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French and Russian undergraduate student, trying my hand at the real world.

Friday, 1 February 2013

For a few dollars more...

So I thought I would share with you a few of the things I have been up to of late. I'm not keen on these kinds of posts usually, but they have been of cultural interest so I will divulge under that context.

1. Drinking coffee on pavement cafes. The best way to get a feel for a place is through people watching. Granted, the majority of the population around the area with the best pavement cafes is arguably students, but it is good all the same. It is one of the simple pleasures of living in France. I've become one of those awful people who posts pictures of their food etc on instagram, but there is one place around here that puts whipped cream on top of its cappuccinos, instead of frothed milk. The French like their coffee strong. Order a double and you'll be on the roof! (It saw me through 7 hours of lectures on politics and philosophy, all in French, that finished at 8pm last Monday - heavy stuff!) working out how to get a picture of my awesome coffee on here - let me get back to you on that one.

2. Baguette shopping. Eat on day of purchase, unless you like croutons with your camembert.

3. Going to the cinema to watch French films. I saw a film last week with some friends called Paulette  - which was absolutely hysterical. It's like Calendar Girls meets Pineapple Express, but it's about an old woman who starts selling drugs to make ends meet. It is presented in a very heartwarming and comical way, and I enjoyed it immensely. Will definitely buy the DVD. (more info here: http://www.allocine.fr/film/fichefilm_gen_cfilm=201026.html - it's in French I'm afraid, but there's this thing called the internet, wot letz you translate n stuff)

4. Speaking French. This sounds like a bit of a no-brainer, but it is surprisingly easy to not speak any French when in France. There is a strong sense of community amongst Erasmus and other exchange students - many of whom are anglophones. However, I have made friends with a lot of European students, with whom French is my shared language as not all of them speak English. It is a very mutually beneficial agreement that we speak only in French to one another.

5. Eating cheese. Lots of it. A cliche, but as I mentioned before, I am part of a family of cheese lovers. (You will remember the comment I made about my cousin who, while doing his undergraduate studies, bought his own mini fridge, just for cheese). This week's cheese is Morbier, an old favourite of mine: http://www.artisanalcheese.com/prodinfo.asp?number=10352

Oh, and I also went to a photography exhibition in the Chateau de Tours last weekend. (check the place itself out: http://www.tours.fr/139-chateau.htm) It was dedicated to the works of a French photographer called Jacques Henri Lartigue (check him out here: http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/jacques-henrilartigue) who devoted his life to taking photographs of 'Moments of Happiness'. The photos speak for themselves.

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