Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 3- 1/11

Woke up early enough for breakfast this morning, which consisted of French bread slices with jam and butter, applesauce, and hot chocolate in a bowl, because that’s how they drink it here. Went to the bus stop at around 9, but the bus didn’t get there until about 9:15 since it was late. When I got to the centre ville where I was supposed to meet Sylvie and the others to go to the fac (university), I saw no one. Although my bus was late I still got there in enough time for the 9:37 bus that Sylvie said would take us to the fac. I called Sylvie twice and texted her, but it was no good. So when the bus came I asked if it was actually going to the fac just to be sure, and it was. I got on and was a little freaked out that I couldn’t find the group. Then along the way the ticket “controlleurs” got on the bus to check for tickets, which freaked me out because 1. I was never ever expecting to actually see anyone check for tickets and 2. I wasn’t sure if I did the whole stamping the ticket thing right. I heard some girls on the bus speaking French with an accent that obviously wasn’t French so I thought they were American. When we passed part of the university I got off at the “faculté des letters” which is where I knew my test would be. After getting off the bus I asked the girls if they were American. They were actually English, but were going to the same placement test thing I was. I followed them and eventually found the test and my group. I asked where were they and they said they were on the bus, but what actually happened was that there was a leader girl helping Sylvie who saw a group and decided to leave on the bus that left right before mine, and when they got to the fac, that’s when they realized there was someone missing… me. Forgotten again. Whatever. The test was actually pretty easy. Before it started, I thought I didn’t have a pen and I asked the prof if they had one and she looked at me like I was an idiot, but fortunately I found one in my purse. Apparently the French never use pencil on tests, either, because someone said they only had a pencil and the prof was practically astounded. The test was just a picture of two women, Madame so and so and Madame such and such, and we had to describe each of their backgrounds, how they met each other and are friends, and because they were old, we had to explain why old people are important in society (all in so x-amount of sentences). Then we had a little oral exam interview where I went in and a lady asked me things like how long I’ve been studying French and what I study at the university in the US and what I did the last time I was in France, etc. It was easy. So I think I’ll score pretty high. Then I waited for the other American girls in my group to finish doing the same thing and we went looking for lunch. We eventually did find the “Restaurant Universitaire” and had an amazing meal for under 3 euros. Then we went back to around where Sylvie’s office was and hung out until about 1:30 when she talked to us about home stays, finances, classes etc. and two women from Le Credit Lyonnais (the French bank where we’ll have our accounts) to help us sign papers and open our accounts. It was confusing and had hardly any idea what I was signing. After that was finished, the girls and I found the bus back to the centre ville (downtown) where we got more bus tickets and passes. Here's some pictures of L’hôtel de ville (city all) and the surroundings. Unfortunately I have to upload them all to here because my Internet isn't accessing the Picasa website correctly.

Then we decided we’ll meet tomorrow in front of the hotel de ville (city hall) where we’ll do some shopping, because in France there are sales in the stores only twice a year, and now is one sale. I caught the bus back to L’espace Kennnedy and went to Carrefour (a supermarket) and got some things for dinner. Around 7:00 my friend Caroline who’s studying here for a year and whom I’ve known since high school and go to the UO with, came to visit me and fill me in on what’s going on from the perspective of someone who’s been here a while.

more pictures here

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