Nantes month two: and the journey continues18 October 2017
I thought I may as well do something productive with my time whilst waiting for my laundry to finish and start my next blog. These past couple of weeks have been extremely busy but I’ll try to summarise the best bits:
Ok, so this isn’t exactly the highlight of the week, or any week for that matter, but it’s important to know (I think). I feel that wherever you end up, this task poses some sort of inconvenience along the way (or maybe I’ve just had my fair share of malfunctioning washing machines). Here, you’re faced with the bare minimum (kinda like the kitchen- see blog one): there’s one washing and one tumble dryer amongst 233 students (thanks for the figure Harriet). Hence, I realised pretty quickly there was little point trying to wrestle (not literally, though it soon may have been) with everyone over one machine.
So instead, I’ve been using the local laundrette just opposite the accommodation (there are loads dotted everywhere across Nantes- so you wouldn’t have to look too far for your nearest). It takes up half an afternoon and breaks the bank compared to what I used to pay back in Cardiff (I’ll never whinge about Taly washing machines again, I promise). But… I’ve been able to practise my French with some of the locals and felt pretty proud of myself for helping someone use one of the machines earlier. Believe me, these feel like the greatest of victories when you’re a language learner.
Slightly more interesting a topic (I hope). Last weekend I had my first French cinema experience by going to see a film called ‘Le sens de la fête’ (yes an actual French film by the way, not an American one that’s been dubbed). It was so funny and we all came out with stupid grins on our faces. For me, this is what the year abroad is all about: immersing myself as much as I can, not just in the language but in the culture too!
(Here’s the trailer for any language learners who are interested!)
They’re fairly few and far between as we (Cardiff students) aren’t required to study as many modules as them (the French and every other Erasmus student). Overall, I’ve found them enjoyable and most of the time I have been able to follow what’s going on, both in classes and lectures. Except perhaps for last week’s lecture on twentieth-century Russian cinema. Yeah, don’t ask. I don’t have a clue how I ended up studying this either.
Books, bars and bubble tea
I’ve also been breaking the bank with my rediscovered love of books… all in French of course! On a recent shopping trip, I bought Le Petit Prince and a couple of crime novels (no surprises there) so I’m excited to spend some time reading in French for fun rather than just for my studies. I also tried bubble tea for the first time which has absolutely nothing to do with France but I did order in French so I guess that counts.
To top it off, last weekend we tried out the closest thing to a Cardiff club I think we’re gonna get. L’Australian Café gave off a real international-student vibe and we were all impressed by the music which catered to most of our music tastes and seemed to cater to all nationalities. Their pina coladas were good too!
Finally… (because us Brits love to discuss the weather!) I cannot believe just how warm it still is mid-October! On Saturday, it was 26 degrees and generally-speaking, I’ve found it a lot warmer here though no doubt I won’t be as impressed next month. There is a slight Cardiff feel to the weather though, because it can easily be sunny one minute then there’ll be a massive downpour in the next. Umbrellas are a must.
I’ll leave it here for now and you can take a look at a couple of my photos including my visit to Les Machines de l’Île (thank you Harriet Shirely-Priest for the elephant photo- someone photobombed mine).
Oh wait, one more thing…
“Learning another language is like becoming another person.” – Haruki Murakami
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