Monday, 30 June 2014

Sea, Sun, French Language, French Cuisine, and much much more!

Bonsoir a tout!

I would like to apologise in advance to those of you who  may not like reading as this is going to be quite a long post due to the adventures that I have to share with you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy hearing about my experiences of settling into life on the Cote D'Azur.

I wrote in yesterdays post about how I was going to go and explore Cannes in the afternoon. I did indeed do this and I am extremely glad that I did. One thing that many people seem to fear about going on a year abroad is using public transport systems. After I had settled into the house in which I am staying, my French host family suggested that I take a bus into the centre of Cannes and spend the afternoon looking around. Now, at the time this seemed an extremely daunting yet tempting suggestion so I asked them to explain where the nearest bus stop is, what bus to get, and where to get off. Considering I have spoken nothing but French since I arrived I was very satisfied and felt a great sense of achievement when I left the house with a set of instructions in French that they had written for me. When I got onto the bus however, it appeared that the French buses are quite different to those in the UK. I managed to buy a ticket but then had to work out how to use the ticket machine on the bus. That was a somewhat interesting challenge but I managed :)

When I got into Le Centre Ville I walked the length of Cannes (which believe me was a very long way!) and took over 100 photos (which I will upload to the 'Photos-Cannes' page soon). I was so stunned at the beauty of this place that I could not resist taking a photo of every little thing that I saw (A bit silly I know!).

After walking along the coast for a while I sat and relaxed on a bench for a while and acted like a proper French person as I sat drinking a can of Orangina (So refreshing in this heat!). However, those of you who know me well will know that I can talk for England and often end up finding out peoples life stories as soon as I met them. This even happened in France as an elderly couple sat next to me and started chatting away to me in French. They even offered to take a picture of me by the sea as I told them that I am creating a blog of my adventures. So in the end, my chatty personality was very useful as I got in some extra French practice and met two lovely people at the same time!

In the evening, I got back to the house and ate a fantastic dinner of: Baguette, salade des tomates avec mozzarella, Saucisse, pommes de terres, le moutard, et le fruit et la glace pour finir (I will leave you to see how many of those words you understand). It was lovely because French mealtimes last all evening so I was chatting to Michele and Farid (my hosts) as well as two people from Russia who are lodging in the room next door to me. I then went to bed and dreamt of the lovely scenery that I had seen earlier. Sorry, that sounds a bit cheesy! :)

This morning (Monday) was very exciting as I began my course. The day began with a French Grammar exam followed by a French Oral exam in order to group us all for our language classes. I was flattered to be put in the advanced adults class as I really did not think that my French was that good! However, I enjoyed the fast pace and introduction to vocabulary that I will come across in my work placement in Grenoble. However, I also randomly learnt how French people say something different when people sneeze depending on how many times they sneeze. Funny what you learn when you live in a foreign country!

After I had finished my course sessions, I got myself some lunch from a Boulangerie in Cannes La Bocca (Very French again!) and then I went back to the seafront and walked along the part of the coast that I did not see yesterday. I returned to the house just in time for another lovely dinner of La salade des carrots, le baguette, le poisson (Salmon), le riz, et le fruits pour finir. I also enjoyed another evening with the people that I am living with during which I learned about both the French and Russian cultures. I had a giggle with Michele as we talked about an incident that I got myself into earlier today. I actually managed to accidentally lead a French man to believe that I was lost and walk me to my front door when I was coming back from the bus stop. My hosts were confused as to why I had turned up on the doorstep with this man as he happened to be the father of one of their language pupils. How embarrassing!

Anyway! Enough for tonight. As you can see, I absolutely love the Cote D'Azur already and I have only been here for two days. I am now going to go to bed (As we are an hour ahead of you) ready to continue with the course tomorrow morning.

Bonne nuit!

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