Monthly Archives: October 2012

Reflections: One month in France

As of today (Saturday, October 27th), I have officially been in France for one month.  It seems like forever since I wrote this post about my preparations one month before I left; since then, I left my job, moved back in with my parents, flew to Paris and spent a few days there, traveled to Nice and moved into my new apartment, started my job here, have taken several small trips, and met tons of cool people!  That’s a lot for just a couple of months.  In some ways, I can’t believe I’ve been here in Nice for four weeks, but it also does feel like home already.  It helps to have an apartment I love, a fun roommate that I get along with, friends here to hang out with, a job I enjoy, nice coworkers, and love and support coming my way from back home!

I have settled in here amazingly well.  I’ve always adjusted to new places easily, such as when I moved to Normal for college, and I’m happy that moving to another country is no exception!  I would say that homesickness hasn’t really hit me yet; I miss people from back home, of course, but I haven’t had that certain sadness/longing to go home that always accompanies homesickness for me.  When I spent five weeks in Quebec in the summer of 2009, by about week four I was definitely homesick; I was tired of being in Quebec, tired of speaking French all the time, and ready to go home.  I fully expect homesickness to hit at some point, probably soon, but it hasn’t yet!

There were a few things I was apprehensive about before moving here.  I had planned on writing a post about them/my emotions at the time before I left, but what with moving, packing, and spending time with my loves, I never got around to it!  So I’ll include some of them here so that when I look back at this I’ll remember exactly what I was thinking and feeling at the time 🙂

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Categories: Random thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mont Boron

This week, a French friend and I went to Mont Boron, which is kind of a suburb of Nice up a mountain.  It’s where Elton John’s vacation house is, but we couldn’t see it from where we were.  We saw some good views of the city and enjoyed walking around!  It was a beautiful sunny day and I think I even tanned a little bit!

The circular wooded area in the middle is the Chateau de Nice, which I wrote about here. I guess it used to be a castle back in the day.

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Categories: Life in France | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

French stereotypes: true or false?

I heard a lot about French people before I moved to France, both from friends/media, but I didn’t really know what to expect or which ones would turn out to be true.  I’ve only been France a few weeks and have only really been to Paris and the Nice area, so I can’t speak for all of France, but this is my experience so far!

French people are rude/don’t want to help you

Stereotype: BUSTED.  I have had instances where a few people have been rude to me, like I mentioned here with the woman who wouldn’t give me directions when I was lost, and also at the grocery store.  I COULD NOT find baking powder for the life of me and I finally asked someone who worked there.  We were right by the aisle with flour, sugar, yeast, etc. and said said it was there.  I said at least twice that it wasn’t there, trying to imply that she should show me, but she had no intention of moving to help me and then told me to go look in the bakery section.  Needless to say, I walked out empty-handed.  Well… with just a jumbo jar of Nutella in my hands.  But for the most part, people have been just as nice here or even nicer than they are in the States.

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Categories: Differences between France and the US, Life in France | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Villefranche-sur-Mer and Château de Nice

One Sunday, my friends and I decided to take a quick trip to the town right next to Nice, Villefranche-sur-Mer.  We hopped on the train for about a five minute trip, then just sat on the beach for a few hours.  We got ice cream and headed back right as it started to rain!  It was the first time it’s rained since I’ve been here, other than a drizzle on my first full day in town- the day I spent in bed with a cold.

Some photos from the day!

Me and Sam on the train.

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Categories: Life in France, Travels | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lycée Masséna

Short French lesson: lycée means high school!  You say it like lee-say.

I’m not really sure where to start with this post/where it’s going to go.  I could talk about my school in particular, show photos, try to explain the French school system, or talk about my teaching duties… I guess I’ll just start writing and choosing pics and see where it goes 🙂

To start, some photos of my school…

In order to get in, there is someone sitting behind the counter just inside the first door, and then a sliding glass door.  My first day, I asked if I needed a badge or anything to get in, and the teacher I was with said no, the person there just recognizes the students… not sure how that’s possible in a school of 1600 students, but whatever.  Every day I just nod at the person behind the window and the door opens!

View from the front.

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Categories: Differences between France and the US, Life in France, Teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Thank you and some photos!

I want to start by saying a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading this blog.  My numbers have been up like crazy the last couple of weeks, and it is SO encouraging to me!  I love sharing my life with my family and friends (and apparently even some people who don’t even know me! Wow!) and knowing that people are enjoying my blog encourages me to continue.  Also, as a reminder, if you would like to get email notifications whenever I publish a new post, you can enter your email address on the right under “Follow my blog!”

That being said, here are some photos from my life lately!

The oven door locked with eggplant parm in it and David was very distraught by the thought of it burning. We finally decided that the oven was set on self-clean, and that’s why the door locked.

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Categories: Life in France | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Three Countries in Two Days

This last weekend was my first weekend in Nice, and I made the most of it!!

On Saturday morning, two friends and I went to Monaco, a small, rich country about 8 miles from Nice.  It was a 20 minute train ride and because I have my 12-25 year old discount card, it only cost me 3.60!  It cost my friends 7.20 each because they didn’t have the card.

We packed a picnic lunch, since everything in Monaco is super expensive, and we just walked around, enjoyed the beautiful weather (75-80 degrees and sunny), and took pictures.

We saw the palace where the prince and princess of Monaco live…

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Categories: Life in France, Travels | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

First Week in Nice

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Categories: Life in France | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Mon appartement!

The outside of my apartment building. My apartment is on the 4th floor (3rd European- they don’t count the ground floor) and it’s the one on the left with the light on.

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Categories: Life in France | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Parking in Paris

Driving in Paris is insane, but the parking might be worse.  Here are a few things I witnessed:

Cars park on the corners here. It just goes against every fiber of my being. How can cars see who’s coming?? I guess they don’t care.

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Categories: Differences between France and the US, Funny experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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