So, this last week and a half has been an absolute whirlwind – hence why I’m uploading my blog post 3 days late! On Tuesday night last week my uncle came to Grenoble on business and took me out for dinner. We had a cracking meal with lots of Belgian beer, including a Leffe tasting tray of 4 different beers – it was so nice and I felt so cultured (probably would’ve looked more cultured if I had been drinking wine..). It was such a great night and so nice to finally see some of my family! Then after that I was preparing for Naomi’s arrival on Thursday and you would not believe how excited I was, I was telling everyone about it, at any given opportunity. I haven’t seen Naomi since we finished second year in Southampton in May so the build-up to this was ginooormous. Sitting through lectures before her arrival was painful – especially French-English translation because the teacher gets through about 2 sentences worth of translation in an hour long lesson – or actually a 45-minute lesson when he lets his class before overrun by 15 minutes? Gah. I also had to do a class presentation that day for my ‘Problèmes Sociax’ module. My group spoke about migrations and I had the classy part – talking about national dishes and how ours is curry, so I got to blab on about curry for a while (for reference – chicken tikka masala is quite literally called ‘poulet tikka massala’ in French haha).
Naomi arrived in the evening and after hugging and screaming for ages in Grenoble train station we went home and cooked fajitas – the first time I’ve cooked them since being here and o.m.g. We then went out and met our French friends at a bar called Le Tord Boyaux (yes it quite literally means ‘twisted guts’..?) and oh my goodness, it was amazing there – they have barrels of flavoured wine behind the bar, and there are about 30 flavours. You order whatever flavour you want, and they fill up a bottle for you from the barrel tap; would definitely recommend. We did a bar crawl that night and met all of our other friends along the way and it was such a fun night, but a night which made it considerably hard to get up the next morning..
Friday afternoon we headed to Saint Hilaire du Touvet for a lovely weekend in a chalet in the mountains – 14 of us, an indoor pool, an endless stream of wine and a hike with the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen; what more could you want? The backdrop was amazing – we travelled up precariously windy mountain roads for 45 minutes on a big coach and voilà we were there. Upon our return to Grenoble Naomi and I had a taco for dinner, of course, and I mean it when I say that tacos fix everything – feeling sad/hungover/tired? Have a taco. Also, I have a feeling the altitude of Saint Hilaire affected me as when we got back to Grenoble I had a killer nosebleed the next day and I’ve never had one before. Blood everywhere in my bathroom. So when I went to my lectures I quite literally had metres worth of toilet roll in my bag, just incase. Oh then later on I dropped my favourite eyeshadow palette and absolutely smashed it to smithereens.. Just typical things that happen every day in my life.
A lot of shopping was done on Monday (I mean why do Pimkie and Pull + Bear make their clothes SO nice?) and even more yummy food absolutely demolished. Naomi and I can literally eat for days. On Tuesday we had a nice chilled day, which was disturbed by the absolutely cracking storm that came over us in the evening. It was raining pretty much all day but in the evening it was quite literally like someone was emptying the ocean into Grenoble. I have never ever seen lightning like it and it literally felt like the thunder was shaking my building. It was so amazing to watch but equally quite terrifying as it was right over us for a couple of hours – so if you want to see a good storm, come to the Alps!
Tuesday night we went out and met our French friends again – yayyy it feels so good to have such nice French friends. We had spent ages doing Halloween makeup only to find that the Halloween event was absolutely shoddy and a no-go. So for the night, we rocked our Halloween makeup in Le Tord Boyaux (yes we ended up there again) – where the barman gave us a free bottle of mango wine yaaaasss, and where I tried ‘un shooter caramel’ and would definitely recommend. A caramel vodka shot, yum. After that we moved onto another bar which was actually too full to move in really but so fun, however when classic French songs come on everyone starts jumping around and shoving in to you and you stand there trying to mime the words so no one knows you’re English, but I’m not sure it works. Also wearing Halloween makeup when absolutely no one else is means that you attract a lot of attention (French boys’ staring taken up another notch). A French guy also stroked Naomi’s face..
Bae-omi and I finished our fabulous week together by going up to the Bastille here in Grenoble, we used the ‘télépherique’ (vernacular or ‘bubbles’ if you’re me) to get there and back which was amazing, but sadly the rain and clouds somewhat stole a lot of the view. However, Grenoble old town was visible from the top of the Bastille still and we got some really good photos with the clouds looking all funky. I was super upset to say goodbye to Naomi but I’m going back to England tomorrow for a week so at least I now have that to look forward to – I cannot WAIT to see my dog, my super fabulous family, the newly finished building work/extension in our house, and some of my best friendsies. The painfully early 7.20am train from Grenoble to Lyon airport will be SO worth it.
I have really felt this past week and a half that my French is improving, and I am enjoying speaking it so much, picking up young peoples’ slang and language is definitely proving to be the biggest struggle so far though – ça me fait chier (ooh check me out).