Yesterday I passed my five month mark here in France and I now have less than two weeks to go. It’s crazy how fast time seems to have gone, when at the same time it feels like I’ve been gone forever. In honour of my five months, and because I promised my mum, I decided to post a list of some of my highlights of the last 155 days:
- Paris while on Camp. From convincing ourselves the Notre Dame statues were Weeping Angels, to getting bored with the Musee D’Orsay after ten minutes and going to the gift shop, to screaming out to everyone we saw while on the Bateaux-Mouches, it definitely was a few days I’ll never forget.
- Disneyland. You have no idea how excited I was to be there. I can’t even begin to explain it. It was so magically epic, you have no idea.
- Hot Chocolates with Sandra. One of my “French Bifflezzzz”, Sandra, and I bonded over our lack of knowledge of the French language and love of hot chocolates. After we ate lunch every day we would go to a cafe near the school, order hot chocolates and just talk for an hour. Even though we didn’t know each other at all when we started going, it was never awkward and built the base for an amazing friendship. Even though she did crush my dreams with her reality of American High Schools, that month or so of lunch-times will stay in my mind forever (after a month she decided to diet, and I needed to save money, so we ceased our trips to the cafe and kept up gossiping in the ‘foyer’ at school instead.)
- My ‘American’ Halloween. My three American friends were used to celebrating Halloween with massive parties and were sad at the thought of October 31 passing without a celebration, so we all got together to make the day special. There was more junkfood than I think most French people believe is possible, lots of laughs (the moment when Sandra’s host parents walked in to her showing us how to put a water bottle in your hair so it looks like you’re a ‘Who’ from The Grinch was pretty much the funniest moment of my life to date.) and ‘scary’ movies. It was then topped off by a breakfast the next morning of brownies, chocolate biscuits and nutella. And I wonder why I’ve put on weight here.
- Chilling In The Foyer. The ‘foyer’ at school is basically a room with tables and a hot drink machine where you sit during lunch times and free periods. The number of hot chocolates I have consumed in that room is possibly only rivaled by the number of coffees Kayla has. We spend at least an hour a day in there and so many hilarious conversations or bonding moments have passed by while there.
- French Food. And by French Food, I mean crêpes and waffles. I had never really had crêpes or waffles before coming here and I now believe that is one of the greatest regrets of my life. They are the food of Gods. I don’t think I will be able to survive with not eating them ever again. Trips to ‘calcio’ (the crêpe/waffle stand near my school) were numerous and made memorable by my pathetic attempts at pronouncing ‘gaufre’ and the workers love of practicing their English on us.
- Snow. Most years in Australia I go skiing with my family but nothing prepared me for the complete and utter difference of snow that well, wasn’t on the ski-fields. Much to my parents dismay, every time it snowed I was too cold or too lazy to get out my camera, so our period of snow passed without any photographic evidence on my behalf. Whoops. However, memories of trying to walk on icy ground, it’s absolute freezingness and how pretty the mini snowflakes look will stay with me forever.
- French Breakfast. I am not a breakfast fan in Australia, at all. I detest eating it, and usually only do so on a Saturday morning when my mum buys me a Wendy’s banana smoothie. However, in France I’ve been forced to eat breakfast and have had my eyes opened to the wonders of such things as bowls of hot chocolate and brioche. So. Delicious. I’ll definitely be continuing the Hot Chocolate habit once I’m back home, and if I can find brioche, I’ll keep eating it too.
- Eating In A Cafeteria. As anyone who has ever gone to school with me in Australia knows, I buy my lunch from the canteen every day. At my old school I would get a cheese toastie, and at my new school I get chicken burgers. In France, however, I have had my eyes opened to the wonder that is eating in a cafeteria. While I’m sure that if I had eaten in a cafeteria my entire life I wouldn’t find it as thrilling, there’s such a novelty to lining up and grabbing a tray and putting all your food on it, just like in the movies. What’s not as fun though is trying to find a table to sit at. I definitely prefer the Aussie ‘areas’ to table hunting in a crowded cafeteria.
- Catching The Bus. I know, a pretty random one, but as someone who has always had to walk everywhere in Australia I have come to love catching the bus to and from school. Just chilling of a morning, listening to my iPod, not caring if it’s raining/cold/snowing/whatever… I’m going to be sad to have to go back to my daily walks to and from school once I get home.
There are probably a million more that I have forgotten, so let’s just think of this as a ‘part one’. I’m currently working on a series of ‘reflections on France’ to post either just before or just after I get home. Thanks for sticking with me these last five months guys, I really appreciate it.
frangipani princess xoxo
ps. If you haven’t already done so, you can send your ‘Frangipani Princess’ headers here 🙂