Salut tout le monde!
So lots has happened since I last wrote about Lyon. Some friends and I took a day trip to Albertville last week and it was a perfect day in a nice little mountain town. Albertville was home to the 1992 winter Olympic games so we checked out the Olympic museum which was alright but prolly the best part of it was all the costumes they had from the opening ceremonies, crazy stuff. Then we hiked up to the little medieval village of Conflans where there were gorgeous views of the city and cute fountains and shops.
Last week I also got together with a girl from Cyprus named Didem and ate dinner at her little apartment just outside the town center. Her mom was staying with her for a little while so she made us turkish coffee and then read our fortunes with the coffee grounds, it was pretty cool. Her and her roommate are also studying at ESC and taking a int'l business program in English. It's so great to meet people from so many different cultures and backgrounds, who really have pride in their home country. It's seems that even in the US when you get to know someone from another country they mostly see themselves as an American, and I think with that mentality it's more comman to assimilate to an American lifestyle. But Europeans are all so different with customs and cultures. My french teacher was suprised when classmates where sharing info about their host country, and I knew what dishes and customs they were talking about, she asked if I've traveled a lot and how I know so much about these other places, and I think it's because Americans don't have a specific habits or a specific culture that we just latch on to everyone elses.
Anyways on Thursday I left for Bordeaux to visit a WSU friend Emily who's studying for a year as well. She's living with a host family so it was nice to have some home cooked food and to be able to try some Bordeaux specialities. Unfortunatley the family all had colds and then Emily got food poisoning Friday night so not the best weekend, but I had fun anyways. Bordeaux is full of beautiful cathedrals and is also right next to the Gorgonne river. Place de la Bourse, where the government buildings are, is gorgeous and looks right out onto the river. We checked out the museums on Sunday and the Musee d'Aquitaine (Aquitaine is the region Bordeaux is in) was really cool, with ancient arrowheads to cool medieval stained glass. We also got to meet up with former Erasmus students that went to WSU and it was interesting to hear their take on their study abroad experiance. It's nice to have someone to talk to that knows what you're going through and is a coug :). The family also appreciated my political views so offered to let me stay an extra night.
The next couple of days look busy, I'm prolly going to head for a day trip to Annecy tomorrow, then there's an int'l student meeting thingy in Lyon on Thursday and then this weekend I'm meeting up with my former host family (from my high school trip to France) in Geneva. I start my French program on Monday so I'm sure I'll have lots to share next week, if I find time to write. Bonne journee et a tout a l'heure!