Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One week completed!

I am happy to say that I have no successfully completed one week in Grenoble! I have already made some great friends and created some lifetime memories.

On Saturday morning I met my new friend Rohit, who is from India studying as a Master's student for a full year at Grenoble, for a personal tour of the city. He met me at my apartment and showed me a second way to get to the school. Also a plus, this way will help me avoid the train/bus station better at night making it safer for me to walk home. We walked all around the center of Grenoble and grew more and more familiar with the city. We crossed over the river to the Italian section of the city where we discovered almost everything was closed. We ventured back into the city to find a place to grab a cup of coffee. In France a cup of coffee is about the size of a shot of expresso. A grand (large) café au lait is only about 8-10 oz. After finishing our coffee we decided to find a place to eat lunch. Rohit was determined to have me try a taco. Needless to say, they are huge, and I knew I wouldn't be able to eat a whole one at that moment. I settled for a turkey wrap, sort of, instead which was very good.

After lunch Rohit and I met up with Isabelle to see the Notre Dame and the local art museum. The Notre Dame was very nice and looked incredible for its age! The museum unfortunately wasn't so great. But we each took turns saying what we saw in each of the strange paintings which definitely made it more fun. My favorite part were the older paintings from several hundred years ago. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any photos otherwise I would share a few of them on here. After leaving the museum we saw some boys doing tricks on their bikes, and of course had to stop and watch. Personally, I was terrified they were going to get injured... but it was still very interesting to watch!

We then went to a bar and hung out for a while and chatted. It was nice to have a low key day after all the craziness of traveling and adjusting to Grenoble. I was almost out of money so I got some from an ATM and Rohit walked me home to make sure I didn't get mugged. It was still pretty early so I probably would have been fine, but I appreciated the extra security of him walking with me.

On Sunday Isabelle, Rohit, and I met at 10 AM. Unfortunately Isabelle had a couple strange incidences with men on her way to meet us, but otherwise we had a very nice day. We started walking toward the Olympic stadium, but ended up just making a huge loop around the southern end of the city and then heading back up to check out another park. Rohit left us around 1 or so to clean his apartment and play soccer after helping me find the much needed sleeping medicine to get me through the night. Isabelle and I stopped for coffee and lunch and then continued to wander around the city until I was about to fall asleep from exhaustion. This happened at about 3... I ended up falling asleep for 3 hours. But I was able to wake up and do my online course assignment and finally sleep through the night.

On Monday morning, Isabelle and I met at 10 AM to take care of a few more French administration items. For my tasks I had to go to a few different places throughout the city, but it was nice to be able to walk around a little bit. At 12 we stopped at a nice little cafe for lunch and then headed back to GEM for our 'team building' exercise. The international office had organized a bowling event for us. They randomly placed us in groups of 5 people and it was a blast! I met 4 new friends; two from China, one from Hungary, and one from Germany.

After bowling Mona, Isabelle, and I went to McDonald's to wait for the rain to slow down that and started on our way to the bowling event. I have never seen such expensive McDonald's in my whole life. The cheapest meal you could get was at least 7 Euros (multiply that by 1.5 and that's what it would cost in US dollars.) We made a mad dash for the train station and headed back into the city. It was about 5 PM when we got back; the night was still young. Isabelle, Felicia (exchange student from Taiwan), and I decided that we wanted to see a movie since it was such a crummy day. We saw Wolf on Wall Street. We were lucky enough to see it in English with French subtitles. I enjoyed it very much; not the most uplifting movie, but I thought it was really well done. I can imagine Brian would like it very much. After the movie we all went our separate ways for the night and again I was able to sleep through the entire night.

Today I had my first day of classes or class depending on how you look at it. I had three hours of Business Development in Emerging Economies. Our professor was Polish but lived in England. He was a very good professor and made the class go by very quickly. We only have 4 more days left of his class for the entire semester. On Monday we will have group presentations and at some point later in the semester we will have a 2,000 word paper due (worth 70% of our grade), but no final exam!

When my class ended at 1 Isabelle and I met for lunch and then ventured into the city to find a couple odds and ends and see what sales were available. Apparently France has a big sale every year for four weeks and it is going on right now. Everything still seems incredibly expensive. I saw a pair of shoes that I liked but it wasn't worth the money especially since I will be receiving a couple pairs of shoes in the mail from my mom soon.

I needed to talk to talk to the manager of Carline to figure out a few things about my apartment and get some questions I had answered. After speaking with her, I had a glass of wine and hung out for a little while. Isabelle and I met up at 5 by the Gare. We bought some groceries and came back to my apartment to cook some dinner, drink wine, and chat. I had a great time and learned a new recipe!

I have some reading to complete before class tomorrow, but I am fading quickly. I hope to accomplish some of it before drifting to sleep. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Au Revoir!

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