Okay, this is going to be a long post so prepare yourself. I’ve been here in Orléans, France for five days now. I knew I wouldn’t be able to remember everything, so I’ve been writing in a journal each night so that I can post it on here.
Jeudi 25 Août 2016
I woke up early at 6:00 and Hubert (my host Dad) and I ran for thirty minutes. Lise (my host Mom) was going to bike alongside us, but she was tired so she slept in. We ran alongside the Loire River and if I’m being honest he’s way more in shape than I am. We only ran for thirty minutes because that’s all I could do, but he said he normally runs for at least forty :O. After that I showed and took a nap for an hour or two. At 10:30 I met Dillon and the other Emily at the cathedral in town. We went to a coffee shop and I ordered a large strawberry smoothie and the large cups in France are like the small cups in America. Then we went to get our tram cards, it’s only 25€ for a month of unlimited rides. We went to the phone store to cell our French cell phones, which are only 2€ for unlimited texts/calls and only 25€ for 4G of data! It would be impossible to find a deal that good in the States. I couldn’t get mine because my credit card doesn’t have a chip in it, which I didn’t realize until I got here:/, but it’s okay because I have an appointment with a French bank so I’ll be able to get a phone soon. We also walked along the river and ate kebabs. I took the tram home for the first time and it took me a while but I finally found my house and when I got home I was so tired that I took another nap. But I woke up in time for dinner, which is always at 19h30 or for you Americans reading this, 7:30. After dinner, my host family and I biked to the cathedral to watch the light show. It was really cool, basically they have huge projectors and they use the cathedral as the backdrop and it’s really a work of art and there’s music along with it.
Vendredi 26 Août 2016
I woke up around 9:30 and since I missed breakfast, I just had a peach and a yogurt. In France, they have two different types of peaches. One is the normal orange one we have at home and the other is called a white peach because the flesh on the inside is white. They’re both really good and taste pretty similar. After I ate, I went to the attic to read. I say attic, but it’s really a finished room and it’s really perfect, it’s my favorite room in the house. I found a book of French poetry and started reading it.
Then I met Dillon in town and we went swimming at L’île Charlemagne. It is a beach on a tributary of the Loire River. You can’t actually swim in the river because there are underwater currents and it’s dangerous.
After that we went to an American style diner. It was funny to see all of the 50’s American decor in France. Then I went home and had a second dinner with my host family–don’t judge me–swimming makes you hungry. I met Oriane today, she is one of my host family’s daughters. She’s really nice and is staying at the house for a little while. I think she’s on vacation. After dinner we went to see a movie at the theater and we saw Jason Bourne, but in French. It was hard for me to understand, but it was a good movie. And we biked to the theater! We bike everywhere, it’s great.
Samedi 27 Août 2016
Lise and I woke up early to we could be at the market by 8. The market is so cool. It’s just like the farmers market back home, but much bigger and the food is better. It’s set up right along the Loire River and there are stands that sell fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, and even pastries. Every Saturday Lise or Hubert (they switch off every week) buys all of the groceries for the week at the market, except for bread, that’s something that you buy each day so you can have it fresh. She got all kinds of things and wouldn’t let me carry hardly any of it. I swear she biked home almost fifty pounds of groceries. It was incredible! Later in the day I went to the bank so I could arrange a meeting. In France you can’t just get a bank account, you have to have an appointment. When I got home, I met my family’s other daughter Marion, and she’s also really nice. In the evening Dillon and I went on a bike ride. My host family graciously let him use one of their bikes and we planned on biking to Pont d’Europe, which is a bridge that is about 3 miles from my house and then going to a system of trails that is near the bridge. However, Dillon’s bike got a flat tire and so we had to walk the bikes back. So we just decided to call it a day and we went to town to have a beer. I had a Kronebourg Rouge and it was really good. They also served chips and guac and green olives with the beer and it was really good too.
Dimanche 28 Août 2016
I woke around ten and missed breakfast again–not an uncommon thing for me–so I just had a strawberry yogurt. Then I lounged around and read some poetry in the attic. I read a few chapters of Le Petite Prince and then I started reading The Sea Wolf by Jack London. I layed in the hammock for a while, I ate some cheese. Of course, we all had lunch together, and then later, dinner. Meals are an event here. You always know what time the meal is and it’s something that you don’t miss and don’t want to miss. If I’m not going to be home, I make sure and let my family know I’ll be gone for the meal. Lise is a very good cook. When I can speak better, I’m going to ask her if she will let me help her cook. Lise and Hubert also switch off with the cooking. She will cook one week and then he will cook the next. During the work week, they each come home from work so they can have lunch and the same for students who are in school. They get about an hour off of work, but it seems pretty flexible. When I told them that many Americans only get thirty minutes to each lunch they were horrified! We ended the evening with a French film on the TV.
Lundi 29 Août 2016
Today I woke up around 8:30 and I went for a thirty minute run along the Loire River and I was able to make it a little farther than I did the first time I ran. Then I showered and got dressed and I cleaned my room. I met Emily and Dillon at the cathedral at noon and we took the tram to the University so Emily could give us a tour of the campus. There’s a castle on campus!!! Emily just casually mentioned this as we were walking around and I was like what! It’s so pretty. There’s also several restaurants and a lake. Campus is really pretty. We couldn’t really go inside any of the buildings though because nothing is open yet. School starts on the 1st for most students, but on the 5th for us since we’re international students. I’m really ready for school to start. We had lunch at a restaurant near the bistro and I got a cheese panini, a chocolate pastry, and a tea and all of that was only 6€, which is pretty cheap. After we left the University, we went back into town to run a few errands and do a little shopping, for essentials of course.
Here’s a picture of me on campus:
This is a really long blog post with a lot of details, but I probably won’t be able to keep this up during the school year so enjoy it while it lasts. 🙂