Bonjour to all,
I'm been neglecting this guy a little so I'll try to get you all up to date on what's going on here in France. Chambery had gotten really sunny the past couple of weeks so my friends and I enjoyed every bit of it with walks in the park, bike rides to a nearby lake, and snowshoing (which is much harder than i had imagined). My friend from the states, Irene came to visit me for a week and it was lots of fun seeing her and we took a trip to Rennes as well. Luckily the weather stuck out for her too and we took a hike in the mountains, ate tartiflette and gorged ourselves at the market, before making a delicious quiche.
Tuesday morning we truged to the train station in the pouring down rain (ya sun's gone back to cloudy gray skies) and headed to Rennes. We couchsurfed and our host met with us before she had to go babysit. She told us her roommate needed models for a photography shoot so we headed to the park with her and dressed up as clowns for her photo. I'll try to show you guys the final product if I can get a hold of it, but we saw a preliminary picture but unfortunately Irene's face was cut off by the confetti we were throwing, so hopefully she's gonna fix it so we can see her lovely face :D. Couchsurfing is always a good time, hehehe. That evening Auriane, our host gave us dinner and we headed out to explore Rennes at night. Auriane is an English major and was so nice and welcoming, and unfortunately she was on her last day of "vacation" after her university's six week strike! Ya six weeks can you believe it? I understand the french's need to show their governement when they're mad or don't agree with something but six weeks of no school seems a little too much. Apparently Sarkozy wants to make a lot of changes to the system because right now it's pretty easy and there's too many students and not enough teachers. He wants to make it easier masters students to teach, but also wants to make it harder to become a masters student. There seem to be lots of other requests too, that I need to research into more.
Rennes is basically a big collage party town, 200 000 residents with 60 000 students and Auriane told us many people come to university here, just for the party atmosphere. There's a street in the center of town called the Rue de la Soif, street of thrist, that is just bars and kebab stands. It was pretty quiet during the week but Thursday nights are when it gets insane with college students. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling too great during our nights out there (just a little cold that's passed now), but it was still crazy to see so many students in one little area.
We also took a day trip Wednesday to Mont Saint Michel, which was pretty incredible. The weather wasn't perfect, but no rain so it was fine. We took a tour through the abbey and the tour guide was this bitter man who basically told us that no one really knows the history of the Mont because most of the documents were destroyed while it was a prison during the French Revolution. Either way it was really cool and amazing to see such an old and sacred place. The views of the bay were also incredible and we enjoyed looking at all the stupid souvenirs :D.
Back in Chambery now with Irene back in the states. Had a calm weekend just recovering from my cold and doing some research on zero based budgeting (facinating I know). This week (and next) is back to the crazyness of "majors" so not really looking forward to that but I just have to take it day by day and remember to breath :). With Irene here I'm really getting excited about moving back to the states. I was talking with another American friend, Grace, the other day about our experiances and both agreed that while Chambery will always be with us, our lives are back in the states. I could definitely see myself living in France one day but not in Chambery, and maybe when I find a job that can bring me back here.
Still no idea yet when I'm coming home, but it's looking like either June or July so hopefully I figure that out soon. I'm meeting with someone Tuesday about an internship so hopefully that works out, and I can have a project to do for May and June and then travel with my sister and her boyfriend in July. I'll keep you guys updated and can't wait to see you all back in the states!
They basically turned their union building into a squat.