Friday, January 10, 2014

Learning to Navigate a Foreign City

My second day in Grenoble was much, much better. There is a group on Facebook called "GEM January Intake 2014" where I was able to find a student who lives in the same building as me. Since I had so much trouble getting to the school the first day, I decided to find a guide. She and three of her friends were all from China and I am thankful to have met them because I now know how to easily get to and from school. I definitely would not have figured it out on my own. I have to walk through a bus station and under the train station to get to the school. It's a little too complicated for a newcomer to figure out alone.

Once at the school I sat through the Welcome presentation, which wasn't too interesting, but as I left the room a girl named Isabelle came up and introduced herself to me. She is from Sweden and we became fast friends. Isabelle is in the bachelor's 2nd year program, so I won't have classes with her but that's okay. The two of us got lunch together after the second lecture and I still didn't have much of an appetite at that point. From all of the traveling I have been doing I have been really nervous and haven't eaten very much. But luckily due to the ridiculous amounts of walking I have done, that has changed relatively quickly.

After the lectures were over for the day Isabelle wandered the streets of Grenoble with me in search of towels and bedding. After quite a long walk we finally stumbled upon a "mall." Very, very different than a mall in the U.S. We asked several locals where to find them and eventually we got to the right place. It was a store similar to a WalMart or Target, but smaller. I found other necessities there as well such as shampoo and conditioner which were remarkably smaller than what I am use to, but they did have Pantene, which I use at home as well which was nice to find. We decided to take a taxi back to my apartment to drop off all of my new purchases and then headed back into the city to grab dinner. I had my first legal glass of wine and a steak dinner which was huge! I didn't eat too much, but it was delicious none the less. After dinner we parted ways and I went and bought some groceries and then headed home.

Again Wednesday night I woke up in the middle of the night. Fortunately I was able to fall back asleep for about another hour. It took me a while to actually get out of bed Thursday morning so I didn't have time to eat breakfast. I got to school just in time and we had a lecture by Gordan Roy who was originally from California. He decided to randomly liquidate his life and move to Grenoble with his wife (who was originally from Grenoble) and two kids with no jobs or plans. He had a very interesting talk and talked mostly about "why." After the lecture we had time until we needed to be at the next one, so Isabelle and I walked to her apartment and made pasta for lunch. She also introduced me to a strange fish in a bag that you dip in a mayonnaise type sauce. It was very good actually, I didn't think I would like it!

By the afternoon I was exhausted and wanted to take a nap. I decided to skip the last session for the day and get some rest. I came back to the school at 6 however, to meet up with a group of people to get pizza and beer. I had such a wonderful time and met so many new people. I was telling my dad this before but I still haven't made any French friends yet, or American ones at that (although I have met many; they all seem to stay together.) I have met people from Sweden, Brazil, Canada, India, China, Taiwan, and Syria. After pizza I decided to walk home before it got too late. I actually stayed up until 12:30 AM! So i think that it helped with my jet lag. I still woke up during the night but I was able to go back to sleep much more quickly.

Today was pretty low key. I made my first meal in my apartment of scrambled eggs and French bread. I went to my class this morning and then afterwards had lunch with my friends Isabelle, Mona, and Andrew. I got brochette which is much different than what I have previously had. You get one huge piece of bread  with cheese and other toppings placed around it. All three of us girls also had a glass of wine for lunch because we are in France and why not?!

I took my french language test in the afternoon and it's safe to say I will be placed in a beginner's course. I tried to find my way to get a month-pass for the tram, but I couldn't find it. So instead I walked home after grabbing a few more groceries (because nothing is open here on the weekends). Tonight I will probably relax because I am exhausted and cook myself some dinner.

 Au Revoir!


No comments:

Post a Comment