Last week marked the visit of my first guest here in Lyon, my dad. My mum will be the second, a week today and Roz, my third on 18th May! Although I love the idea of exploring new places and even old ones by myself, a lot of the time I do wish I had somebody with me. I think that you see places completely differently depending on your company. For example, my dad is a walker. So, although I have now been in Lyon for 2 whole months, by walking different routes last week I gained a totally new perspective and mental mapping out of the city. We also took one of those sight-seeing city buses on the rainiest day of his visit which again allowed me to see Lyon much differently than before. You miss so much by being lazy and taking the metro everywhere. I’ve been trying harder recently to look up and around rather than down at the ground or my Apple Maps – though it can prove a little tricky when you know how much dog poo is around. For me, having somebody visiting also forces me out of my room in which I feel so comfortable. That’s a good thing too because I always have a good day once I’m out and about.
Last weekend I visited one of my best friends in Paris, where she is now living and working for the second half of her year abroad. I think it’s pretty self-evident that my experience in Paris would have been far different and let’s face it, so much better had our terms in Paris coincided. One of the main problems that I faced in Paris was loneliness, making friends and even having enough confidence to leave my room some days. I can say without a doubt that having the bubbly, sociable butterfly that is Roz Farr there with me would have fixed all of these troubles and Paris would have been much more successful for me in different ways than it perhaps was. Anyway, enough of that and let’s get onto my little weekend break and how Paris compares as a tourist to as a demi-resident / billy-no-mates who can’t afford anything after a weekly shop and a takeout coffee nor can they really communicate very well with anybody, not that there’s anybody to communicate with etc, etc.
10 / 3 / 2018
So here’s a little about my cheeky weekend away in the city of lurrve with my best mate. I arrived at 15.30 on Saturday 10th March after a 6 hour Flixbus from Lyon. After a little miscommunication, we were finally reunited (hurrah!) and headed straight to take some cute pics on the most instagrammable street I’ve ever seen in my life, Rue Crémieux.
Something a little different this Sunday. After having received the mark for my first Year Abroad Essay, I’ve decided to share it on here. I was super happy with my result, so thought why not step a little out of my comfort zone and “publish” it, so here goes.
Quelque chose d’un peu différent ce dimanche. Après avoir reçu la note pour mon premier essai de mon année à l’étranger, j’ai décidé de le partager. J’étais tellement contente de mon résultat que je me suis dit pourquoi ne pas sortir un peu de ma zone de confort et le “publier”, et voila!
Right now, 30 seems way off but still fairly daunting now that I’m a whole 3 months into my 20s as of tomorrow (20 didn’t quite count, did it?). Following on from the post I wrote back in November about turning 21 (TWENTY-ONE) and my lack of excitement surrounding this so-called rite of passage, I decided to make a sort of to-do list. Something that lays somewhere between New Year’s Resolutions and fully fledged bucket list territory. I apologise for any clichés from the offset. I think it’s impossible to do anything of this ilk, to even discuss “goals”, whilst remaining free from cliché. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me all that long to collate. Once you start thinking of things to which you aspire, it’s easy to get carried away. I hope I’ve managed to keep the balance between dream and attainability and I’ll catch you in 9 (years) to see how I’ve done.
It’s not mine, but it’s a taste of what could be. A trial run of adulthood, maybe. Sans bills or the majority of my rent (thanks mum & dad). But it’s still a taste nonetheless. Although I’ve lived away from home during term time since the end of 2015, and even before then had stints at boarding school from the age of 8, moving to France alone is a different experience altogether. Moving to Paris back in September was terrifying and it was almost just as scary moving to Lyon a couple of weekends back. However, things have started differently here, and indeed for the better. I jumped straight into university on day 3, rather than having a fortnight of not knowing what to do with myself in Paris. University takes up 10 and a half hours a week, spread across 4 weekdays, as opposed to just 5 or 6 hours in Paris divided between a Tuesday and a Saturday. Yes, uni on a Saturday. I’m also going to be taking up a job offer rather soon that will keep me occupied for a further 8 hours per week and in some form of grown-up routine (vs. little bits of studying here and there and taking full advantage of that free month of Netflix).
After a flu-riddled Christmas at home, yet another blogging hiatus is over. I’m back, and I’m back in France. Only this time, further south and a little bit to right. I’m in the birthplace of cinema and food capital of France (some actually say the world) where the locals are called Lyonnais. That’s right, you guessed it. I’m in Lyon and have been for a week and one day. Having been here for just over a week, it would be impossible to have grasped what Lyon is all about or seen much of the city at all really. But what I can say already is that living here feels so much different to living where I did last semester, just outside of Paris. What helps tremendously is that my room here feels a little more like a home from home. I am really enjoying that I have my own front door, my own mailbox and the ability to “buzz people” into the building, not that anybody is likely to be calling by. It feels like a completely different experience already. One of semi adult-ing maybe, rather that floundering in Parisian suburbs. I’ll try to keep you posted, literally.
Twenty-one kind of hit me harder than any age thus far. It’s the first time when at midnight I actually felt a little different. I suppose there is so much build-up to it. Sometimes regarded as the final truly celebratory and exciting birthday. The ultimate rite of passage in western society. But frankly, today at 21 all you can look forward to is drinking and gambling on that American road trip you probably won’t be able to afford until well into your 30s. “Having the key to the door” simply has no modern day relevance. You’ve had the key to your parents door for years and the prospect of having keys to your own home are rapidly declining and metaphorically speaking, you’re still pretty shit at adult-ing, am I right?
I’m a little behind on blog post plans due to my 21st birthday (belated, celebratory post coming soon), attempts at studying and working towards my TEFL (also to be discussed soon), and general laziness in all honesty. So let’s throw it back to the beginning of the month . . .
After a lovely and much needed break at home, mum flew back with me to Paris. I had been desperate to visit Versailles, so used this as the perfect opportunity to drag somebody along with me (she was more than compliant really). However, Versailles is more of a full-day / Saturday outing so on the afternoon and evening of our arrival we had a wander, and some food and wine . . . naturally. When in Rome and whatnot.
I think that if any Cardiff University student is doing uni right, even if they don’t want to admit it and somewhat without their noticing, they themselves have become a connoisseur of a night out Cardiff-style. However, the same cannot be said for my partying habits in France thus far. I have been “out out” a grand total of twice. So, perhaps I am under qualified, even completely unqualified to type about the differences of a Cardiff student night out vs. a Paris student night out, but here goes regardless. These are five things I did note.
Call me naïve, a country bumpkin. Call me what you will. But until today, prostitution was an almost abstract idea. A practice confined to BBC Three documentaries, the windows of Amsterdam and 19th century French literature. One is never really exposed to much of the sex industry in the sleepy border villages of home. When I say “never really” I mean not, and when I say “not much of” I mean none at all.