One week in

11 Sep

On Monday morning I finally moved into my own room! Thankfully the lovely Chynna helped me get all my stuff down to near Pessac, even getting it up the 3 flights of stairs. It’s like CHH all over again.  It was soooo nice to finally unpack and be able to get to all of my clothes, I had been limited to the upper layer of stuff combined with whatever I could find from sticking my hand into a corner of the suitcase and pulling things out at random. I also get to finally live out a childhood dream of having a cabin bed with a desk underneath. Such an efficient furniture design! It also means I have more space to fill with all the nothing-except-clothes I bought with me. I also have my own balcony which gets full on sun up until about lunchtime, expect me to come back a pleasant lobstery shade of red. Photos of everything will follow once I’ve made it a bit more homey.

Once I had unpacked Chynna and I headed into the uni to try and sort out our timetables and get our confirmation of arrival forms signed. As the main problem with timetabling was that some of the unit timetables STILL hadn’t been put up, we thought seeing someone in person might help. Obviously we were far too optimistic, as the woman in the computer room just shrugged and suggested we wait until they have been put online, or to just do different units. Trying to remain optimistic we headed over to find the international office, but inevitably it was closed for lunch. Can’t let those busy admin stuff get hungry now.

Since I was hungry myself I decided to take the opportunity to do my first full supermarket shop since it was just a short walk from the tram stop near my house. I always find foreign supermarkets exciting just because of all the weird new foods to try out, although they do tend to lack some of the basics we’re used to in England, like fresh milk. I’ve had to make do with a litre of some sort of UHT crap. There was a definite tangyness while eating my cereal this morning which I’m not sure if I’ll get used to. I also had a moment of uncertainty while trying to find spreadable margarine as opposed to butter where I think I almost bought a tub of lard. Something that has dawned on me, especially in the last few days, is how much my French vocabulary lacks basic everyday words. I can argue about the merits of solar energy or whether immigrants are a positive influence of French society, but I don’t know how to say pillow case or plug socket.

Other fun finds at the supermarket:

  • Fruit compote – basically baby food in yoghurt tubs which is socially acceptable for adults to eat. I’m currently tucking into some apple purée as we speak.
  • Grenadine – my addiction stretched to 4 glasses yesterday.
  • Rillette – the best way I try to describe this to people is as ‘spreadable pork’. Aaron stated that it looks like ‘meat mixed with dandruff’ but everyone who has tried it has really liked it. It’s kind of paté-ish.

When I got back I bumped into Simon, one of my French flatmates who works ridiculous hours (4am start) at a biscuit factory. He gave me some to try, they’re very nice. Later on in the day I met Kévin, the other French flatmate, who seems to study all of the sciences at Bordeaux 1.  Both of them seem really lovely and want to improve their English as much as I want to improve my French, so hopefully we can all benefit from living together! In the evening I attempted to make some sort of dinner, but as I was feeling pretty lazy and wasn’t getting on with the ageing gas cooker I just ended up having spaghetti with raw things thrown in. And garlic of course. Always lots of garlic. That evening Emily and I chatted with Kévin and got to know him a little better. While trying to explain our music tastes we ended up playing him some dubstep, which he had never heard of before. I can’t say he took to it straight away, but I’m sure it’ll grow on him. It wasn’t until I was going to bed later that night that I discovered a few problems with the room: one of my plug sockets doesn’t work, the curtain rail is broken, and there is just an overhead light, no desk lamp or anything. The curtain problem can be solved for the time being as my balcony doors have shutters, but trying to climb into a cabin bed with no lights on proved to be a little problematic. I’m sure Jean Marc will be able to fix everything.

Sight of the day

I innocently went on Youtube hoping to distract myself for half an hour, only to be confronted by the most terrifying advert for/against Chlamydia I have ever seen. Pretty effective I guess.




One Response to “One week in”


  1. Post half-term blues « Louise à l'étranger - November 14, 2012

    […] Another section includes Google searches that have led to your blog. There have been some fairly normal ones, such as ‘louise a l’etranger blogspot’ (close enough), to the slightly more odd ‘youtube chlamydia’ (before anyone makes any jokes, this did actually come up in one blog post.) […]

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