I’m very much starting to notice the vast improvement in my spoken French and everyday vocabulary, especially when put in daily life situations that sixth form and university never prepared me for. Before coming out to France, I could talk perfectly well about environmental issues, racism, the economy etc., however I struggled at first to explain issues like having a dodgy showerhead or temperamental hobs. I also feel like I have mastered speaking French on the phone this week, after having a lengthy conversation with the Disney office (who informed me that only restaurant jobs starting 22 December were left – no thank you!) and having a long drawn out battle about my student travel card (Imagine R). A bit gutted I won’t be working for Disneyland this December, though I refuse to serve tourists their Christmas dinner. I had been originally told that I would be working in a boutique starting from 29th, but this turned out not to be the case. Though I can now spend a full two weeks back in London for the festive season, which is definitely a positive!
Lunch on Wednesday with An-Ki at the university canteen CROUS was pas mal du tout, so much so that we’ve decided to make it a weekly arrangement! It’s a pretty good deal too – 3 euros for a proper meal, which is perfect to keep me going till dinner seeing as I work until 19h30. On Thursday I went to the first ateliers de conversation run by EIAP (an association for Erasmus students) which was fun and a great way to meet new people. We spoke about nationality clichés, starting with the French bien sûr, however it wasn’t long until the tables were turned. Hearing what fellow Europeans thought of the English was interesting to say the least, but I actually had to agree with most of what people said! I cannot deny that most Brits like their tea, booze and a fry up after a night out. Everyone also remarked on our comparably bad cuisine to the French, Spanish and Italians (again, I cannot argue with this!) Apparently the royal family is also something of great curiosity for foreigners, especially with all the attention they are managing to attract worldwide at the moment. In the evening I went out for drinks with An-Ki and her friend visiting from Rouen at Bastille, before moving on to Chez Papillon (a club just off Champs-des-Elysées). I’m really liking Bastille for cheap bars (happy hour is brilliant here) and the lively atmosphere. As three girls, we managed to blag free entry into the club, where we were also donated a crate of various drinks by a very generous (and I expect wealthy) young Parisian guy. The club wasn’t exactly busy, but it was quite nice to chat to people in French. We also met a French comedian, though when I asked him to tell me a joke he refused!
Tonight I decided a quiet night in was best after finishing my tutoring, seeing as I have to be up tomorrow at 5h30 for my trip to the Châteaux de la Loire with Emma and a group of international students. Hoping the rain manages to hold off for the weekend, though I’ve got my parapluie packed at the ready!