March 19, 2012

It's Tea Time!

I have always wanted to go to England. It has always been in the back of my mind as one of the places that I had to visit one day. I don’t know what the appeal of it is exactly... maybe it’s Harry Potter or the British peoples' fabulous accent, but I’ve always been curious and fascinated to discover it for myself. And so when my class was proposed a three day voyage with the sophomores, I immediately jumped on board. And that’s where I was last weekend. ENGLAND. The country of red telephones and buses in a sea of vintage black and white photos; the country of manners and tea drinkers; the country of bad food and a wonderful accent; the country of monuments and shopping; the country with London as its capital. It was absolutely amazing. I had a blast. I miss it so much already. I mean I love Cambrai and France and all... but a city like London is quite unforgettable. I felt so incredibly happy and free over there. Of course it was only three days so I can’t really judge everything off of that. I’ve heard that the English people are really uptight and don’t like to show their emotions so making friends would probably be much harder over there than in France. But at least the language barrier doesn’t exist for me :P

So only me and two other girls (Manon and Diane) in my class ended up going with the sophomore class. We boarded the bus on Thursday at 5:30am headed for the British Chanel. Cambrai is not that far away from England so we didn’t need to take a plane. The bus ride lasted about two hours. I had a hard time grasping the fact that just two hours on the road could bring me to a completely new country. Two hours from my house back home would take me to one of those big super malls in the middle of some plateau. That's kind of one of the big differences between America and Europe right there. We had to go through a passport check before getting on the boat. The kids on the bus were fascinated by my American passport. They said it was so "beautiful" compared to theirs... which I sort of agreed with. We Americans don’t really pay attention, but we really do have pretty fancy passports in comparison to other countries. We’re just so patriotic, we have to show our pride everywhere.

Then when we were all checked off, we boarded the boat! It was a really nice fancy boat. It reminded me of the ferries back home (I don’t think ferries exist here... unless that boat was actually a ferry) It had some stores, restaurants, food courts, bars, chairs, money exchange booths, balconies, etc. The first thing they did was assign host families. I ended up in a family of six. The host families in England are used to receiving students all the time because they only do it for money. It’s normal for French people to go on these types of trips to England because we’re so close by. For a lot of people, this wasn’t their first time. Also on the boat I exchanged 100 dollars and only got around 50 pounds! I was really disappointed. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had the same currency around the world? But I love the English bills and coins. They are super pretty with pictures of the Queen everywhere. I find that only America is different in terms of the money system. All the European countries, England, and even Canada have coins for one dollar or two dollars. It’s a lot more practical than having tons of bills all the time. And not to mention America’s wacky metric system! We just like to stand out.

I'm on a boat!

Anyways, when we arrived the first thing we saw were enormous foggy white cliffs that plunged into the sea. The Cliffs of Dover. Honestly, I had only heard of them before from a Madonna song... I had no idea that they were located in England. My geography is horrible– match that up with cultural/monumental/famous places and you get a very confused sense of the world.
The Cliffs of Dover!

We started our activities right away so that meant another two hours on the bus on our way towards the Windsor Castle. The first thing I noticed were the infamous left-hand side drivers! They really do exist! It was so weird. I freaked out when I first saw a person in the normal driver’s seat without a wheel. I even creeped and took pictures of this new cultural discovery.

Whaaaaat?!
My second cultural discovery was when we arrived at the castle and I saw that the boy’s bathroom was labeled «Gents». How distinguished ;) My third discovery was a British tart that I ate before we went into the castle. I thought of Alice in Wonderland and all of the stereotypes that I was fulfilling...


I am not the biggest fan of historical tours, especially the ones with audio guides so I hadn’t really been looking forward to the castle visit. But it turned out to be really good! I really enjoyed myself and actually learned a lot. Diane and I stuck together and we had a lot of fun. The castle itself was gorgeous, magnificent, and enormous (like all castles in Europe).
Diane and I with our sexy audo guides...
We wandered around and toured about outside for the first part and saw one of those Buckingham Palace kind of guards with the enormous bearskin hats! It was quite funny. He really doesn’t move. I tried talking to him, to make him laugh, to make him smile. I even danced in front of him because I was feeling silly. He didn’t even blink. The only way that we only knew he was alive was when he yawned. What a fascinating job... but it is an honor, serving the queen and all.

But really, he's secretly a dancer at heart ;)
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside of the castle, which was a bummer. The thing that I really liked about the castle was that it was still in use. The queen often lodges there, has her tea parties there, and strolls about the place. It’s weird thinking that it’s her home. I couldn’t imagine living in such a place with luxury, chandeliers, and gold in every corner on every wall in every room. It was oozing with the presence of wealth and royalty. To think that it is still somebody’s home is incredible.

(In the Queen's throne room) Okay, just don't tell the Royal Guard about this picture...

How did I get in on this royal dish?

Haha funny story. Well, I made some new friends. Royal Guard friends to be specific. I was really happy to be speaking English again (with an attempt to speak with a British accent) so I tried talking to as many people as I could in my native tongue... which meant asking a lot of questions. I didn’t think the guards inside the castle would be so talkative! It was great. At first I just asked them why the guys outside with the big furry hats didn’t move (a very intellectual question, I know) and then we just got talking. I learned some very interesting things that I would have never learned from those ridiculous audio guides! For example, did you know that the queen wears the exact same earrings every single day?? (Except for royal functions where in that case she puts on her fancy diamond loopies) They are usually just a single pearl with a tiny diamond on top. Apparently she was given them when she was a little child by her parents so they hold a personal value. I think it’s very sweet and modest. I googled it and sure enough you’ll see her with the same earrings in every single pictures (except for the royal function pictures in which she'll be wearing her big diamond ones). Would have never known that if it weren’t for those bored guards! They have already met the Queen many times. She’s almost like their friend. Wow. I’d like to be friends with a queen :P

After our visit, we checked out the pricy gift stores and then left the castle ground for some free time in the city! It was great. The shopping in England is fantastic. All my favorite stores were there. We looked forever for a Starbucks, but ended up getting shakes at one of those places with 100000000 shake options. Then I bought a new pair of jeans at Zara and some necessary tourist things. Diane and I amused ourselves by trying on some super tall high heels and some of the completely ridiculous hats that are à la mode in England (thanks to Kate Middleton). Yeah we definitely know were to find the hot spots in England...


Grr... ;)
Then we headed back on the bus to go to our host families for the first night. Our family was really nice, but they didn't get very close to us. They didn’t really even talk to us. They just get paid to feed us and give us a place to sleep... not to become friends with us. It’s a common thing in England to host students for money (like in the popular French film LOL). They lived in a small house with two dogs, one cat, three chameleons, five people, two semi-permanent guests, and then with us five French students plus one American. So you can imagine our spacious lodging. But it was really fun and we were quite lucky with our family compared to others. One family didn’t even electricity or hot water! We were just a bit squished in our room with six beds and all... and the food wasn’t so great. We had pasta that night but were still starving afterwards. Luckily we had all prepared for the infamous English cuisine and had each brought tons of stuff to snack on. ;) We didn’t eat with the family. It was a little awkward.

Snack party!
Day 2: Destination– LONDON!!! I fell in love with London like I had fallen in love with Barcelona. I’m easily enchanted by beautiful foreign cities. Windsor was an hour away from London. We started off with a tour on the bus, passing by hundreds of fantastic stores, monuments, stores, monuments, and more stores. Have I mentioned how amazing London is for shopping? Our first stop was at the Buckingham palace. We didn’t get to go inside but it was still gorgeous to look at! Very big. Too bad England’s hottest couple wasn’t around... :\ We also saw the famous red guard guys come by on horses! So English.


Me with the Polish exchange student whose at my school
Then we seemed to go on a long detour through a park that had TONS of birds and ponds and eggs (giant painted Easter egg sculptures were scattered throughout London for a giant scavenger hunt). We ended up in front of Big Ben. It’s quite a practical monument if you’re someone that always forgets to wear a watch. It was incredibly well-made and very beautiful.. like all monuments.



Diane and I in front of.. something famous.
And then finally we had some free time in London!! But not much... Diane and I ate at Starbucks (Love!!) It was her first time ever and I had insisted that she try it. She loved it. Point for America... and especially one for Seattle. Starbucks is kind of a part of American culture. People go there to hang out, do their work, go online, chat with old friends... not just to eat and drink. But I guess French cafés are sort of the same thing. Then we discovered the classic red telephone booths of London. They are everywhere! I thought it was a thing of the past, but people still actually use them!


Next stop: Madame Tussauds! Best. Museum. EVER. I have never loved another museum as much as I loved that one. I’m not a huge museum fan so I was really happy to discover that this one was not at all like the ones that I’ve visited before. I admit that if you don’t like celebrities or the movies or famous people then you probably shouldn’t go to Madame Tussauds. But on the other hand, if you like seeing your favorite stars... you would love it. It’s a museum full of incredibly incredibly incredibly incredibly realistic statues of stars! It was amazing. There were times when I honestly thought that we were walking through an A-list party.

Colin Firth :)
Orlando Bloom <3
We all know this lady ;)
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
Represent.
Then there was a scary haunted house kind of thing with people that leap out at you. Usually those things are lame, but this one was traumatizing. There were horrible creepy guys that just wouldn’t leave us alone. I was screaming like crazy and embarrassed myself by hiding behind some lady only to find out later that is was my English teacher :P Then there was a «Tour through English history» in little English taxi cars. I couldn’t help but think of how expensive it must have cost to build that museum. They even had a 4D movie presentation about superheros. 4D means that your surrounding environment comes to life as well– the chairs moved, water fell from the ceiling, wind blew, and we saw everything in wicked 3D. Pretty awesome.

And for the last day, we went to The British Museum. It wasn't as cool as Madame Tussaud, but I think it's just a matter of taste. The Egyptian section was really cool with giant pharaohs and ancient artifacts. And I discovered that the museum had the real Rosetta Stone! The legit Rosetta Stone!



Afterwards we spent the afternoon in Covent Garden. We had a lot of free time just to explore. It was fantastic. The ambiance was the kind that I really like– with lots of music, people, food, art, shopping, etc. There were street performers everywhere and tons of fantastic boutiques. We watched a guy fit his whole body through a tennis racket (you wouldn't believe how disgusting that was... and how much money he got afterwards from the crowd!) There was another guy who tried to break out of a straightjacket, metal chain, and thick ropes. We also saw an opera performance and a charming classical music group... all while eating fresh-made paella in the center of the marketplace. Diane had her first cupcake ever. It was quite the grand experience for her. And then we went shopping :D I could have spent a whole week just going up and down those streets of wonder. I don't what it was about London, but I just loved everything about it. I just loved being there in the thick of it all.

Paella in the center!
So gross. So disturbing... So interesting.
Our buddy :) He was just, you know... wandering around.
Those three days in England were incredible. This experience as an exchange student has opened so many doors for me– to new countries, to new cities, to new friends, to new adventures. I'm so thankful for this experience and am so happy that I got to set foot on English soil! It won't be my last voyage there, that's for sure ;)
The Tower Bridge!

Sorry for the lack of blogging... I really am sorry... I just... well... if you were an exchange student, you would understand our problem of thinking that we have lots of time and then realizing how little of it we actually end up having. I will try to write more frequently! A bientôt, bisous.

March 10, 2012

Arrrrrrrrriba!

"Olé olé !" says the girl who just got back from her incredible trip to Barcelona. The bus trip was amazing, fantastic, wonderful, mucho bueno, etc. I went to so many places, met so many people, discovered so many things... and hardly slept. It was a bit overwhelming! And fantastic. I have so much to say and not enough time right now in my school library to write it all! Bear with me folks... my memory is a little scattered.

So since this bus trip was called the "Paris-Barcelona" bus trip, we weren't in Barcelona the whole time even though it felt like that. We were in Paris for three days, on the bus for two days, and then in Barcelona for the last three days. We were a group of fifty exchange students, coming from all over this planet. There were people from Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Tazmania, Colombia, India, and of course America. One of the best parts about the trip was getting to meet all the incredible new friends of every nationality. I learned a lot about their cultures in the process and had the best time being with them. Rembering all of them as I write this makes me want to go back there so badly. Exchange students instantly click with other exchange students. It's impossible to be a loner if you're hanging around one of your kind. We all share similar experiences and hardships so it's natural that we all want to be together. Even on a bus for 18 hours...

Anyways, so I slept over at an exchange student's house the night before we left for Paris. We had to get up super early to catch our train and arrived at the Paris train station at six in the morning like walking zombies on Red Bull. We met up with everyone and helplessly tried to remember peoples' names. The general order of first meet-and-greet questions went like this: "Where are you from?" "What's your name?" "Where do you live in France?" "So, uh, how's life going for you?" That's how it started almost every single time. After we loaded onto the bus, we set off right away on a guided tour of Paris, checking off all the things on the tourist must-see list: The Eiffel Towel, Notre Dame, the Seine River, the Louvre, the bridge with all the locks of lovers, etc.

Looks like someone stole the show... I swear that this wasn't planned. (BIRD)
Group photo :)
Inside the Notre Dame
By the Seine
So the Bridge of Lovers is a bridge that goes over the Seine with a long fencing that's covered in locks. You are supposed to go there with your lover, put a lock on the bridge, and then throw the key into the river. Preeeetty romantic. So the big shocker was that I found a lock with my name on it! There were at least a million locks there and personally I don't know any other Aja's in this world so... one could say I was surprised.
Whooaaa
The tour was kind of rushed so it was hard to really enjoy Paris, especially when the guide was blabbering on and on with no one listening and the Rotarians were always telling people to move faster. But the weather was really nice and the people were really nice and the city was really nice so.... the day was really nice.


Whoo! Taiwan!
And then we went to our lodgement: A youth hostel. When I heard the word "youth hostel", I definitely pictured concrete floors and straw beds. But the place was actually pretty spiffy! I bunked with Julia, my New York bud. I would have said that the place was a hotel if not for the absence of soap and a shower curtain in the bathroom. Everyone got to bed pretty late that night after a bit of dancing, talking, and silliness... but it was earlier than the nights that were yet to follow. ;)

Day 2: The second day in Paris was ten times better than the first. So the morning game plan was to climb up the Eiffel Tower. Everyone took patriotical pictures in front of the Tower with their country's flag. Ha. I hadn't brought an American flag so in all the pictures, I'm holding some other country's flag. International love?

Yep, I'm with the Canadian flag..
It was still cold and foggy at this time so when we got to the top, we really couldn't see that much. I had already been up the Eiffel Tower when I was in Paris with my parents when I was eight, but it was still very thrilling and fun to be up there again. That's where I started hanging around my Tazmanian buddy Evie. We were bus trip besties. For lunch, we had croque monsieurs on top of the Eiffel Tower. I thought food would be super expensive up there, but it was cheaper than a lot of cafés that we had eaten at. It was quite the location ;)

My Aussie :)

Afterwards we took the bus to Versailles. I had already been there once with my parents, but I had forgotten how beautiful it is. It's the essence of wealth, royalty, and refinity. Everything is painted in real gold. The place is enormous. We got pretty lost wandering about, checking out the elaborate bedrooms, ancient statues, and enormous wall paintings. It seemed to me that Louis must have been really into painted ceilings because almost every ceiling was a giant mural with angels and Jesus and all. I found them quite impressive. I, for one, could not paint something like that at that awkward angle. Evie and I took pictures of everything that seemed famous. We amused ourselves by trying to get into the background of as many tourist pictures as possible. Obviously, we make for great Rotray ambassadors.

After our tour, we went out into the famous gardens. It was more like a maze with really high walls and lots of turns. It reminded me a lot of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland.

Day 3 : Last day in Paris. We visited the Louvre. I really liked the Louvre visit this time because I got to see way more of the museum than I had with my class back in December. Evie and I tagged along with some Asians who really wanted to see the Napolean exhibit. Since the place is absolutely immense, we ending up visiting tons of rooms in the process of getting lost. Someone told us that it would take three months to look at everything in the museum if you were to look at each masterpiece for one minute, eight hours a day. Wow. Yeah, we had about two hours to look at everything. That time frame didn't quite cut it. We felt kind of guilty bypassing hundreds of exquistic works that probably took years to complete. We just wanted to find the famous stuff. Of course we took some pictures with the Mona Lisa... it's sort of obligatory.

Yeah I don't know what I'm doing in this picture...
And then we found the famous painting that's on the Coldplay album cover « Viva la Vida ». But just like at Versailles, Evie and I just took pictures of what we thought was famous. Which meant a lot of stuff...
Viva la vida


The legit Venus statue
In Napolean's quarters

Artful...

This time around for lunch, we ate at the Louvre's international food court. They had themed restaurants from all around the world : Chinese, Italien, Spanish, Moroccan, Japanese, American, etc. We went for Chinese.

There was one really super hilarious moment at the Louvre that made my day. As Evie and I were walking back from the food court, some old hairy guy came right up to Evie's ear and growled! He actually growled! Then he just walked away like nothing had happened. For a minutre we had just stood there, stunned. And then we broke out laughing. It was rather creepy, but rather wonderful at the same time. Oh gotta love those people that growl at you in world famous museums...

After the Louvre, we were on the bus for a good seven hours en route to Barcelona! Arrrrriba. The bus wasn't very comfortable and the movies that they played were really lame, but it actually wasn't that bad. I could have almost considered it to be fun. I never really realized the emphasis on the bus part of bus trip. We had a loooooot of hours on that bus. We passed the time by talking, singing, playing bus games, having a talent show, and of course sleeping. I learned how to rap. The funny thing about being around Australians is that I tend to pick up their accent! It's weird. So during the trip I started talking like Evie. I tried to stop, but I only went back to speaking like an American when I hung around other Americans.
Evie braided my hair... <3

For the night we stopped at a little town in the south of France. It was kind of in the middle of nowhere with cabins and a cafeteria. I roomed with Evie. Everyone stayed up late talking, dancing, and playing midnight beach volleyball (I'm not quite sure why there was a beach volleyball court there...) It was fun.

Day 4 : All day on the bus. All day sitting on those uncomfortable seats squished in between people speaking Chinese and Spanish. But it wasn't that difficult. Time passed fast enough, but it definitely felt longer than the first traveling day. For lunch, we stopped in an adorable little town that was within castle walls. That was super fun. The town was so cute with all the little stores, tiny alleys, and castle features. It was much better than stopping at Flunch.

We arrived in Spain that evening. I instantly fell in love with that country when we stepped out into the warm air in front of our 4 star hotel! They really lodged us in good places. This was a super nice hotel. I stayed in a room with the two Indians from my district. There was a dance floor, a really yummy buffet, a pool (that we couldn't swim in) and tons of people in that hotel. Each night there was quite fun ;) But as a result... we were all sleepless zombies the following day. 


Day 4: Mornings that start with a museum are rough after four hours of sleep. But it was an interesting museum all the same. Someone said that it was Barcelona's National Museum (I don't know, it was all in Spanish). Too bad we were too tired to register what we were looking at.

Tired...

The museum's ceiling
One of the many sources of the constant music that floats around in the streets of Barcelona
Barcelona <3

Then we went over to every soccer fan's dream place: Barcelona's famous soccer stadium. I'm not a soccer player. I don't really care about soccer, honestly (but I better not say that in front of those crazy Barcelona fans.) But the stadium visit was pretty cool, even for the neutral passer-bys like myself. There was a historical section with tons of trophies and all. It was funny seeing the boys getting into it, taking pictures of themselves next to the trophies like girls in front of their favorite designer stores ;)


The stadium itself was enormous and colorful. One can imagine how crazy it must get when all those seats are full. I never understood how people can get so into sports, but it sure is fun to be around them even when you don't know what's happening on the field.

Famous trophies...

Translation: More Than A Club.
Have to agree with that one...

Sparsh, Jo, Evie, Me :)

Yeah it's kind of big...

And then finally for lunch, we had some time to explore the wonderful world of Barcelona shopping. There was a fantastic option of stores. We had loads of time. The only thing was... it was Sunday. Which meant that nothing was open! We were pretty bummed– extremely bummed. But it was still a great afternoon. We managed to find some open tourist booths to satisfy our shopping needs.
Olé! We know how to work those hats...
We also saw the famous Sagrada Familia cathderal. I swear that every single religious monument in Europe is under construction... The Sagrada Familia is never finished. It never will be finished. If you see a Sagrada Familia in a post card without some type of crane or building material in the background, it has been photo shopped. No matter what year it was taken in. It has an interesting architecture, one could say that the outside ressembles cottage cheese or mushy clay. Near the roof, there are vegetable statues, snakes, and slugs. There's probably a deep, religious, philosophical reason for those unique decorative appeals... but to the common eye, it doesn't make much sense.



Day 5: A beautiful day in Barcelona. The sun was shining and it was warm. It's been so long since I've had the sun on my face. The North of France is great... but not for suntans. That day we went on a thorough tour of the Sagrada Familia. I personally prefer the inside of Cambrai's cathedral.

Cottage cheese...
But this one had a little outside courtyard which was pretty with a little healing "magical water" foutain and some wandering ducks in the corridor. I drank the magical water. So far, I have found no new superpowers or unnatural side effects. I was disappointed.

Holy ducks


Following our saintly morning, we went out to have an amazing lunch. By the beach! I felt like I was in California again. There were palm trees everywhere, the sun was shining, we could hear seagulls, and we could see the ocean.

We found a great lunch place with a view of the water. Between the six of us, we got an incredible large special/family style meal to share: Three ginormous pans of classic Spanish food (Paella, black rice, Spanish noodles), plus salads, plus mini appetizers, plus drinks... all for 10€ a person. Score! But there was no way that we could have finished all that. We spent all our time eating so unfortunately we couldn't go down to the beach... I could have stayed there for so long. Long live Barcelona. I will go back to you one day.

FOOD



That afternoon, we visited a typical tourist attraction in Barcelona. It was a series of white caves and tunnels with pretty decorated ceilings, but the most famous part was the mosaic lizard statue that dominates all the classic Barcelona postcards. But there were just too many tourists there for the visit to be super enjoyable, but I agree that our 50 person group didn't make the crowd control get any better.

Since everyone (well mostly the chicas) really really wanted to go shopping since we didn't get the chance to go the other day, the supervisors let us go shop in the town where our hotel was located. It wasn't that great... but I still found some clothes and a purse. Shopping in those little rustic alleyways is quite amusing because you can bargain. I've never really bargained before so when I simply told the man that I didn't want to pay for a shirt, he instantly lowered the price. I got it for 75 percent off. :)

Day 6: Our last day in paradise :( The last thing we did before leaving that incredible country was visit a musuem. Everyone was bummed... but the museum turned out to be incredibly interesting. Well, I was captivated. It was the official Salvador Dali museum. I am a huge fan of his work so I really enjoyed it. The whole museum is dedicated to him. Even his corpse was buried there in a wall...

RIP
 Here were some of my favorite works:

An enormous 3D masterpiece. This was taken from the stairs through a magnifying glass that puts the face into perspective. I have the lips on a necklace :)



The famous bread painting...

Based off of this 3D bread...

So close, so far

I LOVE THIS PAINTING. There are so many different abstract elements, you really have to search. For example, did you notice that the green thing is a man's tie?? Whoaaa

Abraham Lincoln illusion/ mosaic painting.

The original is in New York, but still...

The outside of the building was covered in fake bread rolls to represent his famous bread masterpiece. The Dali symbols that I've noticed: Bread, lips, clocks, mustache. How interesting it is to be remembered by those four ordinary things that have created such incredible art. I know he wasn't all that normal in the head, but sometimes our world's crazy folks turn out to be our world's geniuses.

For lunch afterwards, we discovered the extent of our Spanish speaking capacity. It was pathetic. I managed to order a Kebob with hand gestures. Most of us had never taken a lesson in Spanish before. But people there speak pretty good English. Except this one man in a hat store that we managed to have a whole conversation with using a whole lot of hand signals, grunting, "Si si", "gracias", smiles, and not a word of Spanish. My Asian friends even took a picture with him, they were so enchanted. So cute. I love how excited Asian people can get over little things.

Aaaaaaaand then.... the bus. 18 hours straight. We slept through the night on that bus. So uncomfortable but we were all too tired to not fall asleep, except for poor Evie who had an energy boost in the middle of the night and couldn't get to sleep. I can't count how many gas stations and rest stops they made us get off at. Usually those breaks were refreshing... just not the one at two in the morning. :P

Everyone got dropped off at their right train station for the return home. I took the train from Paris to Lille. It was so sad to say goodbye to everyone. It was like we had formed a family over the last week. But the good news was that we're all going to see each other again in a couple weeks at Annecy!... which is a huge event where all the exchange students (more than 400) are going to get together in a town called Annecy for a long weekend. It's going to be one fun meet and greet, I can sense it. So my adventures with my exchange student besties isn't over. After Annecy we still have the bus trip around Europe. Bref. Thank youuuuu Rotary!

Sorry AGAIN for the huge delay and shortage of blog posts. My reasons: having too much to talk about, procrastination, and a very busy life. Mix those three together and you get an instant reduction in lengthy blogs. Sorry. I'll try harder. A bientôt, bisous.