bisou, bisou


I apologize for my lack of writing. It's been a very busy week...I would show you my planner to you prove to you that I speak the truth but I don't have a scanner. Sorry. You'll just have to believe me on this one.

This week marked Week Numero Deux for our intensive language program. I had class Tuesday, Wednesday, today and tomorrow. It's been long but at the fast at the same time--when I'm in class, the clock couldn't move slower. But then..BAM! it's Thursday and already almost 3 weeks since I arrived. I admit that classes were better this week and I understand who it was so simple the first week. Apparently these 2 weeks are meant to teach us on practical matters like searching for an apartment, getting around town, various things in the city. That is why many of the vocab words are very basic--it's just a way to get "acquainted." Second, when we told the teachers we'd really like to spend more time on grammar, they did the best they could do by altering the curriculum without getting in trouble to fit our requests. Today was actually pretty challenging and a great review. Tomorrow is going to be tough, however. We have 4 classes almost back-to-back. I have a full 8-hour day ahead of me. Il sera très dificile! (It'll be hard!)

[Jessica, Me & Brittany getting some R&R before our next class]

Anyway, I haven't had a lot of time to explore or visit any cool places but in Lyon, walking to school or to a café guarantees a beautiful view of some castle or church at least once. I walk out the door of school and in front of me is a river of light as the sun reflects of the rippling water. It's such a beautiful place. I've gone to Vieux Lyon (where my future home will be) plenty of times this week for errands, signing the lease (yay!), eating, what not. Here's what I see every time:
[Place St. Jean, I think. It's in Vieux Lyon]
The church at the top is La Basilica Fourviére. It's gorgeous and I posted pictures of the inside in an earlier post. I'll definitely miss this when I'm back in Irvine, passing by all the perfectly identical homes. Le sigh...

Very often I say to myself, "Man, I wish I could be here for a year." The language, the lifestyle, the beauty just fascinates me. If I wasn't a senior and I had done this my junior year, I would definitely, without a doubt, stay for a year. It has only been 2 1/2 weeks and my French has improved a hundred fold. Can you imagine how it would be if I was here for an entire year? I'm going to do the best I can--be proactive and all--so that I can be as close to fluent as possible in four months.

Since class usually gets out in the afternoon, I usually have a couple of hours to spare before heading back to the CISL. My nights have been taken up by the ever-chaotic process of choosing classes. I won't even get into the process because it will just give you a headache as it has done to me the last 3 nights. But anyway, back to what I was saying- after class, I've visited some more pockets of Lyon that just make me oh-so-happy :-D

[Yours truly in Croix-Rousse with a wonderful view of Lyon. Does anyone else feel completely awkward when taking pictures alone?]

[Popular boulangerie. Lines out the door. Bread. so. good]
[Being such a tourist and quite obnoxious I'm sure]

[Climbing a rock...I thought it would be easy because I saw 5-year-olds do it. I was wrong.]

Croix-Rousse is really cool. It has a very bohemian feel- it's very relaxed and unique. They have some cool farmer's/flea market least that's what I hear.

On Monday, we had a meeting at L'Institut des Etudes Politiques. L'IEP is actually a very prestigious and well-known university. French kids study hard for 2 years to test into it. The acceptance rate is something ridiculously small. As a foreign exchange student, I get to waltz in and take some classes here, take a little bit at Lyon 2 and call it a day. French students have one university, one track where all classes are pretty much predetermined. Needless to say, I'm very excited to take classes at L'IEP. In fact, I might take all of them here. After our meeting, I met a lot of international students. The students from other countries in Europe are a part of a program called "Erasmus." A couple of them invited my friends and I to hang with them along the river. We talked (in French) and had ourselves a grand 'ol time!

[Hanging out and me taking pictures, as usual.]

[Emily, Jessica, Alexa, Moi, Jessica, Brittany, Shay=The Americans]

It was a great, relaxing night. We met people from Italy, Quebec, Brazil, Russia, etc. It was fun to hear everyone's accents and the idea that we all speak very different languages but French is the only way to communicate is absolutely fascinating to me. Well, they speak a little French so I guess we're kind of cheating but still, it's great practice!

I have a strong feeling that this blog is going to quickly turn into a food blog. I find myself thinking about food ALL. THE. TIME. In between meals, I'm hungry and thinking of what I can get as a snack. When I'm eating a delicious something, I think of the next delicious thing I'm going to eat. Also, I've never had a sweet never ever. I've always been a savory kinda person but being here, my eyes have increasingly glazed over as I pass a patisserie or a boulangerie with meringues, maccarons, tarts, pies, oh I can go on for days! But the most fun is that I'm finding places that I can call mine...that I can see myself going to almost everyday and getting to know the people working there. So far, #1 on my list is L'Epicerie, the tartine place I talked about in my last post. It's just so, so good.

[Tartine: open-faced sandwich that I can make but I pay 4 euros for because I love the place and it tastes marvelous]

[A boulangerie in Vieux Lyon. Drooling right now.]

But as much as I'm loving the food here, I'm really missing Korean food. I miss rice. Kimchi. Seaweed. Tofu soup. Fish.

Dear Korean food, I miss you dearly. I love you very much and I often have dreams about you. I can't wait to see and smell you and EAT you in 4 months. Maybe my kind and loving mother will send me some nonperishable items. Maybe. But until then, I will have to settle with this Asian market that likes to stereotype by using Oriental writing and pictures of chopsticks. It's not bad but it's not home-cooked Korean food. Yours truly, Elysabeth.

[Me and Jen being Asian because, well, that's what they expect.]

Ok my tummy is grumbling and I have class in one hour...I wanted to take a nap but I guess blogging will have to do ;-)

I love and miss you all! bisou [kisses] <3

No comments :