Un grand bonjour à tout le monde !
I’m starting this blog post with my goal for the rest of my time in France: I need to learn more “familiar” language as at the moment I’m convinced I’m still speaking French as if I’m stuck in the 20th century, je suis comme une “mamie”. My French friends always teach me new phrases but I have a brain like a sieve. My most relevant new phrase though is ‘être pilier de bar’ – quite literally someone who is a physical pillar supporting the bar because they buy so many drinks. If that’s not the definition of an English Erasmus student, what is??
So that’s my goal. Also I’m realising more and more that I need to just get my blooming year abroad project out of the way ASAP as I’ve got lots of other deadlines along the way too that I need to concentrate on. So I’m hoping to get my year abroad project finished by the 13th April, as that’s the date I fly home to England for 12 days, and I’d rather not be working on it while I’m at home, as it’ll be my first time seeing my family since Christmas. Also, I’ll be on holiday in Cornwall for a week at easter so I need to make the most of bodyboarding, surfing, and eating pasties and fish and chips.. right?
Goals and sensible stuff (not really sensible stuff haha) aside, this week has been pretty standard. A few soirées as usual, including one at Bukana the other night – a bar we used to go to often in first semester – where we got given free jäger bombs (that I had to make for us), free shots, and I even walked away with two snazzy jägermeister frosted glass shot glasses, just because the barman was feeling generous.. One of my ongoing things whilst on my year abroad has been to collect cups from nights out – sounds weird I know, but all through first semester, at a lot of the outdoorsy and Erasmus events we went to, you pay a deposit (normally 1€) for the plastic cup you’ll then have all your drinks in for the night, and I would just not give the cups back, so I’ve been collecting them as sort of momentos. I’ve now got loads of funky patterned plastic half pint and pint glasses which will be perfect for my student house in final year, as I am the one with butter fingers who always smashes things.. I hope you enjoyed my thrilling cupdate (see what I did there?)
Other soirées (that makes them sound so classy) this week have included going to London Pub, Social Club, Tord Boyaux and Sun Valley. I have been spending a fair amount in bars, but I got my CAF through finaaaaally so I didn’t have to pay rent this month. Also, Erasmus is about having fun right? So until I completely run out of money I’m going to carry on doing whatever I can, within reason haha.
Anyway now to put my cup stories aside, I spent another day skiing on Friday, at Deux Alpes. It was a really good day even though I was only fueled on 4 hours sleep the night before, and I had a hilarious tumble, okay well actually two. At the glacier of Deux Alpes yesterday the wind was about 60km/h and so when Lily and I got off the cable car at the top, skiing was terrifying; we tried to stop next to eachother but the wind blew me further so I clipped her skis and landed in the splits – I mean it was like a typical comical position, neither of my skis came off so I lay in the snow in the splits sideways, with my groin muscles pulling like crazy hahaha. Then going down the last piste of the day I went over a mogul too fast and proper faceplanted in the snow before sliding down half the slope on my face, then I couldn’t get my ski back on for 10 minutes until a nice French lady who was boarding came and saved me (thank u) and if she hadn’t have done that, I would’ve missed the bus back to Grenoble..
Ooh JEN BOOKED TO COME TO GRENOBLE. This is something I am beyond excited about because we didn’t think she’d be able to come with writing her dissertation at the moment and what not, but I cannot wait – she’ll be here in under 2 weeks! I’ve already put in orders for a top-up on baked beans and peppermint tea bags, which appear to be unbeknown to France.
Ending this blog post on a slight low, I’m a realist and this blog is telling the ins and outs of my life abroad, so this past week I’ve just been pretty down in the dumps and really quite homesick. It’s been 10 weeks since I was last home and don’t get me wrong, Grenoble is like my second home and it’s a fantastic place to be, but I just really miss my family as I’m so close and involved with them at home, and I also miss my besties and the pure comfort of university life in Southampton. Having Dad visit, then Ellie visit, and knowing that Jen visits makes this all better, but nothing will ever beat a good few days in Wiltshire with all my loved ones. I’ve been stressing over my year abroad project these past couple of weeks, and also I work myself up because I feel bad for feeling homesick as it feels like I’m almost wishing my year abroad away. I assure you I am completely not doing that, because I wouldn’t change this experience for the world, it’s so character-building and Grenoble really is a lovely city to live in. But yeah, life isn’t all sunshine (and lollipops) and rainbows. What I do have to say though, is that this experience is a once in a lifetime type thing, a year abroad really is probably going to be my biggest achievement to date. Living in a foreign country for a year (well 9 months) is tough, but it really does build your confidence.
I can feel myself coming out of my rut now, and I just need to keep myself busy, make the most of this beautiful city, and plan lots of fun adventures. Going on a beautiful walk in the 20 degree sunshine yesterday really perked me up (pic below), Grenoble really is gorgeous. In terms of future plans, I’d still love to see the cities surrounding Grenoble – for example Annecy and Chambéry; Naomi and I are yet to plan our interrailing for June; and also during my last month in Grenoble (May) I’m hoping to explore Italy and visit a few cities and all my friends living there. Anyway, lots of excitement is in the wake, as they say, onwards and upwards!
I’m hoping to do a one-off different kind of blog post soon, which will be my tips for a year abroad, I hope they can be of use to someone.