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Julia’s blog

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Thu
9
Nov '06

Busy Two Weeks

Okay so finally another post! It’s been a bit daunting now to catch up on activities for the last little while because it’s been a little while.

So I think I left off after I had dinner with my french ‘buddies’. So that Thursday was a halloween clubbing type event hosted by one of the student associations. All of the British people and me who were going thought you would have to dress up a bit at least because you know at home if you go to a Halloween party you have to do something. So me and Frances took on a cat theme (difficult with little supplied to find a costume!), and some of the others went pirate theme. And when we got there (which was possible by bike, pretty cool to take your bike to a club hehe) we found out no one else was dressed up! The French really don’t go for Halloween. They have a holiday commonly referred to by younger people as ‘dead day’. And it’s a serious holiday for them, it’s a day to remember your dead relatives and visit them at the cemetary. So anyway, that was a little embarrasing but we had fun anyway. The less fun part was having to get up for my 8am class when I got home at 4.

Friday, Jonathan my French roomate, was having a dinner party with a group of his friends, so he invited us to have dinner as well. There was about 10 of us. And we had raclette! This is a special sort of food they eat here that’s a bit like fondue. You have a special machine that melts cheese and then you put it on meat and potatoes. It was pretty tasty! And all of his friends were really nice. After dinner we played cards, and there’s really a lot of games that are universal!

Then finally got some sleep on Saturday and met up with Claire to do a bit of shopping. Didn’t find anything though! Went to the market on Sunday it’s really to do that! And then I had a cold, and this was the worlds worst cold, no matter how much sleep I had I always felt exactly the same everyday. So I’m still having it a bit so it lasted mainly all last week. And I had lots of school work etc so it was kind of a sucky week. Then on Friday night I left for Paris with three other people from my program. It was super fun! On Saturday we went to the Louvre, Notre Dame, Cluny Museum, Arc de Triomphe, and some shopping, plus dinner on Champs Elysees! Then on Sunday Eiffel Tower, this special district called Montmarte, and leisurely stroll on Champs Elysees. Seriously the shopping is crazy, when we went on Saturday to this area that’s normal shopping not crazy expensive Louis Vutton style, it was so busy! Think of going Christmas Shopping on Dec 23rd and multiply that by about 10 and you have their regular shopping environment! Then on the way home the train hit a wild boar and we got delayed for 1.5 hours, and yes this was the weirdest thing ever! Then I had lots of work to do this week including a french test which did not go well. And now tonight I’m off to Rome!! Yes so this is a really exciting week for me Paris and Rome! Where should I go next week lol.

Here’s some pics!

Frances and I for Halloween Party
Frances and I for Halloween Party

Raclette Party!
Raclette Party!

Raclette Party Other Pic - you can see on the table all the food!
Raclette Party Other Pic – you can see on the table all the food!

Me infront of Louvre - ps I look really horrible in all the Paris photos because of my cold
Me infront of Louvre – ps I look really horrible in all the Paris photos because of my cold

Inside the Louvre
Inside the Louvre

Me infront of NotreDame
Me infront of NotreDame

L-R: Lindsay, Margot, Me, Marie
L-R: Lindsay, Margot, Me, Marie

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Us eating breakfast outside at a French cafe!
Us eating breakfast outside at a French cafe!

sign
sign

Me and the Tower!
Me and the Tower!

Us in front of tower!
Us in front of tower!

Fri
3
Nov '06

It’s Been Awhile

Okay I haven’t been very good about posting, the last 1.5 week has been quite busy. And today I’m off to Paris for the weekend, so I will try to do an update again early next week!

Tue
24
Oct '06

Halfway…Gulp!

Yes well I’ve reached halfway now. It’s really crazy how fast time goes. I really do wish on one hand that I could stay on for another semester, especially because I’m pretty sure I’d be really really good at french with an extra 4 months and that’s really exciting for me because it’s been like a thing practically my whole life and it’s nice to actually make progress and see the potential for fluency. I’m really worried what will happen when I come come in December and if I will just never get anywhere with it. Anyway, back to original topic, coming back. I have it kind of in my mind pretty firm that I want to graduate this spring, it’s my 5th year, and if I stay for another semester it doesn’t line up with SFU’s so I couldn’t attend summer classes and then I would have to finish again next December so it would be a whole nother year. Plus there is the expense, it’s damn expensive here! And another 4 months would be ummm tight lets just say. But then I kind of wonder what I’m in such a rush to graduate for (although some might argue 5 years isn’t really a rush…), and actually I’m not in a rush exactly but there comes a time for everything you know. But anyway, what I’m trying to say is working isn’t really a ton to look forward to, because first I’m going to have to find a job, and then after I’ll work probably 50 hours a week have no life and enjoy my 2 weeks vacation every year (as an aside, they get 4 weeks here, even in your first year!). I guess inconclusion for this thought, I have a lot of regrets that this dynamic and flexible time in life is coming to an end, and I really hope I won’t regret not staying for the 2 semesters here for the sake of graduating 2 semesters early.

I had a good rest of the weekend. On Sunday I went to this picnic BBQ with a group of international students (although most of them are in the french program, so we spoke French for most of the afternoon which is great practice for me!). It was about a 15 min bus ride from town, and it was seriously a really gorgeous day felt like summer! It was right by a small lake and a mountain. Someone had this little charcol grill thing and so it was great. One of the Mexican guys made us tortillas too! And then in the evening someone was having a crepe party so I went round for that and there was just tons and tons of crepes will all different toppings – super yummy!

I really notice things are so civilized here. I mean on the weekend you can go for bike trips (see below post!), and picnics and it’s so relaxing and fun. I really hardly ever do school work on the weekends, and this is like totally weird because I always have to do school work on the weekends at home. But actually speaking of school work, this is starting to be a problem, because I seriously have to get working right now I really have stuff to do!!! It’s getting urgent. I think it’s been a good 4-5 days I haven’t worked (except for French because I do try to work on my french everyday). And then I think it’s much better mental health here because the work load is much less and the pressure is much less, and the expectations are much less and you don’t have to be like crap I have to work day and night to keep up. But then I’m wondering, if really the system we have is so bad because without it would I really ever be productive and would I ever actually do any work? So I’m not sure….

So on Monday I had my French ‘buddies’ round for dinner. Last week when I went to that ALOHA event and got paired up with two French people. They’re really great and it was a super fun evening (all in French! Yikes!).

So here’s some pics!

The mountain and trees right in the park!
The mountain and trees right in the park!

Another mountain shot
Another mountain shot

Mountain and lake - we were sitting right there!
Mountain and lake – we were sitting right there!

the lake!
the lake!

making tortillas
making tortillas

the grill in action
the grill in action

L-R: Frances (roomate), Marion, Jonathon (roomate), Roger, Nico
L-R: Frances (roomate), Marion, Jonathon (roomate), Roger, Nico

Me in the pic!
Me in the pic!

Sat
21
Oct '06

The Biker Gang Rides

Well it’s been another busy week so far. My going out trend got shattered when I couldn’t get tickets to a party on Thursday. It’s nuts here people are so involved, a student association was having a basically clubbing event (however drinks are all included) for $15cnd, and they sold 650 tickets in a day and a half!!! I mean imagine trying to even sell 50 ticekts in Canada.

Wine tasting was super fun. The eating and drinking club had hired this professional guy to come and give us a talk and lead the thing and so we got to learn all about the different taste areas in your mouth and how the whole thing works. We tried 4 different wines and the best part was 4 different foods (3 cheeses and a sausage!) which was really great because all though this is the land of cheese, it’s awfully hard to know what to buy!

I had a project this week to research and learn about the conflict in Sudan. Everyone in the class had a group who were assigned one of the current world conflicts – and then we had presentations on them all. It was very englightening but also very depressing.

Most of the students who live near me have now all bought a bike, so today we decided to take a little biking trip. They have a very nice paved path next to the river and after we cycled for about 45 min or so we reached a ‘castle’ (back in the day!), some kings summer home or something back then. It was pretty cool with a garden thing. Anyway, here are some pics, and also some of the bike although no action shots!

Miles and I admiring my bike!
Miles and I admiring my bike!

The bike in all it's 80's glory!
The bike in all it's 80's glory!

The river we cycled next to and 2 of the girls
The river we cycled next to and 2 of the girls

a stream
a stream

me in front of the castle
me in front of the castle

the castle and group walking through gates
the castle and group walking through gates

Me hugging cone tree
Me hugging cone tree

Me hugging (or stealing??) small tree
Me hugging (or stealing??) small tree

Sonia and I looking in the window
Sonia and I looking in the window

Looking towards the castle from the gardens
Looking towards the castle from the gardens

Mon
16
Oct '06

Crepes and a Bike in One Week!

Wow can’t believe it’s already been another week. I’m telling you, time goes so fast it’s crazy. I think I have tons of stuff to blog about, but honestly I forget so much because there’s always so much going on it’s hard to keep track. I should blog more often….

Anyway, two really great things were I bought a bike and I made crepes. I had to go to this dodgy second hand shop which was seriously right out of a movie, and found the bike of my dreams, hehe. I gotta get a pic up of it. It’s so 80′s style-in. But here everyone has bikes and they’re all pretty much 80′s style-in. I seriously love the bike though, no joke. It’s so awesome. It takes so little time and effort to go anywhere now, and the main feature is it’s much safer (in terms of scary people, no in terms of crashing!). And drunken bike riding is it’s own little situation haha.

And then I made crepes which was terribly exciting. There’s super yummy! I’ll make some for everyone when I get home. Hopefully I’ll have perfected by then.

I had my french presentation test thing this week. Oh so fun. I’ll get the mark this week – please let it be a pass!

Tonight ALOHA was having a ‘find a french buddy’ soiree. It was pretty cool. The French students got to pick from the list of international students who were going a nationality they wanted, so I ended up with two people who are really excited about Canada so that was really nice! They were super cool!

Well I got school work to do – that’s a problem.

Oh yes, I remembered something else. I went to see “Little Miss Sunshine” at the theatre. It was in English with French subtitles which is actually quite useful for me. The movie was really good – I recommend it!

Okay well I guess that’s all for now!