keep thinking that 1999 was only 3 years ago. And then realize that it was indeed 10. So clearly 2005 was also a long time ago. Anyways, already I know that whatever furnishings are listed on the website are most likely old/missing/broken by former rowdy exchange students.

In other news:

I have commenced packing. Current items in the suitcase include:

5 types of pants
3 sweaters
2 hoodies
3 scarves
2 hats
1 blanket and set of linens
1 frying pan
2 bars of soap
1 spatula
1 knife
2 pairs of thermal underwear

As you can tell, it could get a bit cold. And since I'm not taking a whole lot of clothes and refuse to take more than one suitcase and one carry-on, I'm a bit limited. I figured stuffing my entire winter wardrobe into my professional looking suitcase was a bit much.

Things left to do include:

Book my TGV ticket
Pick some preliminary courses so I don't feel totally fucked on the one and only day we have to register
Print out maps
Contact the actual university

The last one might be important. Not sure.

Posted by ReenaB 09:55 Tagged packing Comments (1)

T Minus 14 Days

I'm getting nervous.

sunny 28 °C

I've made the decision to keep a blog while I spend my semester in Lille. I've missed the act of posting blogs, back when xanga was still really cool. So here goes.

My list of things to do just keeps increasing. And it's making me nervous since I only have 14 days left before my bags should be packed, passport in tow, ready to board that plane to Paris. I'm trying to find that balance between unplanned, spontaneous, impulsive travel and some form of organized structure. Hence the mild amounts of research I'm doing before I depart.

I'm thankful to be a British citizen. It makes traveling to Europe much easier. No need for a visa or anything like that. I can come and go as I please. Though the idea of having a translated birth certificate is a bit of a concern.

Overall, I am terribly excited. Having just come back from Florence, I'm still in the mood to travel and wander around, perhaps aimlessly, discovering random things just by accident.

Posted by ReenaB 09:50 Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 14 of 14) « Page 1 2 [3]