Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Rendez-vous ?

After quickly preparing dinner, I went to Lyon's main station (La Part Dieu) to get Wendy (a good friend from JCH). Backpacks all over, she looked quite the little traveller. We were both so thrilled to see each other that the storm occurring round us didn't seem to matter so much. Although I really meant to go to sleep early as I was starting classes the next day... I already knew it was going to be a late night. We stayed up past midnight catching up and then the following morning I left home in the early hours of the morning. Yes. It was 7.30 am when I left my apartment. SO EARLY!

I found my university easily enough...as it's the campus right next to the Rhône river, near the centre of town. I then ended up waiting in line until 10 am to enrol for the language course I'm doing for the next couple of weeks. As it would occur, I didn't get the chance to enrol - as we were all whisked away to do a French exam. I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Thursday morning! The exam was actually OK. Surprisingly enough. I befriended a couple of Swedish law students sitting next to me and after the exam, we all went together to a particular agency to buy what's called an 'attestation responsabilité civile'. Finding it closed, we opted for a lunch break, got to know each other and then a few hours later I'd made some new friends, got the attestation, and enrolled. It was a painful, French bureaucratic experience.

The nice-looking campus - the one I won't be at later on
 I then ran off to the centre of town to find Wendy who had spent the day exploring, and we walked along a little then came home. We made a beautiful dinner (thank you mum for the tomatina spices!) and went to see Lyon by night. It's beautiful - Take a squiz!

Some of the city - at night

The Opera House
Some financial building in the centre of town

The cathedral

Wendy standing in Lyon's town square
 We only got a little wet, and had the best ice-cream we'd ever eaten. The following day I went to uni and Wendy went of exploring on her own. That night we hung out with some people she'd met in Italy and their friends which was really cool (in spite of inhaling cigarette smoke for several hours) they were awesome people and extremely interesting to talk to.

Saturday! Saturday we decided to get out of the city. Why? Because why not? So we headed East to Chambéry, a small town in the region of Savoie near Switzerland/Italy in the Alpes. Result = magnificent. We went to a small market and visited the cheese guy who let us taste lots of cheese and the olive lady who let us taste lots of olives. You can guess what we had for lunch...oh! And some good bread too of course ;-) We parked ourselves on a bench outside of the museum and bonded over how difficult it will be to eat in Australia now...yes. Wendy Allan and I have become cheese, bread AND olive snobs. Now that is a difficult pickyness to live with.

And then, we saw Gladie! Gladie is an old friend from high school, who is French and lived in Australia for a year (thus she really is a friend from high school). It had been more than three years since we'd seen each other, so you can imagine what kind of greeting we had. It was just too awesome. Her mum and sister joined us and even took us out for ice-cream! We then were given a small tour of the town. It was so beautiful and medieval... cute, winding cobble-stone streets and on one street, even a small bridge between two houses that's goodness knows how many hundred years old.

Because my inner arts student went absolutely crazy when I saw in the tourist guide of Chambéry that Jean-Jacques Rousseau's old house was in Chambéry...and was a museum...we HAD to go. If you don't know who he is, you should feel ashamed and immediately do large amounts of philosophical research. Gladie ran into someone she knew from school working at the museum who gave us a personal guided tour. It was 'simple', the house - but beautiful and so historic! There was even some original furniture and all of the wallpaper too was original! Original means from at least the 1700s. Amazing.

Jean-Jaques Rousseau's bed!

It's not the Eiffel Tower, but it's Jean-Jaques Rousseau's house, COOLER! And Wendy and I are together in France!

Out the front of the house
Sunday morning I ran off to church and Wendy ran off to the other side of the country to continue her adventure. I was pleasantly surprised to find many more people at church on Sunday and even made some new friends. Monday was a long and tedious experience at the French consulate to activate my visa, but now it's done (thankfully I had no classes yesterday). I then spent the afternoon at a new friend's place (he made sushi!) with two other friends from church as well. It was so nice to just hang out and laugh and talk. We played a couple of fun games as well then went off to Family Home Evening at my church's centre for young adults.

The last 20 or so hours have been a bit ordinary. I'm really not feeling that great. It might be my brain exploding from talking in another language so quickly and so constantly or being physically exhausted as well - I don't know... but I had to leave class because I was dizzy and so tired that I was falling asleep...so today has been spent in bed, which I think is a wise move. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

But don't worry! I've got 'Le Petit Prince' to read (thanks to my friend Emmanuel) and a blue sky to stare at if I get tired of that - so all is OK.

Lots of lyonaise love,


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