A little bit of Dutch/French courage


So it turns out I have to set an alarm here because with the shutters closed my room is pitch black no matter what the time of day! At least I’ve learnt that early on. Oh well, I’ve only missed a meeting about bank accounts and insurance that would probably be another 2 hour meeting in seriously fast and technical French followed by another mountain of forms and papers; I’ll stay in bed!

So after my last post I said I was in my room with no plans for the evening but then Chloé asked me on facebook if I wanted to meet so I could improve my French and she could work on her English. She invited me to have a drink with some other Erasmus students. I checked with Bekah, Liza and Fanny and we headed to the metro, got off at Ste Anne and then this “drink” escalated. “A drink” I didn’t realise meant a visit to the infamous “Rue de soif” (I don’t even know the street’s real name but I much prefer street of thirst to whatever it really is! We were all told to go into any bar, get a drink and then meet again outside. Obviously that is not the done thing in Britain, but it was awesome. We had such a good night! The drinks were cheap and everyone was congregating in this large open space where some people had brought huge speakers and improvised their own dance floor. We later adjourned to one of the bars as it was warmer inside. At this point I witnessed my first French flirting… I was told in French I have pretty eyes. I understood and said thank you only to have the guy say are you Spanish (not aware I look or sound remotely Spanish..), I told him I was English which he said he loved. This started to get a bit creepy so I said goodbye and turned back to my friends. He then moved closer to our group and said to me “sex”, I replied “six?” confused. He then went on in broken English: “I like the sex, and you?” At this point, about 10pm, I was so shocked I couldn’t speak (which says a lot about me, I know!) I told him I was going to leave and all my friends asked what happened. On hearing the story they couldn’t stop laughing at him and he left! Maybe he should work on his lines…

We started our rather civilised night all talking in French to each other (well, trying) but 2 drinks down and we were all back in English! Oops. Another few drinks, including a lovely Belgian cherry flavoured beer, and we met some guys from Brazil who had been here for a month doing an intensive French course before university. Their English was not good so with a little Dutch/French courage in me: I spoke for about 2 hours in French! Score! I feel Bekah and I may have ruined the allusion when we both went and got some chips to end the night; apparently it’s a very British concept.

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to an ESN picnic for international and Erasmus students. It was lovely weather in the gorgeous Parc du Thabor. We played a game to meet people where you have to write on a piece of paper “trouvez un(e) etudiant(e) avec…” so for example, find a student to has a hat on/has 2 brothers/from Germany. Mine was to find 3 students wearing red t-shirts. This was relatively easy but my next I couldn’t even understand, something about economics I think. This was a great way to meet new people but with so many people, and I’m so bad with names, I think I will stick to my little group for now!

So we are managing a bit in French and apparently drinking helps. Lucky there’s more welcome night out events on Tuesday and Thursday then! For today, the plan is the go to the supermarket (after I get out of my pajamas!) then I have a room inspection (maybe I should tidy my room…) and after that we meet our tutors (I should also probably find out who my tutor is…). I’m so unorganised!

Bises x


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