All the jokes about the French always having baguettes are actually very true. Everyday I walk past someone who is carrying a baguette (or two) under their arm as they stroll down the street. Of course because I am here to experience the true French culture I had to set out to find the perfect baguette for myself. There are so many little boulangeries in the city but I wanted to find one that was off of the main road and one that looked like locals would visit. After some searching I found the perfect place that sells their baguettes for less than a euro. They also have a variety of sandwiches on homemade bread for only 3.50 euros! This is definitely going to be somewhere I frequent during my semester here (as I have already been three times).
Because my classes do not start until tomorrow, this past week was filled with orientation sessions and activities planned for us by the three french students who work for my program. The students plan three activities every week and are available in our program office to chat or give local advice! One of the activities that was my favorite last week was a cheese tasting which basically just included many baguettes (see I told you the French love their baguettes) and many different kinds of cheeses that we could try. Some had very interesting smells, but ended up tasting pretty good! Aside from tasting some great food, I also attended a Montpellier soccer game which was very high energy with fans who chanted the entire game (I’m not joking the ENTIRE game).
I’ve also started to get more comfortable living with another family in the last week. I usually spend some time with them before and after dinner each night and more time on the weekends. They are very good about correcting my French when I mispronounce something or use the wrong words which is very humbling… especially when it is the 4 year old who is correcting me. I also found out that most children in France do not have school on Wednesdays. After talking with my host mom, I learned that because their school days are longer during the week, they use Wednesdays for any activities such as sports or music lessons. I am excited to learn more about the French school system through my internship where I will be teaching in a French primary school once a week.
This past Saturday we had another excursion for my program to Point-du-Guard a famous aqueduct and a small town called Nîmes that has many Roman ruins. The tour was in French at Point-du-Gaurd so I can’t say that I really understood all of it, but what I did learn was that the Romans basically decided to build the aqueduct to show off their superiority as the best civilization. So I guess one day some Romans were just sitting around and were like “hey lets build an aqueduct thats 48 meters high to show that the we’re the best!” (or something along those lines). In Nîmes we had another guided tour (which was also in French) of the city’s famous Roman ruins including a colosseum, a beautiful stone park, and a statue of a Roman guy who was apparently a lot shorter than his statue makes him to seem. So basically what I got out of the trip was that the Romans were really some superficial people who liked to prove they were better than everyone else. Oh and also some really cool pictures!