Its Thursday morning, one week and 2 days since I got to this beautiful city. After going to an Erasmus party last night, I’m snuggled up in my bed listening to the rain drum on my window, thinking I probably ought to get up, but I’m far too cosy...
The first few days I was here, I was stunned by how incredibly hot it was, having thought it would be cold here, but since Saturday it has done nothing but rain...one night there was such a big storm that the thunder woke me up...it was scary!! But anyway, enough about the weather...
I have done so many different things since I’ve been here I don’t really know where to start. With the basics I guess...I am living with a family (mum and 2 grown up kids, 19 and 23), and it is absolutely fabulous. They are so so nice and have included me in and helped me to sort out everything. I really have landed on my feet, my French mum does my washing and ironing and sometimes even cooks for me, its ridiculously good! I am living in a little village just outside of Strasbourg and its so beautiful. It really suits me, because I love to be able to go out running or walking in the fields (although my running has not always gone well, one day I ran 22 KM because I got so lost!!), I used to feel claustrophobic in Brum. The ‘kids’ are so fun and inclusive, its a lovely vibe in the house, and I have got to speak loads of French already. Its exciting, I’m happy.
Another very exciting thing to have happened is that on Tuesday I went to the European Parliament to sign my contract for a ‘traineeship’ over the next year. As I walked round the confusing corridors of this significant building, I felt at home. Its been a while since I’ve done anything ‘professional’, and I miss it. I am determined to be an excellent parliamentary assistant and to squeeze every little thing I can out of this wonderful opportunity. Its a little bit daunting, I am one of very few Strasbourg stagieres and I want to be a good one, but I’m excited about the challenge.
In other news I have started my French lessons, they’re alright, yesterday we did the passé compose for like the millionth time and it was a bit tedious, but all French is good I guess. I am really looking forward to term starting and getting into the routine, especially because that will mean there will be more people around, at the minute threes a bit of a weird vibe in the IEP (Institut d’Etudes Politiques), as there is no one but the 100 or so international students!
On Tuesday I went to basketball training for the first time...it was cool! It felt weird because I haven’t played in ages and they’re all really good, and given the length of my legs they expected me to be too! Also basketball is a million times harder in another language, there was a 5 second time delay between being told to do something and working out what they meant, but training there 3 times a week is going to be a great way to learn French and to meet people : )
So a week on and all is good...the French administration has not yet lived up to its reputation, all my bank opening, funds applying, phone buying has been remarkably easy. My only complaint that conforms to stereotypes of the French is WHY DO YOU HAVE TO GO ON STRIKE? I have to get the bus to uni and the parliament, and the strike was on my first day in the parliament, so there were no buses. Ah well, I am in France.
I am in my element: meeting people, seeing new things, trying new experiences, pushing myself to be the best I can. Strasbourg je t’aime <3