Saturday, 12 September 2009

J'arrive en Grenoble

Well there wasn't a long wait between these posts as i am still sat in the same mcdonalds as earlier. my internet isnt set up yet so i am basically living here at the minute. i havve somehow managed to make one small coke lst 2 hours so thats quite impressive i feel. so the journey here was quite eventful...

went to metros wednesday night.... dumb idea. had the frustrating experience of being sober in the worlds cheapest club, whilst a lot of people bought drinks for me to try and force me to get drunk, but managed it. drove home and then couldnt sleep in the hours before waking. one cold shower and half a bowl of shreddies later and i was 5 minuets behind schedule.... standard, but not too bad. halfway through the drive to cardiff station, i noticed that we had left the car boot wide open. stopped the car to find my sleeping bag no longer in my boot. i don't know how negative i an be about the situation because my laptop and all my bags were also in there so out of everything that could have fallen out, that was probably the best thing. so, onwards and upwards to cardiff station.... thats when i realise that i had no packed the tickets. quite rightly, the mother was not in the best mood by this point, and i got onto the train to face the prospect of having to pay for more tickets and a 2 hour train to london to dwell on quite how spasticated i had become, i was probably at the lowest point of my life. it was not a fun first leg of the journey and suicide did cross my mind

before this blog descends into complete gloom, i have to say things improved. i victoriously tricked the train driver into thinking i was asleep so he didnt askk for my ticket (i see a big flaw in the system) and i came to the conclusion that this year in france was a perfect opportunity to get my life together. blagging my way through the ticket barrier at paddington and almost gettin crushed on the hecti underground at 7.30AM?!!? i got to the eurostar place and through the magic of my booking code, managed to get myself some new tickets to grenoble. highlights of this very boring trip include: laughing at the americans trying to put their card into the coin slot of the ticket machine. i mean, its not even remotely feasible, what the hell were they thinking

so yeah, not a lot to report on. arriving in grenoble i was met by gareth, a guy in my french class at uni whose only knowledge of me was coming in on a thursday post cavern with a massive hangover and then throwing up in the toilets after the lecture had finished. luckily, we got on well, and he was extremely helpful with everything. really, really invaluable as a friend so thank you gareth is you read this. got the tram back, straight to the supermarche to get some bier, discovered my accomodation whcih is like a mix between auschwitz and moberly. it has a bed and a matress, but no fridge and no toilet seat. these issues are going to cause problems in the future, especially the lack of refridgeration but tbh i am happy with it. havent actually paid for it yet and can't until monday so i can't complain as its free at the moment

that night i met some of gareths friends, all of them very cool, all of them much better at french than me. in fact the only persn annywhere near my level is gareth himself. an example of my french.... i have so far met 2 people on my floor. one is domanique, a french guy who is only a little better at english than i am at french. we communicated generally through clicks taps and pointing. the other person was when i knocked on a door left ajar after hearing 'friends' from there and dciding i might meet an anglophile. the voice called back attendrez!' or some variation of it. i do actually know that this means 'wait' but after the long journey i heard it as 'entrez!' which means i did the exact opposite to what she wanted me to do. luckily she managed to get her naked body out of the way before i forced mysel into her room and was very pleasant and understanding of me. she even gave me a present! lovely girl, but i havent met her since and i think there might be a reason why her door is no longer ajar. as a nice first night of a few beers and gettin to know a few people. so far so good! not so good that evening as my lack of sleeping bag, leaving all my upper body clothes in gareths room and not being able to close my window meant i could barely sleep due to the cold. however many pairs of socks i put on my feet, my nipples could still cut glass. but sleep was needed and i couldnt move before mid day. woke up to a beautiful day to find out grenoble really is beautiful. very picteresque, and very, very hot at this time of year. apparently 6 weeks until it starts gettin cold so might get all black in that time

right ive been in mcdonalds for about 3 hours now and i am well bored so gona finish tommorow writing about my first 2 nights out in grenoble and hopefully writing this in future wont be as much of a chore. although it is addictive so probably will write here whenever i cba with doing french. au revoir!

Quoi?!?! Pourquoi!

Right well figured some people might be interested in hearing how I am gettin on. If not then i guess it will be funny to read this back in the future anyway. So yeah, for those who don't know, i am living and studying in grenoble in the south of france this year as part of my degree. Grenoble is a medium sized city which has the backdrop of the french alps and is a very beautiful place, i get free tuition fees and a £2k+ grant from the EU to do it. Sounds like a good year right? Whats the catch, i hear you asking? Well, there are a few...

1. in france, people speak french. almost exclusively. my french is very bad at best. i learnt it for 5 years at gcse level with no intention of ever needing to use it, and then decided to do this ERASMUS program to live in sweden. something in my little head then made me think it would be a fun idea to learn a language when i was in europe, so french was the obvious choice. i picked grenoble because of the skiing option and because normandy sucks.
2. thats where the next catch is. i went skiing in december and got a bit cocky so managed to tear my cruciate ligament. due to the nhs being flawless it is still torn, and surgery won't happen until december at the earliest. so whilst living in basically the skiing capital of the world, i will not be able to ski. or play any other sport which uses the knee the turn, and as you sportsfans know, this is most sports. this upsets me quite a bit. also the knee surgery will probably interupt the yearr a bit as its done in britain and there is a 2 month recovery, but i guess i will limp across that bridge when i come to it
3. did i mention that not only do they speak french in everyday life, but in lectures aswel!? i.e. i will be learning about degree level economics en francais. i am not overly keen on economics so this is a bit of an issue
4. i know no one else in the country.

i am actually in france right now, this is my second full day here, but before i wen my feelings on the matter went from being indifferent, to being terified and not wanting to go, before screaming fuck it and how bad can it be.... tune in next time to find out. safe