Monday, August 16, 2010

Montpellier, the land of Germans

Yes, the land of Germans. I couldn't help but giggle a little when I walked into my introductory class this morning and met the other students for the first time. There were 6 of us there for the intro, and 4 of them were German. Then the regular classes began and once again, many, many Germans. It's funny because in Malaga the primary language spoken by the students was english, so I never really noticed who was from where because we could all easily communicate with eachother. Here in Montpellier it is very different. There are two girls from Ireland, two more from Mexico, myself, an Aussie (Kate) and then a whole bunch of Germans. Surprise? Yes.

I'm learning plenty about French customs as well, which is good because if I don't learn, I'm going to get myself in trouble. For example, when I got back from classes this morning I put my water bottle in the fridge to cool it down while I did my homework. Shame, shaaaame. I didn't realize that one of the little tables in my room is actually a little fridge. I'm to keep my food in there, the large fridge is for the family and the family only. Another mistake I made before I even got here was setting myself up with a room in a host family, but not asking to have any more than one meal with them. When it's one meal the school defaults you to breakfast, which is a shame because breakfast is France is small. Think like... a croissant and coffee, a smoke if you're really hungry. This means that I generally end up leaving the breakfast table hungry being as I neither smoke nor drink coffee. The big meal in France is dinner, and the lady of the house is a professional cook. Fail, faaaaaaaaail! As I sat at the dinner table this evening with my baguette sandwhich while the family ate chicken, pasta and freshly baked bread followed by home made fig tart I realized my folly. Not only was I drooling over food that I wasn't allowed to have, I had offended Catherine because she believed I thought she couldn't cook!

That will absolutely be fixed tomorrow. First thing on the agenda is to find and purchase a transit card for the month, which will more than pay for itself because the transit fees here are incredible. Second thing to do IN BOLD is to change my fees so that I'm a half-board, and can eat dinner here. Never again will I make that mistake. Dinner with the family is a blast too, Michel is brutally sarcastic, opening stories with lines like 'ah yes, in winter here we have a great deal of snow, 1-2m in general'. Catherine is talkative and kind but terrible at explaining the meaning of words I don't know yet, so Michel steps in and acts out things like 'soft', 'sweet', and 'ripe'. All of which were in reference to the figs used to make the tart. No big deal, the figs all grow on the tree in their front yard. o.O Best host family ever.

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