Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Little Update

Mercredi, 11 septembre.

Phew. I can't believe it's only been a few days since I last wrote on this blog. So much has changed since Friday afternoon! It's hard to imagine that only a couple days later, I have moved out of my Triolet dorm room, moved into my homestay bedroom, and started classes at the university! I can already tell that this semester is going to absolutely FLY by. We've been trying to plan little trips and adventures and outings and already it seems like we're running out of time to do all the things we want to do! I feel like it'll only be a matter of time before "oh, we have to do that!" turns into "oh, I wish we could have done that."

So here's a basic timeline of exciting things that have happened since I last wrote ... as much for my benefit as for yours, because to be honest, I'm starting to lose track of days!

On Friday, after Molly's and my celebratory adventures around Montpellier (Jardin des Plantes and the Parc Zoologique), we made a super cool jealousy-inducing detour to visit a friend who will be spending the academic year living in an ancient apartment in the heart of centre-ville. Then we headed off to our third and final Estivales! Still no wine for Molly and me, but our food of choice this week? Little shot glasses (or verrines, if you want to get technical) full of super delicious fancy flavors of chocolate mousse.

I thought I was going to miss ending every week with a wine and music festival, but three Estivales have been more than enough for me ... if only because there's basically no food left for me to try!

Although we stayed out pretty late on Friday, we were up bright and early on Saturday morning because it was HOST FAMILY TIME! Well, at least it was for the three other William & Mary students. My host family had a commitment and couldn't take me till Sunday -- but since move-out was Saturday, I temporarily moved in with our program coordinator, Sue Watson! So while everybody else navigated the rules of French family living, I was hanging out (read: napping) in the world's most adorable guest room.

(Seriously. Part of me didn't want to leave!)

I had a lovely time staying with Sue Watson. She's a lovely and quirky British ex-pat who has lived in Montpellier for ages now. She's obviously fluent in French, but I learned that she hardly knew two words when she first moved here. On Saturday, the two of us took her adorable dog (a dachsund/setter mix ... imagine that!) on a walk in the local park, le parc du Domaine de Meric. In addition to being really beautiful, the park is also the former family home of French painter, Frederic Bazille. In Montpellier, where many of his paintings are collected at the Musee Fabre, they say that if he hadn't died so young, he could have been one of the great Impressionists. One of the coolest parts of the park is a little overlook where you can see the same view that Bazille depicted in one of his paintings! Naturally, I had to pose.

After the park and lunch in centre-ville with Molly, it was time for a NAP. All that moving and walking and adventuring is just exhausting! Dinner with Sue Watson was a delicious affair, with a couple of courses and a delicious mini-tiramisu for dessert! Yum. We had a fun time, watching the French news and talking about her life and about America. Although she has a lot of friends, I think she maybe enjoyed having some company for dinner.

Sunday, it was time for more adventures. We checked out two big sites: the weekly market at Mousson (disappointing...) and the annual Foire aux Associations (OVERWHELMING). The Foire is like a giant student activities fair, except it's for the entire city of Montpellier. There are hundreds upon hundreds of organizations, from martial arts schools to religious and cultural groups to social justice organizations, and it goes for what must be at least a mile. It was absolutely overwhelming and although I ended up with a lot of flyers, I'm not certain I left with any more information than I started with!

After the Foire, Molly and I headed towards Place de la Comedie with the intent of hopping on the tram and going back home, but somehow ended up meandering around centre-ville for a few hours. We didn't really have any plans ... just sort of walked around and got to know the city a little better. Our goal is to explore all the little sidestreets in l'Ecusson before the end of the semester ... and we're already pretty close! It was a lot of fun and we got to see a few things we'd only noticed in passing before. Then it was back to Sue Watson's for another much-needed nap before ... DUH DUH DUHHHH ... moving in with my host family!

Okay, it's time to head to school, so that's all for now. I'll put up some more blog posts in the next couple of days ... or maybe more today? (Fingers crossed for productivity!) Anyhow, hopefully they'll talk a little more about the past week -- some final thoughts about the pre-stage (and advice for anybody heading to it!), a little tour of my homestay room/house/neighborhood, a breakdown of my first week of classes -- and the exciting things coming up ahead.

Happy Wednesday! (HUUUUMP DAAAAAY.)


  1. It might be a useful side blog of 'things I wish I had known before coming, packing, flying, riding the train, etc', not to mention funny!

    I'm so glad we were able to keep in touch via the internet during your moving weekend. It helped! I know Sue enjoyed your stay with her. Who wouldn't?


  2. By the way, how is TV there? You haven't had much time for it, which is a good thing, but I was curious. Does your host family or even Sue Watson have network programming, cable, satellite, HBO, Netflix, that kind of stuff?

  3. I love that you and Molly go exploring! The best things are found that way! You two are wonderful!