Bonjour mes amis! Je suis en France!
I flew into London Tuesday and met up with the other kids who are studying abroad through AIFS in Grenoble. The first day was a little awkward, we were all exhausted and jet-lagged but we wanted to get to know each other and see London since we were only there for two days. We went to Hyde Park and there were about 15 lawn chairs in the grass so we all sat down and fell asleep for 20 minutes until we were told we had to leave because you were supposed to pay to sit in the chairs. That night, nine of us bought six bottles of wine and got drunk in someone’s hotel room. The opposite of classy, yes. But it helped break the ice.
The next day, we had a three hour tour of London which was awesome. We got to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Parliament, Big Ben and tons of other things that I’ve forgotten already. After that we split up into groups and did our own things. I went to the British Museum which wasn’t so great because my feet hurt and I got to go to King’s Cross and see Platform 9 and ¾. That night we all took the tube to soho to eat dinner at a Thai restaurant then we found a tiny bar on a sketchy street with strip clubs.
I feel weird talking about how much drinking I’ve been doing because it’s not what I usually do. I’m worried that I’m changing and my friends at school won’t like the new me. But I’m having a blast with these people. The second night in London was one of the best nights of my life. The way I see it, life would be very boring if I were stuck in my ways and unwilling to change. I would have missed out on so much fun if I had let my fear take control and not studied abroad. My mentality is that while I’m here, I’m going to do and see as much as I can.
We arrived in Grenoble on Thursday and spent the day walking around the city. We did pretty much the same thing on Friday. Thursday and Friday were just really hot and boring, our feet hurt, we were exhausted, but glad to be in Grenoble. Grenoble is like Burlington x10. Everywhere I look I see mountains. And Grenoble is big on clean energy, public transportation, cycling, saving water, etc.
Friday night we walked around for an hour trying to find a place for dinner and ended up getting lost in the sketchy part of town that our resident director told us not to go to after dark. Some other girls in the group went to the London Pub, which we also aren’t supposed to do since guys there are only after one thing, according to our resident director. We pretty much broke all the rules the first night. We ended up at a bar near the hotel which we have decided is our group meeting spot. I like everyone in the group, there aren’t really any cliques yet and everyone seems to get along with each other. Saturday I met my host family. I live with a woman named Madame Vernay (so French) in a 4th floor apartment right in the center of the city. I have a great view of the Bastille and I also have tiny black bugs on my comforter which worries me. I’m struggling with my French but I can tell I’m improving a little bit every day. More on Madame Vernay et ma vie en France plus tard. Maintenant, je suis très fatiguée. Bonne nuit !