By the end of this week, 1 of 2 important events will have occurred. Either, the world will end on Friday, rendering my Easyjet ticket completely useless, or on Saturday I will be moving out of Bordeaux and heading back to the UK for Christmas. Hopefully the latter.
The last couple of weeks seem to have flown by, while the days have dragged on. I know this makes no sense at all, but since moving here I’ve found my general concept of time has gone a bit weird, especially since realising it’s almost 4 months since I first set foot in this city. That’s A THIRD OF A YEAR!! I think I might just go hide in a corner with a good book (btw currently reading this, highly recommended) and wait for time to slow back down. On an even broader scale, just last night a few of us were discussing things that make us feel old when we realised that Love Actually came out nearly a decade ago. TERRIFYING.
Since I last posted I’ve been on many an adventure, most of them involving Bordeaux 3, the place where common sense went to die. Thankfully, before the hellish week of exams that started last Monday, I went on a nice little wine tasting trip with my friend Rose who goes to uni in California. We got to act all sophisticated and knowledgeable while sampling some of Bordeaux’s best, while also visiting a couple of vineyards. The owner of one seemed to have a bit of an obsession with birds and kept a collection of animals on the property. My favourite was the emu.
Later than night I had dinner and a few drinks with Anna and Jo from Bristol who were staying with Chynna. The weekend was a lovely distraction from the oncoming week of exams which, as things tend to here, didn’t really go to plan.
Some highlights include Wednesday morning’s Italian listening, where the teacher decided to fiddle around with the volume during the exercise meaning that for a while we couldn’t actually hear anything, and he then ignored us completely when we asked if he could restart the recording. In one part there was even an overlap of speakers due to some technical error, but apparently that was our problem, not his.
Following this I had my first Japanese exam (during my lunch break as well!). The less said about it the better. On Thursday morning I turned up to my Italian translation exam at 9.30 only for the teacher to be 10 minutes late, then telling us Erasmus students that we wouldn’t in fact be doing the exam because the library wouldn’t let her take out French monolingual dictionaries for us. Instead, we were going to have an ORAL translation exam following the class the next week. The class that was supposed to be my last one ever at Bordeaux 3. I managed to contain my anger until I left the room.
On Friday evening I had my other Japanese exam, although when I emailed to double check the time, the joker of a teacher replied at 5.05 to say that it would be best if Chynna and I came to do it at 5.00. Unfortunately time travel is just beyond my grasp so I ended up doing it at 5.30, which was the quickest I could get there.
Thankfully the week ended on a high with a Spanish-themed party full of Erasmus people at Giulia’s house. I’ve concluded that the Spanish are probably the most generous nationality, considering the hosts put on a massive buffet of food from their home country and provided lots of kalimotxo, which I got to try for the first time. Some call it blasphemous, but it actually kinda works.
On Saturday night there was a Christmas party at Abbie’s which ticked all of my festive boxes: mulled wine, panettone, and Wham. Here’s a group shot of us all looking lovely, apart from Aaron who had to ruin it for everyone. And yes that is a Hitler moustache if you look closely.
On Sunday it was Chynna’s 22nd so a bunch of us had a very French lunch at hers (apart from the Branston pickle which Sarah brought out, much to the delight of the English) and I actually drank tea! I’m trying to train myself to be more English since most French people seem outraged that given the choice, I’d rather have a coffee or fruit juice than tea. All in all, a great end to a horrible week.
Sights of the day
Despite the uni overall being the least aesthetically pleasing learning establishment I have ever seen, there is this one lift which has some pretty cool graffiti on it.
In town there are 2 bars opposite each other: Café Rouge and Café Brun. Each has a massive terrifying plaster head in it. I don’t know if one bought one first and the other got jealous, or they are in competition to see who can frighten as many drunk customers as possible. I’m gonna have to vote for the one from Café Rouge being the worst, since I think it looks like an evil adult version of Noddy.
This is a bit of a geeky linguistics one, but I found a Rue Paul Broca in town. Probably not as exciting for anyone else as it is for me.
Gendarme on a segway! So cool! So efficient! I’ve also seen them on bicycles, and apparently there are some who go round town on rollerblades, which I have yet to see (or believe?)