One week anniversary


Bonjour, mes amis!

Saturday marked my one week anniversary here in Lyon. Isn't that wonderful? :-)

It's been a week filled with activities, explorations, emotions and LOTS of walking. There have been moments of frustration (particularly, waiting for the tram) and many moments of pure joy (crossing the bridge across the Rhone and thinking to myself, "I actually live here"). I think this rollercoaster of emotions is natural for someone abroad. I'm constantly meeting new people, finding a new place, not knowing where I'm going (that's actually normal for me), living in a temporary dorm-like residence that I detest, etc. But there are things that have remained a consistent & positive force throughout this last week:

1. the absolute, jaw-dropping beauty of Lyon
2. the fun & awesome people in the program
3. the support from friends & family back at home
4. did I already say the beauty of Lyon?

I know I've said this before and I'll be saying it plenty more in the future but Lyon is beautiful. On Sunday, I walked along the river as the sun brought a happy smile to everyone's face. Toddlers and children were running around with no pants, joyfully screaming in French. Couples and groups of friends sat in the shade playing guitar or talking about how awesome life is in Lyon. Boats lined the river serving cold drinks and ice cream. How much better can life be right now?

If you didn't know this already, Lyon (and the rest of Europe) doesn't do anything on Sundays. Almost every store and restaurant are closed. The streets are usually quiet. You don't hear many cars or motorcycles zooming through the itty-bitty winding streets of Lyon. And one wonders to themselves: where did everybody go? Well, they are along the river, at the park, having a BBQ in their backyard, basking in the sun near a fountain, walking through a park. They are doing things that Americans are too busy to do because we always have to go, go, go. Europeans have a mentality that in order to stay sane, there needs to be a time set out for everyone to get some R & R. I love it! I can very well get used to this.

(Lyonnais style)

(empty streets)

If I can sum up this past week in one word, I'd choose...patience. Patience was needed on multiple occasions when I couldn't find the restaurant or store that I had mapped out beforehand. Patience was needed when I went to get some pho (Vietnamese soup) and the restaurant said "No room" even though there were 3 empty tables. Patience was needed plenty of times when the tram ran once every half hour, making my "quick bite to eat" a 2-hour excursion. But nevertheless, my practiced patience has been rewarded by simple pleasures like picnics with friends on a beautiful day or stumbling across an absolutely delicious restaurant that is within walking distance from my new apartment. Life is beautiful...there's no denying that.

(at Le Parc de la Tete d'Or for a picnic of Brie cheese,
baguettes, Orangina, salami, apples and more!)

(A snapshot of the lake)

(Jessica and I trying to imitate the statue, without kissing of course)
Back at home, I loved going out to eat. Trying to figure out what ingredients made some plates so tasty, sitting & talking for hours on end about nonsense and getting dressed up for a slightly special evening of dining made me happy. There's no doubt that I still love to go out to eat at a nearby cafe or one of the many brasseries lining the streets of Lyon. However, I miss cooking. I can't wait to cook with fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats. With no refrigerators and breakfast being the only meal provided, I go out to eat twice a day...every day. And believe me, it gets expensive. BUT, and this is a very big "but," I still can't help but swoon over how romantic and charming these restaurants are.

(at a cafe in Croix-Rousse with Jamyn)

(your typical afternoon, every day of the week)

(at a cafe that specializes in yummy tartine in Bellecour- center of town)(and finally, Cafe MacDo...have you heard of it?)

With all this going out, I've had a real craving for ethnic foods. Lucky me, I'm living in the gastronomic capital aka FOOD. Therefore, I've been able to feed my cravings with some delicious stuff. Two nights ago, I got some delicious and much-needed pho. Yesterday, I got tacos at Mi Barrio. The Mexican food wasn't as great as California's Mexican food (obviously) but I decided that if the price is reasonable, I'm going to take the salsa classes that they offer there :-) Unfortunately, I have no pictures of my ethnic run of foods. But I'm sure it's not going to end anytime soon so photos soon to come.

I have to get ready now. Today is our first day of the intensive language program. We're taking a test and having a "very important meeting." We have a lot of those.

Until next time...(and I promise to blog more, rather than once-a-week)

ciao <3

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