26/07/2012

We graduated today!! But we still have class tomorrow, which is weird. I guess that’s how they do shit here?

My diploma

During graduation, we obviously had to do the cheek kisses (or for those of you that are cultures: faire la bise, bisous or bisou) with our professors, which is something that I personally always stress out about. Which way do you go first? What if they go the same way as you? What if you unintentionally make out with the person on the other end of the kiss?

Thank God I had Chelsea to answer that question for me.

Chelsea had a very interesting experience during this. Not only did Connell and I go before her so she could watch which way was acceptable to lean first, but many other members of our class did as well. But for some reason, Seb flustered her and she almost made out with him. I’m pretty sure someone, somewhere has it on video. That could probably make a baller YouTube video.

For those of you still confused about this gesture, click here.

Au revoir (for now)

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Faire la bise

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24/7/2012

Tonight we decided that we would finally go to the bar that is named after our home city: Boston Bar. After Remy and Bitte told us that it was their favorite, we had to give it a try.

It did not live up to expectations. We did get lots of French fries (wait, they don’t call them French fries here. They’re just frites) and margaritas and eventually, shots and drinks.

We were all just standing around when a French boy came up to me and started talking. I told him to bring his two friends over too, but for some reason no one in my group wanted to talk to them. I was basically sucked in. The boy asked me for my email address since Facebook is too “mainstream” for him.

Wait, what?

Au revoir (for now)

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Boston Bar

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21/7/2012

We went to Geneva, Switzerland today. We took a train at 8:30 a.m. and were in Geneva by 10:30 a.m. Such a quick nap to such a wonderful destination!

Once we got there we had to exchange our euros for Swiss Franks. OK, I’m not going to lie, that was pretty effing annoying. The Frank is apparently comparable to the American dollar, except everything in Switzerland was overpriced! Sorry, no, I am not paying $8 for a cupcake. I’ll give you a real life example: Leighann wanted a Swatch and it costs 90 Franks in Geneva but then she ended up getting it for 67€. I’d say she got a decent deal – even with the exchange rate.

Which reminds me…I owe Chelsea $9. I’ll just buy her a pitcher at Conor’s when we both get back to Boston.

Anyway, after finally figuring out our money situation, we decided to check out the United Nations. The people at the visitor’s center told us not to walk there, so naturally we did. It was a pretty far walk, but not altogether unpleasant. We walked along the lake and got a feel for the city. Then we arrived.

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Flags of all the countries lined the entrance. We got in, paid our money and went on our tour. It was so phenomenal to stand in the rooms that the leaders of our world discuss treaties and war in. Just imagine being that powerful.

In one room, there were two separate entrance doors. At first, no one really understood this. But the reason for it is that when two countries are at war and must discuss conflict resolution, they enter and exit at the same time (rather that one entering before the other) so that neither person (or country) shows dominance.

Then we went for the most amazing fondue. We shared a huge pot of bacon flavored cheese fondue with ham (they think that bacon = ham here) chunks in it. It was really delicious but I don’t think I want to look at cheese for a while again.

bacon fondue

After that we did some shopping and exploring and then, after blinking an eye, our day in Geneva was over. Such a beautiful city.

Food, Travel

Lyon: Geneve

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We went to the Farmer’s Market again. This time I got pictures! There was also a whole street of puppies.

I know it would have been the boyfriend’s personal hell, but I was in absolute heaven.

On this trip I have been missing my puppy at home. I say he’s a puppy, but he’s really a full-grown dog. All of the puppies at the market were so adorable and they looked much healthier and better behaved than any puppies one would see in America, especially if they were puppies in need of a home.

But I really enjoy the food at the market as well. It was all so fresh and the smells while walking past were the most phenomenal that I have ever smelt in my life. The fruits and vegetables had more color than those I would see in any Stop and Shop in America. I got strawberries from the farmer’s market our first Sunday here and they were still good an entire week later! That seems like an almost impossibility, but I was so excited that they lasted so long.

I saw an American flag scarf at one of the stands the second week there and when I went past it again I just had to buy it. But it was 10€. Iwas unsure about paying that much for a simple scarf so Iasked the man if I could have it for 8€ (in French) and he said yes! Imagine my surprise when he though that I was European as well – I thought for sure that my American accent was a dead giveaway.

I wish there was a similar farmer’s market close to my apartment in Boston. The market is definitely one of the things that I will miss the most in Lyon.

Au revoir (for now)

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: The Puppy Market

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What the fuck happened tonight. (I wrote that in my Lyon Word Journal at 4:24 a.m. when I got home last night.)

You know what’s great about France? Everything. Their parties are longer, wilder and drunker. Their firemen are hotter. What’s not to love?

Let me just paint you a picture.

First there was a line at the door. Not long enough to defer us from wanting to go inside, but just long enough that we knew we were in the right place for a good time. We got to the door and the “bouncer” was checking girls’ bags. I guess there needs to be some form of security, right? Anyway, one of our girls had a flask in her bag which she “completely forgot about.” Yeah, I said the same thing when I brought a water bottle of Bacardi to my senior homecoming dance. We all told the bouncer to just toss it since it was ruined from putting Apple Pomme soda in it anyway. But he said we had to do that ourselves. Then Chelsea said she was going to “throw it away” which really meant downing it and stashing it next to a tree.

We got in to the building, got stamped and got a free drink coupon. I immediately got drinks. Desperados. Tequila flavored beer. Yep. Then we went out into the little courtyard to dance. It was an outdoor courtyard so it wasn’t like the usual hot and sweaty club. But then it started raining, which was fine. It was just a light drizzle so no one really minded. We danced to French house music and it was awesome.

We went to get more drinks a few more times and just pretended we didn’t understand them when they asked for our drink tickets. Then Leighann got a free drink a whole other way. Creeper guy + drink tickets = accidental kiss? Weird how that happens.

Anyway, then the show began. Four firemen were standing on the roof waving flares. So cool. Then the music started and the stripping began in the windows. It was the most wonderful strip tease I’ve ever gotten. OK, it’s the only real strip tease I’ve ever gotten. And it wasn’t even for me. Boo.

We ended up leaving around 2:30 a.m. since we were all very intoxicated. But somehow didn’t make it home until 4:25 a.m….

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Le Bal des Pompiers

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Today we went to the Medieval city, Pérouges. We got these incredible crepes before Pérouges though. I got a ham, egg and cheese crepe and it was probably the most wonderful experience of my food-related life. The French version of a ham, egg and cheese. Except instead of the thousand carbs a bagel has, it was the twelve carbs in a crepe.

Ham, egg & cheese crepe

But Pérouges was absolutely the most phenomenal with I’ve ever seen. It was literally exactly like stepping out from a time machine into the Renaissance.

The sidewalks and buildings all looks as though the inhabitants of the city laid down cement and hand picked rocks to put on top of it.

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We had galettes, which is basically a buckwheat pizza with sweet creamy cheese on top with a squirt of lemon juice. IT was pretty good. A little bit plain but not a bad snack at all.

The views were phenomenal and so was the nap I took on the bus ride to and fro Perouges.

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Perouges

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, BETCHES!

Today I did a really stupid thing. I set my “Classes” alarm for Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fridays because that’s when I have class. But today is Wednesday. So my alarm that I set did not go off. I need to set a different alarm for Wednesdays I guess. Ugh. So I woke up at like 12:10 p.m. when we were meeting at 1 p.m. to head over to our Wednesday activity. Oh well.

Our Wednesday activity this week was a little scavenger hunt around the city of Lyon. We were paired up with one person in every level of French classes (1-10) so it was a good mixture of French abilities. Being in level 5, I barely contributed.

But we walked around a lot more of the city than I have seen and it was amazing. This city is absolutely gorgeous.

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After that, most of us dialoguers decided we were going to meet up with the group of Americans from Marshall University (We are Marshall) in WV for a little Fourth of July mayhem. We went to this Scottish bar where everyone spoke English and ordered burgers and beer. It was a pretty awesome way to spend the Fourth if you ask me. Even though we didn’t practice much French.

The Marshall kids are pretty cool but they’re either staying in home stays far from the University or in a hostel. Ew. I’ll keep my dorm-style single across the street from the University, thanks. And my Northeastern dialoguers. Love y’all.

Au revoir (for now)

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Wallace

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