Sunday, 25 September 2011

I Had the Blues But I Shook Them Loose

Introducing you to what my hair does naturally, lots of people ask me what I do to it and how I style it.  The answer is that I do nothing to it I'm afraid.

Hello everyone! Sorry for my two week absence.  I've had two weeks of lectures since the last time I wrote here and so suddenly my life has gone from not very busy to mildly busy.  As an ERASMUS student from Cardiff I only have to do an minimum of 12 ECTS and a maximum of 18.  ECTS are the French equivalent of the UK system of credits.  Most modules here are 6 credits so I don't actually have to do that many modules.  Some of my friends from Birmingham have to do 30 so they are a lot busier than me.  I'm doing a translation module (English into French on Tuesdays and French into English on Thursdays), then I'm doing 'histoire littéraire et culuture littéraire générale' for which I have to read Madame Bovary and then my other module is Littérature comparées for which I have to read Proust (GROAN) and Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse.  Our lecturers have said to us ERASMUS lot that we can read the texts in English so long as we buy a copy in French as well so we can use them for the classes.  I am going to try and read them all in French but it's just very time consuming and to understand the plot and have some idea of what is going on I'll plough through the English translations.  It's been good to start lectures even if I don't understand much of them.  My biggest mistake so far has been signing up to do a course on middle aged texts as well as from the 16th and 17th century but alas that module is compulsory with my 'histoire littéraire et culuture littéraire générale' module.  The lecturer is a machine, she ploughs through 2 hours without taking a break and even drinking any water.  The Middle Ages tend to leave me cold anyway so it's double torture.  When she was talking about Tristan and Isolde all I could think about was the James Franco film which lead onto a lot of day dreaming and not much listening.  The lectures here are between and hour and a half to two hours long, my brain can't function that long with that much French.  I can manage about 45 minutes and after that my brain just shuts down all I can understand are the verbs in whatever the lecturer is saying.  I've not met many French people so for the moment I just don't notice any improvement in my French at all.  Most people have said to me that sometimes I speak French with an English accent.  Maybe I should apply for British citizenship after all?

Life here in general has been very lovely.  It's 'cooled down', meaning it's less scorching hot than it was at the end of August but we're still at 27 degrees most days, I have a cracking tan no joke.  I've been able to wear jeans during the day at least once and a long sleeved top maybe a handful of times.  I still haven't had the chance to wear my huge 90's grandad knit cardigan that I bought at the flea market and I assume it'll be about a month until that happens anyway.  I've only really had two unpleasant moments here so far.  My first unpleasant experience of Montpellier was on Friday after my friend's birthday night out when I was walking to her house with one of our guys mates at about half 3 in the morning (asking for trouble really), and we walked past three Arabic looking boys who started shouting at us and included some choice sentences like 'You're white!' and to our guy friend 'we'll fuck you're wife!'  Not that our mate has a wife or anything, so they clearly have the gift of foresight or something.  Thank god our friend was with us because he's quite a tall and a well built guy, felt a bit safer with him. If it had been just us two girls walking past those three boys they would have probably followed us home and hassled us some more.  I don't feel 100% comfortable here at night, it just seems unnecessary to heckle us girls like that just because of how we look and where we come from.  If someone hassled their sister they way they do us, they would beat that person up.  The hypocrisy is what annoys me the most

My second bad experience was yesterday.  It was Montpellier HSC playing Paris St Germain football team.  I do enjoy watching football at times but what I hate the most is how some of the football fans just become one big mob when they all come together.  Despite the fact that the match wasn't starting until the evening town was full of police in full riot gear with vans and apparently one of those trucks that they could put trouble causers on and drive them off.  I'd gone to the big shopping centre at the end of the tramline to do a food shop with friends and once we reached the centre of town by the train station the tram had to stop because there were loads of Paris St. Germain football fans causing trouble.  The riot police and vans were there as well and there was another tram before ours that couldn't get passed because they were all blocking the tram lines.  So the doors opened and we all had to get out (I was schlepping three big carrier bags of food), and just as we stepped out all scared of the crowd there was a big bang and we could see smoke coming from the big mob of football fans.  We were all so scared, even one of the boys who was with us wasn't feeling too great about the situation.  We literally had no idea what to do, we live quite a bit out of town so walking wasn't really an option with our bags and town was full of football fans.  Thankfully the tram driver opened the tram doors again and we ran on again and then the police cleared the mess up quite quickly actually.  I despise big mobs like that who insist on ruining everyone's day when we all just want to go about as normal and not be frightened by shaven haired lairy football fans.

Shirt (€2) and sunglasses (€1)

It being Sunday today I went to the flea market again.  The options of things to do on Sunday are limited to going to Church or the flea market.  I chose the latter.  Went with a friend who struggles to shop in Primark so she didn't enjoy it as much, plus we didn't feel very safe again today because just as we arrived they announced over the PA that there was a group of pick pockets around.  Wonderful.  On the upside though today's purchases of this super cute peter pan collar shirt and Ray Ban-esque glasses came to €3.  Fantastic.  The lady I bought the shirt from was telling me how she'd seen on the news that those types of collars were very trendy at the moment and that I would be 'vraiment à la mode' (very fashionable) when I wear it.  The only downside of this shirt is the shoulder pads in it but those are easy to take out.

The other good news of this week is that it's confirmed that my boyfriend has 2 weeks off in November so he's coming over to see me for at least 10 days once he finds out what the dates are.  He was joking around saying that we should go to Disney Land Paris, he should know by now that I take these kinds of suggestions very seriously because I LOVE everything Disney.  Alas after looking into it a bit more it turns out it's actually quite an expensive bit of fun.  Tickets come in at £51 for an adult for one day and staying in a 'one key' hotel for 2 nights is about £300.  Bit of a rip off really.  So instead I'm looking into taking the train to Paris whilst the boyfriend flies into Paris from Heathrow or Birmingham so we can meet there, stay in a hostel for one or two nights and explore the city with maybe a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower despite my fear of heights.  It all works out cheaper than Disney Land.  The hostel prices are very reasonable, found one in Montmatre for £36 for a double room.  If anyone has any Paris tips please share them with me, I'm already so excited at just the thought of going there again.  It really is one of the most beautiful places in all the world.


  1. The shirt is gorgeous, lovely post as ever! Hope you visit back :)

  2. a beautiful girl!

    xx Anouk


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