So, it’s been a while since I last posted and I apologise but I have been very busy having fun and getting drunk so I’m not that sorry!
I really love it here, even with my despicable level of French and apparently even worse accent. The weather is lovely; the buildings are gorgeous (Sorry Chloe Crisp!); the people are amazing (albeit I’ve met very few French people so far..). The one thing I haven’t got on board with yet is the cheek kissing. I’m sorry but no. You squeezing your sweaty cheek against mine, not once but twice, whilst seriously invading my personal space is not a normal way to say hello. It’s very odd. Many of the other conventions they have here are lovely, for example, saying bonjour/bonsoir/etc to everyone you pass in the halls. It’s a lot more friendly than I’m used to but it feels nice that everyone smiles at you and wishes you a nice day.
My halls are quite nice, although the stairwell is very clinical and my room is quite small, my room is very well designed. There’s so much storage space packed into little cupboards and corners. It’s blue and grey and my huge window looks out onto a grassy area that people sit and have picnics on occasionally. The bathroom is tiny but again there’s so much storage space in there. I have all my good luck cards up on my shelf but I do need some more pictures of back home on the walls though! The corridor contains about 30/40 rooms but it’s not like in Britain where everyone leaves their doors open, the rooms are very much a private space. The kitchen is communal and quite big. Because it’s shared by so many people we each have a fridge fitted in our rooms. There are 2 microwaves and 4 sets of 2 hotplates but no oven. Weird. I can’t understand why but it’s very much an inconvenience!
Okay so mid way through writing this the fire alarm went off. Now it feels more like when I was in halls at Swansea and every Tuesday they’d do a test. But then I thought, is it not a test? Awkward because I’d just got out of bed and was no where near appropriately dressed to go and stand outside the building… I threw some clothes on and went out my room. There were 2 other girls who poked their heads out their doors but other than that no-one even batted an eyelid at the ridiculously loud siren! They can’t be that heavy sleepers, and surely not all 30/40 people can be out on a Sunday at 11am. Anyway, I went downstairs and a handful of people were waiting outside, I joined them and 10 seconds later the alarm stopped. There was nobody from the university there to explain what was going on, we weren’t warned there would be a test alarm, and I’m almost certain there wasn’t an actual fire (if there is, someone take care of my cat!)
There was a lot of confusion over modules but I think I finally have mine sorted. The system is strange, you see the catalogue online (though it doesn’t have all of the modules in, great!) then in a department meeting they give you basically the same information in a little booklet, you then have to find your department building and look for the timetables after picking 30 credits from years 1, 2 and 3. Sounds complicated already, no idea why they can’t put the timetables online! After that you must pick groups for your lectures so they don’t clash with others, I believe then you go to the lecture and tell them you’re an ERASMUS student in order to sign up, and finally you kill a few more trees by handing in an abundance of paperwork about your modules. Well, they start tomorrow so we shall see!
I did a tour of the city on Thursday but after 10 minutes of attempting to translate what the guide was saying, I gave up and just decided to take some pictures. I’ve figured I’ll go again in the next freshers’ week in January to see if I can understand then! Thursday night we then went to an ERASMUS party after predrinks in my kitchen. Some people on the floor above were jumping on the floor so apparently we were loud. Also, there’s now a note on the door of our kitchen just casually reminding students that kitchen parties are not allowed…
On the Friday morning Bekah, Ann-Sophie and I had signed on for a library tour, unfortunately we didn’t take into account going out the night before so I swayed my way through that tour! Strangely enough I understood almost every word… I think drinking seriously improves my French!
Saturday was a pretty productive day, I completed my timetable, did my food shopping, signed up for a travelcard (I think. I may have signed my life away for all I know because I struggled to read the forms…) Now it is Sunday and I have no plans! Time for a bit of a chill I think!