Getting up to Speed

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve got around to a post. That’s a good thing, it means I’ve been super busy. Fall is in full swing here in Strasbourg, leaves are changing color, filling my bike basket, getting stuck in my hair. It’s great!

Seriously though, it’s quite beautiful.

I mentioned in my last post I was doing a presentation in my French class on the Acadians……nailed it! My teacher was thoroughly impressed with my presentation; he even complimented all Americans as a whole on presentation skills.

Another observation that I’ve made about how the college experience here differs is that there is a larger focus on the real world aspect of business, not so much theory as back home (both are important).

My classes are 3 hours long as opposed to my normal 50 minutes or an hour and a half. Yet, I pay more attention here in class than back home! In class we use real world examples and most of my teachers double as professionals in their field. In class I learn a limited amount of theory but we study a lot of businesses as examples. We do case studies on actual corporations, and after learning a concept it’s always related to an actual practice.

**There are pros and cons to both styles of class.

Aside from school, I’ve also been getting more and more accustomed to my city.

I went to the mall the other day. Most of the stores I typically shop at are on a strip down a street. I had no clue we had an ACTUAL MALL! I definitely missed being able to shop hop and the convenience of having everything in one place!

Another cool thing about my city is I get to recycle here! It’s honestly the cutest thing ever. We have a recycling bin not too far from our apartment on the way to school. When my bag is full I load it into my bike basket and drop it off there.

Speaking of my bike, I find it hysterical that I have a GPS talking to me as I bike places. I can imagine what people think as I bike past them and my British Siri says, “In 200m turn left on to Boulevard de la Marne”.

Another bike-related happening was this past week. I was riding my bike near the main station in the centre of town, “Homme de Fer” and trying to dodge the loads of people, I crashed into a pole. Everyone around me sucked in their breath and just stared at me. I quickly got off and walked my bike the remainder of the time……quelle honte.

As for the food I’ve been eating….quick lesson for you guys! Francesca made some Carbonara (I believe I’ve mentioned this, if not it was bomb)….and did you know that carbonara is bacon bits and noodles with an egg to make them sticky with parmesan. I had no idea. If that was common knowledge then just disregard that. And about that Parmesan….we eat the real deal here, I’m talking grating it straight from the block! And have you ever wondered how much spaghetti to cook for guests, well Francesca’s Italian secret is that a box of 500g of spaghetti is good for 5 people.

The fact that everything here is measured with the metric system is a huge adjustment, cooking, walking somewhere, trying to figure out if I need to wear a jacket. I’ve changed my weather app to celsius so I can start learning what the measurement correlates to with the weather!

Concerning school we gave a presentation on LSU for their study abroad fair. We then had a meet and greet and one of the student’s question was , “Is it true that it’s difficult to eat healthy in the U.S.?” There is this constant mention that the U.S. population is obese, and all we eat is junk food. I told this girl that yes, fresh foods are more expensive, however, it shouldn’t be a problem considering it’s custom here to prepare meals as opposed to back home where convenience takes priority.

A friend of mine from Scotland was talking about food with me as well, and she says, “You’re dinners must be amazing…..Fried Chicken!”. I burst out laughing……..I could not believe she thought we actually eat fried chicken all the time in Louisiana. I shared my love for Popeyes, but explained that at least in my experience, that was the extent of my fried chicken dinners.

I even get strange responses when talking about peanut butter and jelly! This combination is a foreign concept to Europeans apparently, and one girl responded expressing how many calories that must be and how unhealthy that was…& to think this was what my mom considered a healthy snack….

I’ve been making tons of great memories here, and meeting loads of cool people. So many new friends that at first I was always looking for things to do, and now I oftentimes have to make a choice because everyone wants to make plans (not just with me, I’m not that cool; the respective friend groups).

I also joined the college soccer team! I found out we’ll be playing in a tournament cup and will play other colleges, and even travel to Paris and Lyon! In addition, we practice at the F.C. Kronenbourg fields and their women’s coach asked myself and 2 other players to play with them. It’s still undecided but I think it’s pretty cool that this opportunity even exists. I think it’d be so neat to say I played for a club soccer team in Europe! This just happened on Monday, so no decisions made yet. However, I think it’d be a great experience, and a chance to practice my French considering at soccer practice thats the only thing everyone speaks with each other. There are only 2 exchange students on the team! Myself, and a girl from Switzerland.

Concerning my travels, this weekend I went to Rome, Italy! It was a 14 hour bus ride from Strasbourg and we went with a group from school. Shutting out the never-ending bus ride,  it was well worth it! I saw all the typical sites!

As for the experience and what I thought….I cried when I saw the Pope, I felt super underdressed in the club, everything is super close and squished (Trevi Fountain is right in the middle of a very small square in the middle of the city!), the School of Athens in the Vatican Museum is amazing, and Creation of Adam not so much (It’s a small panel amongst an extremely detailed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel), you can’t compare true Italian cuisine with Italian from back home (pasta with any type of meat is not a thing, it’s mostly just different types of sauce….also Alfredo is American…this doesn’t exist in Italy @francesca).

Finally, I spoke Spanish with the Italians when trying to get my point across and for the most part it worked out okay!

This weekend I’m going to Switzerland, and then in November I’ll be heading to Budapest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Great Big World

So this past week, I officially started my semester. I’ve been in France almost 3 weeks and as some of you have read it hasn’t been all smooth sailing.

Just another experience to add to my mishaps, I have a cold. I remember when leaving for LSU, I had the fear of getting sick. I thought of how I would manage without my mom to take care of me. However, “adulting” makes you realize how dramatic you are. I can’t lay in bed all day, and if I need to get medicine I need to get it myself and cook my own soup. I know this seems laughable to most adults because this is normal, but for someone still young, starting out in the world on their own, this is new for me.

**PSA: The pharmacies close at night, you have to search the designated 24 hour pharmacy of your city. Also, to get medicine you have to explain your symptoms to the pharmacist and they give you what you need. You can’t buy medicine at the supermarket.

Luckily, it’s not terrible and I have housemates who are super concerned for me. Francesca heard me coughing and her “Italian” came out and she quickly prepared a tea for me and instructed me on everything I should be doing to get better. Abi has also been making me use this vapor rub stuff, and EVERYONE is insisting I wear a scarf to cover my throat. All of the things your grandma told you to do when you got sick, apparently Italian grandma’s do the same; the home remedy medical field is universal!

I know I’ll be okay, I have several moms away from home! And yes, if it’s get worse, mom I’ll go to the doctor (and I’m sure I’ll write about that experience when the time comes as well). In addition, Abi and I both have different schedules but she barges in my room every morning when she knows I have class to make sure I’m awake; she’s a true friend.

As for class, I’m studying European Management at École de Management Strasbourg (EM Strasbourg). I will be taking a total of 12 classes through the year, 6 per semester; this equates to an 18 hour course load per semester. My program is a Bachelor Program so I’ll be receiving a degree at the end of the year! The reason being is that I’ve been enrolled here as a 3rd year student and met all their requirements with my past curriculum at my host university (LSU). In France, a Bachelor’s is only 3 years (années) of college, so I’m in my senior year here! The outline below gives an outline of the higher education system here. ECTS is comparable to hours here, and 1 class = 5 ECTS.

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My classes this semester are the following:

  • Cases in International Marketing
  • Introduction to European Economic Policy
  • Business Negotiation
  • Culture & Civilisation Françaises
  • Basics in Supply Chain Management
  • Experiential Marketing

Despite this awesome advantage of receiving a degree when I finish my year here, I will still be finishing school at LSU and receiving my bachelor’s there as well.

Though I have had few classes so far (the rest of my classes begin next week), I can say my favorite thing is that since my curriculum is International Focus, it allows for some really need discussion in class since so many nationalities are represented. The majority are Mexican, German, and Chinese. However, there are also people from Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, Ireland, and Greece just to name a few.

Class is 3 hours long and we meet once a week, it’s up to the teacher’s discretion what day works best so it changes every week too. We get a 10 minute break halfway between class. There is no homework however, in several of my classes there are lots of group projects, and a final. Only a few have quizzes throughout the semester.

As for the classroom itself, there are chalkboards as opposed to a white board, but there are also projectors to present their slideshows.

Another difference is that English is not the native language of our professors (all of my classes are in English except for my French class). I know this will take some getting used to but it’s part of the experience!

Concerning culture shock, there is a lot of focus in Europe on politics and I’ll be the first to say I’m politically ignorant. I don’t watch the news, and frankly I don’t know much of what’s going on in the world. Considering what my major is, this needs to change.

In my Intro to European Economic Policy class we started off by learning what the EU was exactly, and what it means, and what the reason was for it being created and it’s values.

This was a VERY HARD 1st class for me. I kept trying to compare how this worked with the way America does and it really can’t be compared at all. Furthermore, there are huge differences in values between Europe and America and I had never realized how big of a deal this was.

**For those of you that are educated about world politics don’t be to harsh on me for just having this realization now in my 3rd year of college!

Ultimately, I was pretty shocked at how big of a difference this is and the fact that, despite this, we can have a world economy and things can flow from a producer to a consumer all around the world! It makes me appreciate the convenience of the internet so much more! I can order something from anywhere in the world on Amazon, and there are so many regulations, agreements, and processes that happen for that product to first be manufactured and eventually get to me. It’s really incredible!

So aside from class, and how awesome the world I’ll disclose a little about my social experiences this past week.

First, I want to applaud my mother. Why? Well…if you know Nancy, you know how vacations go with her. My mother is a planner…. any vacation, trip, or soccer tournament has been planned down to the smallest detail. There is a schedule we follow, a meal plan, and anytime we were on a trip we made the most of our whole day. This meant waking up early and going to sleep really late. I can remember one time we were in San Antonio and had been walking all day touring different museums and attractions in the area and I sat on a rock and told her to leave me there because I wasn’t walking another step. She’s a tough one when it comes to traveling.

Then I think about backpackers, they deserve applause too. How is it that I can read about all these people who go to Europe for a month and have been to 20 different countries and were able to do so much in so little time?!

Well, for starters I don’t think they slept until noon everyday….

I’ve really had to adjust to where I live and the minor differences that really make a huge impact on daily life. I’ve said this a million times and I’ll say it again, but walking and having to take public transportation…y’all.

Heck, I want to also applaud the people who live in big cities…. I don’t know how you guys do this everyday and aren’t exhausted and then wake up in the morning to work out, eat breakfast, AND get to work on time! If you have a kid on top of that, well, you’re a freaking super human.

So this leads me to my point… I have no excuses.

I’m studying abroad in Europe, an opportunity that many people would do anything for! Yes, there are some adjustments but I know my time here will go by faster than I want and I don’t want to realize that I have a week left and didn’t take advantage of the fact that I was here to do all the things I wanted to do. I can take a train and in 2 hours be in Germany, or Switzerland, or Paris, and so on!

After getting a pep talk from Damian (thanks babe), I have been reminded of the reasons I wanted this experience so bad in the first place!

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Although it’s so much easier to just stay home all day, I need to go out, I need to socialize and meet people, and I need to adventure in my city. There are so many things to see, and after almost 3 weeks of being here you’d think I’d have seen more than I have. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll be living here for the year there isn’t any pressure to go out and about. I also feel this way back home. For example, you can pass a statue or a museum a million times in your city and maybe have no idea what it’s even for or ever visit. I love when I meet people who have visited Louisiana and tell me all the things they saw and visited. And I’m always amazed when I say “Wow, I’m a local and I haven’t even been there, but that’s soooo cool!”

I think this is a prime example of forgetting the beauties around you just because they seem so normal, you don’t appreciate them. Like Parisians, I’m sure they don’t even notice the Eiffel Tower anymore (well, maybe so, it’s kind of big)…but I can bet they don’t cry when they see it light up at night (I did).

In addition, as I’ve often said, city life is fast paced….would you believe that a Chinese student in class said it was slow here?!?!?! Apparently even the escalators are too slow (I’ve never even heard of that as a complaint). However, our teacher told a story of how when she visited, she got on the escalator and almost fell because she didn’t get on fast enough and it was going so quickly. I would love to see that! (not her falling, but a super speed escalator)

Aside from this, friends is another topic I’d like to say some things about. I consider myself a very friendly person! Now I realize it’s because I have so many friends, who I’ve known for a while and who I’m comfortable with. Let me just say though, it’s tough having to make NEW friends. It takes effort, more than I ever realized. I’ve never been in this situation, and I realize how much I take my friends for granted just because I know they’re always there. Here, I have to actively make plans with people, message them, etc. I’m learning lots of lessons as you can see. I’m very lucky that I came with people from back home and knew at least a few people before arriving! I can only imagine having come by myself! This means you have to be super outgoing and make an even bigger effort to have people want to include you and it takes even more energy getting to know someone and starting a friendship that I ever realized. I notice how much I don’t listen sometimes, thinks I do that could be taken the wrong way, etc. I’m awkward and need way better practice at holding a conversation.

I made a friend from Sweden, Mimie, and she always talks about how she isn’t a typical Swede. Apparently, the stereotype is they’re cold, and introverted. She’s super awesome and outgoing!

We decided to go and get our nails done, and heads up…..in Strasbourg (I’m not sure about the rest of France, so I won’t generalize) almost every salon is appointment only, a walk-in nail salon is extremely rare. Long story short, we found one and ended up having a not so great experience. The manicure process there was way different than back home…

 

It’s exciting and overwhelming of all the things I’m experiencing and learning, but I can see myself becoming more aware of my own tendencies and the way I perceive “norms”. It’s a little overwhelming to realize that a “norm” doesn’t actually exist, because there are so many different lifestyles due to where you are, the language you speak, the types of products available to you, and the weather where you live. It’s cold here, and I wear pants all the time and haven’t shaved my legs since I got here. Partially because of the pants, partially because of my capsule shower. I think the stereotype of the French not shaving may be pretty logical and not poor hygiene; I think I’ll need this extra layer for the winter!

I am so thankful for this experience despite the facts that it is a little cold, I have to make coffee “manually”, and I have to walk 30 minutes to get to the city center.

A few tips for future exchange students:

CTS is the public transportation company here. To ride any bus or tram you can get a Badgeo Card and not pay for a ticket each time. A ticket is 2 euros on the bus, but for 26 euros a month you can have unlimited rides on any means of transportation. When we first arrived I thought we had to go to the office to get ours but you don’t! You can make an account online and have yours mailed to you! It was so easy!

In addition, it is also required to get French Health Insurance here to be registered in school. I chose MGEL because it’s closer to campus and to finalize the process you have to visit the office and drop off a form (don’t worry they explain what you need to do at school). The other insurance company is LMDE, they both offer the same benefits.

In addition to health insurance you also need housing insurance for your apartment or dorm. You can get this at a bank or MGEL for a quick comparison, at my bank it’s 50 euros for the year and at MGEL it’s 35 euros.

Finally, a lot of people wondered why you would need a French Bank account because, despite being told you needed this to open a phone account, they never asked. However, in order to get health insurance you need a French phone number and a French bank account to be reimbursed. You also need one to receive the French Housing Aid “CAF”, they’ll deposit the amount you are awarded to your account or you can agree to have it sent to your landlord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Yesterday was a very stressful day. It wasn’t anything in particular. It is just that trying to get acclimated to a new place, that is completely different is stressful.

Let’s talk about how the day started. It started, looking up, then just went barreling downhill.

**Reason why I couldn’t post yesterday.
So yesterday, I was finally able to get some sleep and woke up extremely late. I was well rested and had an appointment at the bank to open up my account—success!
If you’re curious about items you may need to open up a bank account, here is a complete list of the things you need. (Because trying to look stuff up and find information on websites in France is a JOKE people.)

  • Passport
  • Lease Contract or some other proof of residence (utility bill, etc.)
  • Birth Certificate (copy)
  • Proof of Enrollment at your school

In order to do anything here you need a bank account, so I’ve been on standby for getting a phone and renting a bike. Also—as I hope I’ve been able to portray—momma is not about this walking stuff.

After the bank appointment it was the same ole’ no meal routine: starve half the day, try to find a sandwich shop and eat a piece of bread.
Y’all, that’s probably the most frustrating thing. You can’t get a meal just anytime. If you missed the time window, that’s just really unfortunate.
Anyway, once my account was open, Abi and I decided to head to the city center so I could open up a phone service.
Let’s just pause real quick for me to express just how much Apple Maps sucks. Back home in America (in all conversations, we now refer to “back home” as America and each time I say it I always find it amusing, it seems very patriotic and majestic) it works just fine. However, here, it’s another story. You’re trying to walk and look at your phone, and Siri gets confused and turned around every 5 seconds. It’s very difficult to navigate like this when you’re also trying not to step in dog poop, get run over by bicyclists, and pay attention when you cross the street to not get hit by the cars. Even when pedestrians have a green light to cross, the cars don’t stop. Also, when you’re crossing, there is NO WARNING that the light is about to turn red. In the middle of crossing the street, the light will just turn red and you freak out trying to run across because you weren’t prepared for cars to just start coming again.
Anyway, so we’re trying to get to the phone shop, Maps brings us to BFE (sorry mom & dad), and then we get to this abandoned building with socks hanging on the fence and sleeping bags at the entrance and Siri is trying to tell us we’ve arrived. Abi begins to point out how 30 minutes ago she mentioned we weren’t going the right way, but because MAPS is supposed to always be right, I insisted we continue.
Now we’ve been walking, are completely lost, and still haven’t gotten anywhere we need to be and are all the way across the world, AND we’re starting to get irritated with the situation and, in turn, each other.
Well, we started heading back and the frustration is building. After trying to get oriented and walking another 20 minutes or so we’re both so angry and snapping at each other that we end up “cheating” and ordering an Uber.
I say cheating because we’re trying to do as the locals do and get around on foot or via public transportation, but you can only take so many turn-arounds and being lost for so long while walking around aimlessly before someone snaps…so, we called an Uber.
Our Uber driver arrives, and I’ve never been happier to just sit and let someone else drive. We start a conversation, and he asks where we’re heading. We explain how we’re American students trying to set up a phone blah blah blah…
I am still worked up and trying to figure out how to get to the phone place and I curse. He asks what’s wrong and says how he doesn’t speak English, but he knows THAT word.
We break down, and now it’s become a therapy session—with the Uber driver. We start to tell him all the problems we’ve been having, and he’s laughing so hard that he’s almost crying. He starts apologizing because he’s trying to stay professional. We say it’s okay. Our moods are starting to lighten up, and we start laughing, too. It’s contagious.
Now, that we’re feeling better and more comfortable, all of our struggles start pouring out because he seems very sympathetic. So, I end the story explaining how—on top of everything that’s been happening the past 4 DAYS—we haven’t had a meal and have been surviving off of baguettes and cheese!
He starts laughing so hard again, and when he finally composes himself he says he’s going to stop the meter, bring us to the phone place, and help us get somewhere to eat. He then asks if we have money. We tell him it’s very generous but it’s okay, (we’re feeling much more relaxed at this point) and we’ll figure it out. He drops us off, and we start heading to the phone place, FINALLY.
In retrospect, stating that we’ve only been eating baguettes and the fact that he asked if we had money,  I think he thought we were poor which was why he wanted to turn off his meter and wanted to find us somewhere cheap to eat.
Anyway, now we’ve arrived at the phone place.
This place was not like AT&T. It was packed, had two workers, and neither person acknowledged that we had walked in, despite the fact that we were looking at phones.

***I just want to apologize for all the times I’ve shooed away reps wanting to help me because I walked in to this place, ready to hand them some cash for a new phone and service line but that did not happen.

We waited a bit, and then a line started to form. Next thing I know, I hadn’t got in line, and now it’s out the door, maybe 30 people deep.
I start thinking to myself, this guy is jumping around helping people around the store as well as the line, so hopefully he’ll have noticed when I walked in and tend to me shortly…..nope. Then I start to realize that no one in the line is there to open anything; they’re just there to COMPLAIN.
Literally, every person walked up handing their phone to this guy asking how an app worked, or how to do something, or that their internet at home wasn’t working, etc.
I decide to go to the register and ask that guy. Well, I wait behind this lady like 20 minutes, and once I finally get there I say that I just have a quick question. He responds with, “I only take people who have a ticket”.
I swear smoke was coming out of my ears. I walked 30 minutes in the wrong direction, haven’t eaten at all today, and had a breakdown in the back of an Uber to get here. So, I just walk out.
We get dinner (finally), and then head home (in another Uber).
We’re content.

Our 3rd “flatmate” Tatiana arrived yesterday. She’s from Russia. And Francesca’s (our downstairs housemate) roommate, Sarah from France, arrived as well.

We agreed to all meet up and go out together.
Our day ended socializing and laughing at our struggles on a boat on the river. It was a great end to the day!
Now, I’m about to leave my house to try again to get a phone. It’s a new day and different time, and I’ve eaten breakfast and had some coffee.

Check out my new apparatus for making coffee! No more spillage 🤗 (2€)

Day 2

Soooo… this morning I woke up ate a slice of left over Pepperoniwurst Pizza and hopped on a FlixBus to Strasbourg. That sounds like a piece of cake EXCEPT…toting 2 suitcases, a backpack, and purse is NO PIECE OF CAKE. All of the roads are bumpy here and those little wheels have no mercy. People stare at you as you go up the tram steps; it’s miserable. I feel as though by the end of time here I’ll have acquired some VERY impressive muscles. In addition, after taking a train then walking a good ways uphill with all of our luggage, Abi and I finally arrived at the bus station.

Being somewhere you are not familiar with at all means you ask questions -all the time. After toting luggage a ways, you become irritated, at least in my case I do. Then anyone you see you sort of demand an answer to a question in order to keep walking. One of the staff in the Frankfurt airport was very helpful. I’m sure he could see my concern and frustration trying to orient myself on the map I was carrying around to lead us to the bus station. After I asked my question, I took a breath, smiled, and asked how his day was. I think this took him by surprise and we both paused and chuckled and he gladly helped me!

Once at the bus station we waited, our FlixBus arrived a little late (20 minutes) which if you’re in a hurry might be an inconvenience, apparently this is common for FlixBus so people schedule earlier than needed. However for the price, 11 euros, our trip was great! However, there is a huge difference. It’s similar to a Greyhound Bus and when you get picked up the storage doors open and it’s every man for himself trying to secure a spot to stowaway their luggage. Abi and I helped a European girl load her luggage since we were some of the last people loading up and her bags were quite heavy. She exclaimed in English, “The struggle is real”. This was just a very humorous phrase to have heard from a non-American. It made the boiling anger simmer a little because of all the commotion and chaos of the journey getting there and boarding the bus.

So the bus ride was approximately 3h30 but it didn’t feel long between dozing off and just getting a chance to sit and relax and collect our thoughts. Once we arrived to Strasbourg we were a little (JUST a little) refreshed. Our landlord picked us up and she explained she’d be dressed in RED……she’s a very feisty old French woman with a lot of attitude…..a lot. Imagine a no nonsense, I do what I want, (walks to fast) “why can’t you keep up”, type of grandma. That’s her, sassy diva sunglasses and all.

We called asking where she was because we couldn’t find her, and up comes this speed walking woman in PINK…. no wonder.

She parted the crowd of people like she owned the sidewalk and off we went to load our things in her car to get to the apartment, finally!

***Disclaimer this is around 2pm at this point, Abi has not consumed any food or considerate amount of water***

So then the journey up the freaking stairs…4th story, no elevator, all that luggage, you know the deal. Our landlord brought us up and we thought she was gonna die, she explained to us how she was too old and never comes up anymore…we thought we were going to die, so I can only imagine.

Despite the stair situation, (which on the bright side means just living here is a workout, we can look at it as an included gym), we scope out our new place, and with a quick evaluation decide it’ll work. After a few of our own touches it’ll be perfect.

Now the fun/horrible part of the day, after being semi-settled and catching our breath we take an uber to IKEA (today was the first time I had ever gone to an IKEA), we got a few household items and then had our land lord, Marie Anne, pick-us up and bring us grocery shopping.

She exclaimed that the shopping in France is too expensive and it’s way cheaper in Germany, so we took a casual trip to Germany to go grocery shopping.

The prices may have been great but we have no idea what we bought. Despite being a literal 200 ft bridge away (I’m guessing) from France, everything was labeled in German. So we’re running off of barely any food, trying to buy groceries in a German grocery store, and just go off of pictures of what the items we put in the basket could be. I’m sure everyone’s mommas has told them it isn’t good to go shopping on an empty stomache.

Now imagine us bringing all of that, plus our IKEA buys up all the flights of stairs…….

We had to make a stop at a store in France on our way home for a few items that couldn’t be bought at the 1st place then finally made our way home. At this point Abi and I are laughing at every little inconvenience, the day had us beat, we were on the verge of tears, and going insane, and sore feet, and the hunger in our stomaches.

****Disclaimer: It’s now around 6pm, Abi has finally consumed some food. She downed a hot carton of orange juice, and some German cookies she bought in the snack aisle.

We get home and get to work prepping and setting our rooms up.

Fast forward to 12am and the day is finally done. My room is all set up, everything has been wiped down, sterilized, and all of my dishes have been washed in preparation for their first use (shoutout to my Momma for all that training).

I’m pooped, but satisfied with my day! I feel at home and a lot more comfortable now that I’m unpacked.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with doing blogs everyday once school starts for lack of interesting content and time, since unfortunately, I’ll actually have to study but I plan to keep it updated! I’m excited for what’s to come.

Random Occurrences/ Observances of the Day:

The pillows here are squares……we take our rectangular pillows for granted.

At 2am this morning I had woken up and gauged what time it could possibly be by how hungry I was, I have a super power.

The jetlag was trying to get me….

Apparently, bed sheets here only consist of a fitted sheet and a duvet…..there is no sheet to cover yourself with; we got strange looks asking for these in IKEA.

Last but not least, I need to stress the no A/C situation…..we have a great view in our picturesque city, so it’s not horrible to keep your windows open, but I asked Marie Anne about taking a fan out of the storage room to use and she gave me a confused look and said, “I wouldn’t need it”….homegirl, no. This is a MUST. I’m all for immersing myself in the customs of another place but I need to take baby steps, I just got everything taken away all at once, ya girl needs some air!

It’s always awkward trying to interact with people until you figure out you can speak a common language, so meeting people and asking questions usually starts off with awkward hand motions and really baby sentences.

That’s all I got!

I’m looking forward to learning my way around!

Tomorrow we’re gonna try and conquer setting up a Bank Account and a phone service.

-C

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This is me in front of my entrance to my new home here in Strasbourg!