Un Conte de Fée
Salut mes amies!
So, I thought I would just brush everyone up on this past week’s agenda….
First, I arrived in Strasbourg last Saturday, met my host family in the train station, and went home to a new house where I will be staying until June. Sunday, I had a day to relax, watch French television shows with my host brother, eat a grand feast “dejeuner” with the family, and finally nestle into my relaxing low-key French lifestyle. ..Then Monday happened.
Flash back to College in the year 1980 and you might get a better idea of what course selection is like in France. The French system is what one might call “special” in that it there is no rhyme, reason, or basic online organization to guide you through the process. In fact, my host sister was just telling me today that she woke up at 5am to stand in line to register for a course that opened at noon! C’est fou! As far as our course selections go, Holy Cross just knew that we could never do this alone, and that’s why we have Rachel, our advisor to guide us through the whole process. When I say guide, I mean sitting in a classroom for three days straight, calling different departments asking them what courses they offer, figuring out if they are “first year” courses, and signing us up, regardless if we are actually interested in the courses or not. “Just try it” has been the tag line. I guess we can look at this experience and term it “the great escape” considering this may be what kind of obstacles we might need to face in the real world and not just in our College bubble. Regardless, I do miss my bubble and can’t wait until our course approval forms are submitted and finalized.
On the bright side, I am signed up for two classes in particular that have my name written all over it (literally, my name is now on their door). When the year is over, I will be fluent in French, Greek, AND German! While I realize I may be using the term “fluent” a bit loosely, that doesn’t mean that when I travel to Munich for Oktoberfest or to Greece for spring break, I won’t be able to converse with the natives here and there. Besides, my grandfather is going to be so ecstatic to know that I have not only eaten meat (lamb doesn’t count), but that I will also be learning our fruitful language, and who knows, may even have the courage to try an olive while I’m at it! Speaking of eating meat, I may just throw out there that my host mother made a rabbit stew the other night. For those of you who don’t know, I’m going to tell you the short tale of my beloved deceased rabbit Nibbles Sunshine who brings tears to my eyes every time someone offers me a carrot (there were even carrots in the stew, ironic?). Regardless, I did eat it, and yes, I could hear the cackle of Breir Rabbit between one ear, my palette, and the other. Was it good? That my friends, is like uttering the name of “he who must not be named” but I think you all know my answer…
Saturday, however, after all the course selection was complete and I tasted the forbidden fruit, we went with Malou to a wine tour of Alsace! We woke up early Saturday (a little bit too early if you ask me considering Friday was our first night out), bright eyed and bushy tailed, and made our way to the office of Tourism where we had our own van and driver to take us on a tour around the region of Alsace. I felt like I was right at home in good old new England as we drove through the pine tree forest/ mountains and visited several beautiful(you know it’s coming) CASTLES, only several miles away from the Black Forest and the border of Germany! These castles, however, are much different than the Loire Valley, in that they are actually real-life versions of fairy tale abodes. I thought for a second I was in Disney world, and it took me a few minutes before I realized that this is the real thing! Essentially after visiting these castles and walking around what I believe may have actually been Hansel and Gretel’s village, I was sure that the gingerbread house would find me. We are however, in Alsace region, and instead, it was sausage, sauerkraut, macaroons, Bretzels (giant sized pretzels), and six different types of white wine that found me instead. I guess I no longer have anything to complain about. Well friends, it is Monday night and I am slightly exhausted by my first day of classes (that, and the fact that I really want to watch the dubbed French version of Sherlock Holmes with my host parents).
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