Wow – my life is a whirlwind.

Going back to last week when I flew back to France (am I still going on about that??? – yes), something so funny happened that I weirdly forgot to mention in my last blog post. So I was sat amongst a hoard of French school students who had evidently just done a school exchange in Newport because more than half of them were wearing ‘I ❤ Newport’ jumpers hahaha.. this group of kids were also the ones who clapped when the plane landed on French tarmac; is it just me who finds people who clap when the plane lands SO annoying?? Sorry if you’re a clapper. Anyway back to the point, the funny thing that happened was that I was sat next to some of these French students, and one of them started laughing at something during the flight, and her ELASTIC BAND off her braces pinged off and landed ON ME. So we are talking about a proper saliva-soaked elastic here. She was apologising refusely and throwing “mademoiselle” here there and everywhere; she then had the cheek to tell me “Madame ne vous inquiètez pas, c’est propre” – effectively she was telling me not to worry because the elastic band was “clean” – CLEAN?? Do orthodontists sell CLEAN stained ORANGE elastic bands? I think not. So it was probably the victim of a curry. Anyway the girl was mortified, and as funny as it was, I was pretty grossed out, but I equally do remember the struggle of elastics from when I had my braces many moons ago.. yeah so we just moved on and pretended nothing happened.

Ok now that is out of the way.. when I got back to Grenoble on Wednesday evening last week I went straight for a taco, of course. Is there really any better way to welcome myself back to this fabulous city other than with a taco? After my taco I have to say that sleeping in my smaller-than-single bed was a shock after having spent time at home in my beautifully spacious double bed. Don’t cut a little bit off and make it smaller than a single, it’s just deceiving.

Last Thursday I had my last exam at the uni here – it was an Italian speaking, writing and reading exam. I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been, and it was a difficult exam but hey-ho when I walked out of the exam I was just sooo relieved. Thursday happened to be Ciara’s birthday too so we went out for her 21st in town, and I was SO set on going to a club event that night at a club called DOM that I ended up meeting my Spanish friends on the tram, on my own, and going to DOM with them. We stayed until it closed and I had suuuuuch a fun night, like so much fun. I was so tired on Friday after having been out at DOM until 6am but since when has that ever put me off of another soirée? On Friday night we went to London Pub and had a fab time, as always.

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Saturday early-evening and evening was spent in one of the parks here in Grenoble – Parc Paul Mistral. Drinking? Oh yes, again. There were some DJs doing a set for a few hours with huge speakers in the park and it was basically just a free event where you bring your own booze and come and chill. There’s another one happening next week on campus! It was a super fun evening and it’s events like that that make me realise just really how cool this city is, I wish more things like this happened in England! The photo above is from the park, with my gorgeous German girlies and look at me just clutching my beer hahahaa.

On Sunday I submitted my YARP – the piece of work that has been sat on my shoulders for pretty much the entirety of the last year, because the work for it started way before I came on my year abroad. I have to say I wasn’t 100% happy with the project I produced, but I worked my socks off for it and I couldn’t have really done much else. I couldn’t even celebrate handing in my YARP though because it was a Sunday and we all know that France turns into ghost-town on Sundays..

On Monday I was understandably elated to be starting the week as a COMPLETELY free woman with no academic duties – kerchingggggg. Sorry for the abuse of the capital letter key in this blog post but I never feel that putting the letters in bold gives what I’m saying enough emphasis. Anyway, on Monday could I celebrate my elation? No, I couldn’t even celebrate on the Monday either because May 4th as a bank holiday in France meant that NO trams were running and absolutely nothing was open. So Monday was very much un-eventful too, but I did go on a lovely walk AND get McDonalds for dinner.. oh yeah McDonalds was open, lol.

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On Tuesday Lily and I wandered the streets of Grenoble for aaaages in the morning because the place we had planned to go to for breakfast was undergoing refurbishments, and we seemed incapable of finding anywhere else to go. In the end we ended up going to a café for a coffee and after that we wandered for aaaages again and found somewhere for lunch – we ended up having delicious freshly made proper Frenchie baguettes for lunch, we picked our own fillings and everything and watched it being made; delicious. In the afternoon, I went to get a bike from the MétroVelo bike rental scheme here in Grenoble – effectively like London’s Boris Bikes but bright yellow. I have left it until my last month here to get a bike because since my nasty pneumonia over a year ago, I’m still really not fit and I’m not able to do that much exercise either as I’ve not fully built up my strength again. Anyway 15€ for the month and wow I have to tell you riding around this city on a bike felt totally liberating, despite the fact that my first bicycle ride was with Lily in torrential rain.. it’s safe to say my drenched block fringe complete with water soaked lenses on my glasses was a really strong look.

On Tuesday night we went to Meltin’ Bar – the first Tuesday of every month the Erasmus society organise these events and they are always such great fun. It was in a bar I’d never been to before, and I consumed rather a lot of beer (understatement). Alice, Grace and I ended up behind the bar with the barmen?? We were dancing in between them as they served, playing with sparklers (yes..), drinking free shots, helping the DJ pick the music and just yeah, wow, surreal experience hahaha. Since when were barmen so chilled out? This night obviously ended in me purchasing a taco yet again, and it wasn’t until today when I put on my Parka coat that I realised I really did spill a lot of taco down my coat on Tuesday night.. what was once a dark grey Parka is now a dark grey Parka complete with white greasy polka dots, and being the stingy student that I am, I probably won’t wash it for a while.

Finally, I end this blog post on today. Today I tried to be productive and go into the Orange phone shop in order to inform them that I’m leaving France at the end of this month so want to end my contract and get my 265€ deposit back – yes 265€ deposit, how blooming ridiculous is that?? Anyway I got turned away and told that I will have to do this over the phone, like really? I’ve come all the way into town but no I need to do it on the phone and cannot possibly do it in store?? Sooooooo typical of France. Lils and I went to the Cat Café after my failed attempt at being productive in Orange, and yes I never thought I’d see the day that I ended up in a cat café either.. the teapot of fruit tea infusion I drunk in there was to die for, and I actually bought a bag of it (mango and passionfruit loose leaf – gorgeous). And I guess you could say the cats were quite cute but I’m not really a cat person so the experience was a bit wasted on me (apart from the tea!!)…

Also, today was super exciting because Ellie and I booked our Italian travels, so in a couple of week’s time we’ll be heading to Turin, Milan, Padova and Venice; and Naomi and I finished booking our interrailing travels today too. So I am now poor, but also super excited for all of the adventures lying ahead.

Oh and I’m going to Annecy tomorrow – be prepared for photo spam (we all know I’m famous for that)!!

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