Friday, July 13, 2012

First Days in France

            Bonjour! I arrived in Montpellier Friday July 6th.  I flew into Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, then took a train to Montpellier.  I took the TGV train to Montpellier. I was unaware there were assigned seats, and later realized my seat was on the other end of the train.  After unsuccessfully trying to drag my large suitcase through the small aisles, I sat in an empty seat.  However, I had to move when I was scolded in French for taking someone’s seat.  Finally, I ended up sitting in the staircase in-between train cars for 4 hours. C’est la vie! It was not a comfortable 4 hours, but it provided a great view of the French countryside!

            After the train, Voila!  I was in Montpellier.  It is a beautiful French city located in the South of France, on the Mediterranean Sea.  I met the other students in my program, who are from University of New Orleans and Louisiana State University.  Everyone is friendly and adventurous! We have already taken trips to different towns in France, explored Montpellier, and started classes.  We are provided school lunch at the University of Montpellier.  It is delicious! There are meats, vegetables, fish, so much bread, cheeses, and wine! The wine is cheaper to drink than the water.  See picture below.

            We are always on the go, exploring Montpellier and other nearby towns.  There are not many English speakers, because Montpellier is a vacation destination for French people.  So, even the tourists speak French!  Everyone in the program is at a different level in French, some just beginning and some are fluent. However, we all make an effort to speak French to the locals, which warms them up. Already I have noticed many differences in culture.  Everyone is very quiet. So, when we walk as a group, we have to remind ourselves to quiet down, otherwise our voices echo through the small French streets.  I  also immediately noticed their outfits. From young to old, the people here have a distinct style.  Although it is very warm here, they still manage to look chic.  See picture below. 

       Overall, after my first few days j’adore France! I am excited each day to wake up and absorb this beautiful culture. Until next time, au revoir! 

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