February 28, 2012

Bref II

Well here I am again, two months later from my last blog. So as you can all imagine, a whole lot has happened. I need to make this "Bref" again...

Bref. Two months have passed. Tonight I leave for my much anticipated bus trip to Paris and Barcelona. So. So. So. EXCITED!!! January and February were two very cold months. I've learned a lot. I've eaten a lot. I've made new friends. I've traveled around. I've had fun :) I shopped! In France, they have major sales all over the country during the month of January. I went to a sketchy town called Roubaix with the Guisnets and Clothilde. I found some sweaters. Somebody broke a window of the Guisnet's car while we were there and didn't take anything :P I had my first galette des rois. A galette des rois is cake thing with a little prize in the middle. If you get the prize, you are the "king" or "queen" and you get to wear a paper crown with pride. I slept over at Sophie's. We had a galette des rois. I was the queen. I ate over at the Damelincourts. We had a galette des rois. I was the queen. I went to some church party with my host family. We ate a galette des rois. I was the queen. See a pattern here? Usually you're only supposed to have one galette des rois per year. Oops. Anways, I ate at McDonalds for the first time in my life. Haha yeah I know it's weird me being American and all. First hamburger in Cambrai, France! I went to Lille with my host family and we went to a bike store where you can try all the bikes out there in the store. I almost crashed. I helped my host sister build an Eiffel Tower out of leaves and branches for her art project. I hate superglue. I went laser-tagging in Lille with all the other exchange students! So much fun. I really suck at laser-lagging, though. I came in 19/21 almost every time. It was awesome to see everyone again. We had so much to catch up on. There are two new Australian exchange students in our district. I slept over at an Indian exchange student's house. We went shopping in Lille together. Then I went shopping in a giant super mall with my host sister. I kind of sort of LOVE French fashion. Zara is one of my magasins préférés. I made brownies for my first host family with my neighbor Laura. She is really sweet. I got an enormous care package from my parents #thankyousomuch. In sports, we're doing acrogym– pyramids and dance steps. Absolutely no exercise but it's fun. I performed Bruno Mars' "Marry You" with my group in front of the class. We celebrated Murielle's birthday. It was nice and simple. I bought a new coat. I went swimming with my host sisters at the local pool. A word about that... did you know that it's against the law to wear swim shorts to the pool?! Boys have to wear Speedos. Girls can not wear swim shorts. The French authority people are scared that the shorts will fall off and everyone will be swimming around au natural haha. And it gets better– everyone has to wear those ugly uncomfortable swim caps. So basically we were all looking pretty horrific at the pool with our one-pieces, swim caps, and googles. Lol. There's a giant toboggan there. We went on it at least ten times. The pool is really really really deep. In sports later on in the year, I'm going to have a unit of swimming so I'll be going there more often. I took my BAC blanc oral exam (a practice test for the real BAC). The teacher asked me questions about two poems and I had to analyze them. All in French, of course. And guess who scored an 18!!! Me! Whoo! An 18 is a really really good grade in France. I was shocked and very proud. I also took a BAC blanc test for physics and science. Ha, didn't do as well on that one. Now we're in February... I learned that it is illegal to own a turtle in France. We went on a lot of walks. I went to Rotary dinners. I slept over at the Guisnets for a weekend. It was amazing. I love my future host sister Marie-Michelle. We went shopping and had a blast. We bought stuffed animals and DVD's together. Because we're that cool :) Then we saw a 70's music concert the next day and were the only ones cheering. Normal. I got another care package. My mom had sent me Chanel perfume. #somuchlove. I've started singing. In music class. In front of other people. I sang a song with a microphone in front of my class. Not joking. It went well. We had to turn a classical song into a pop song. We took Beethoven's "Letters to Elise" and wrote our own lyrics. I was in charge of that because we wanted to write them in English. I had always been scared of singing in front of other people because I have a really bad ear for when I'm in tune or not. But now I'm more confident. It was actually really fun :D The next weekend I went to Marie Damelincourt's surprise 18th birthday party and slept over afterwards. It was really fun. Marie was floored when she walked in and found 30-something people waiting for her. SURPRISE! We ate so many delicious aperitifs. We danced. We laughed. It was great. Then the other day I went on a fabulous outing with my host family. We went to Touquet. My host mom grew up there. We ate at a stereotypical American restaurant called the Buffalo Grill. It was hilarious to see red leather booths, pictures of cowboys and Indians, Arizona scenery, and hearing country music on the radio... in France! It was yummy. I ate bison. Then we went to the aquarium! I really love sea animals. I really really do. It was an awesome aquarium in Boulogne called Nausicaa. We saw jellyfish, enormous fish, sharks, crocodiles, penguins, turtles, and seals. The seals were so intelligent. Lucie (my host sister) made motions with her arm and the seals actually followed her like they were dancing. It was great. My camera wasn't working so I didn't get to take any pictures :\ I bought some pins for my Rotary jacket. I ate frog legs this month. Currently there is a mess of clothes on my bed ready to be jammed into my suitcase for Barcelona. I will do my best to try to write a blog afterwards and tell you guys all about my trip! First, Paris here I come! :D

Bref. Time passes by way too fast.

I honestly can't believe that I've been here for six months now. It really feels like only seconds have passed by. They say times flies, but really... time just disappears between days and weeks and months on an exchange. It makes me incredibly sad just to think about going home and leaving all these people that I love behind. I haven't really gotten the blues here yet, homesickness wise. I have felt low and a little lost, but not in the sense of missing home. I miss my family and friends, but not the actual thought of America. I think the reason is that I've made myself a new home here. I'm 99% comfortable with the language and everyone pretty much says that I'm fluent. I don't really know what fluent is but I feel just about as comfortable with French as with English. (Sometimes I mess up my English grammar :s) But written French is a whole different story. French grammar is extremely hard.

So far I've made so many good friends here, had so many great memories, and lived so many adventures... it makes the thought of leaving so incredibly hard and sad. My return date is June 17– way earlier than I had wanted. But I don't really have a choice. But instead of thinking about the future, I'm going to concentrate on this bus trip in less than 24 hours. Viva Espana! Olé olé olé! A bientôt, bisous mes petits gens.

Because Marie-Michelle and I were in a tire store :)
At our concert.

Forever <3