4-Month Vacation

9.03.2009

As the end of my second week approaches, I can't believe that I'm actually here for school. Sure this week has been filled with meetings and language "intensive" classes (although the "intensive" part is arguable), but everyday, I walk by the river and Renaissance buildings and forget that I'm here to take classes and be responsible. So far, it's been a two-week vacation with great people. I'm sure I won't have this same attitude in a couple of months when I will curse finals and lectures taught in French, but so far so good :-)

This past week marked Week 1 of our 2-week intensive language program. Like I said, these classes are anything but intensive. I'm still trying to give the program the benefit of the doubt, hoping that classes will pick up by next week. However, so far our 2-hour classes consist of basic words such as: window, light, bed, apartment, rent, washing machine, etc. And when you have multiple 2-hour classes a day, sometimes adding up to 6 hours of kindergarten-level French, it can get a bit frustrating. First of all, how do they expect us to understand global studies lectures or the history of France lectures, taught in French, by relearning basic nouns that around the house.

We're paying some big bucks for this program; I'm not sure if it's a lot to ask for to expect sufficient classes to properly equip us for our coming university courses. Is it? I'm simply keeping my fingers crossed that next week will be slightly more challenging and worth while.

Anyway, in between these classes, I've been playing a lot- eating, going out, hanging out with new friends, seeing new places, going to picnics, etc. As I've mentioned before, I'm in a dorm-like residence for three weeks and the only meal they provide us with is breakfast. Therefore, we basically go out to eat for lunch and dinner. It's getting pretty expensive but the positive side of things is the fact that I can try all these wonderful restaurants and eat amazing food. And I'm doing it around very good company :D Here are some pictures of all the playing we get to do!

(In Zara, being very French...we bought those coats by the way- how could we not?)

(Jessica E., Cyan, Me & Jessica H. before the boat tour along the Saone river)

(Jess & me on the boat)

(Me & Emily walking on the cobblestone streets of Vieux Lyon)

(Les femmes!- The Ladies)

OK, so I know I've said this before but I'm going to say it again and again and again. Lyon has AMAZING food. I can't afford to eat it but every once in awhile, it's necessary to splurge. Most of the restaurants give only 3-course meals. For the most part, I've avoided these by going to cafes and/or panini stands. They're cheaper and fulfilling. BUT how can I be in Lyon and NOT try their food...the food that has given them the well-deserved title of "Gastronomic Capital of France"? Thus, last night, after helping my friend move into her apartment in Vieux Lyon, we decided to reward ourselves for climbing 5 flights of stairs with a delicious Lyonnaise meal.

(The first course was une salade lyonnaise: lettuce, ham, poached egg, vinaigrette and toasted baguette pieces)

(Second part was called Quenelle which is a Lyonnaise delicacy. It has the consistency of gnocchi and polenta. Came with amazing scalloped potatoes and cooked carrots...mmmm!)
(The 3rd plate, the dessert, was gone too quickly so I didn't get a picture of it. But I ordered a Tarte Praline. It was pink but it tasted like pecan pie. My dad would be proud!)

So there you have it...more eating, hanging out and sightseeing for Week 2. I'll be doing a lot more exploring once I get my metro card. It's a bit pricy (50 euros) but it's unlimited for the entire month. I just have to bring myself to stand in the 45-minute line. Boo!

An update on the apartment: I cannot move into my apartment until September 23rd which is frustrating since we're kicked out of this awful residence on September 11th. I've already lived out of my suitcases for 2 weeks so I can't imagine doing it for 2 more. But crashing on people's couches for 2 weeks will provide good photo ops and a lot to blog about! I guess that's the silver lining, right?! :-/

I hope all of you enjoyed the last bit of summer and are having fun in classes or at work. I'm constantly thinking about all of you here. Miss you!

bisou, bisou <3 [kisses]

4 comments :

Susan said...

Bummer on the course. Have you talked to someone about that? I can't believe they charge thousands of collars for a 2 week elementary course. The course being only 2 weeks, I don't see how tougher second half can prepare you for lectures in French. Are there different diffuculty levels? Do the other students feel the same?

I think it's worth mentioning to the program director so future students may be better informed to the type of course this is. You believed it to be something other than what it is. Others may feel the same, equally disappointed upon starting the course.

I love and miss you.

Mom

Susan said...

forgot to say, it's great you're having so much fun though!!!!!

Tanya Nadine said...

I love you Lys and miss you! I am so glad you are having a good time. That's too bad about the "intense" French courses. Hopefully it will get better. Somehow I think you will manage the class taught in French though! You'll pick it up! :)

VINO ON A VOYAGE said...

LOL...who cares about the school? The FOOD looks SOOO GOOD! hahahah JK JK...

I'm so glad you're having a blast out there. Everytime I read your blogs, I remember when we were in our planning days! I miss you Lys!