Ok so it would appear that I am a really crap blogger as I never finished telling you readers (if I have any) about the rest of my Canada trip or about any of Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In sum, the rest of Canada blew my mind, the scenery in the Rookies is spectacular and I met loads of Aussies who I got really drunk with...Edinburgh...well...QMTC rocks! Our plays had fabulous audiences and rave reviews and I had a wonderful time teching Figs in Wigs and I ate too many battered sausages (and probably had one too many pints!)
So, guess what? I’m actually in France! After all the thinking, talking, worrying, crying I did and all the resentment and excitement (mainly resentment) I felt I’m actually on my year abroad!
And it’s fair to say that only the tiniest part of me wanted to come (and that’s only coz I wanna be fluent in French, not coz I wanted to leave my pretty near darn perfect live(d) in London and Bristol) and most of me didn’t want to go so I spent the whole lead up to this year in denial. And that means I did no form of research or planning. I just winged it...and do you know what? It’s turned out alright!
So, here I am living in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy – so yes you’ve guessed it, it’s all mustard and wine! But there’s more to Dijon than that! I’ve already been to a few churches and museums and there are plenty more where they came from! I am acquainting myself with the town (the French claim it’s a city, I’m not convinced), I have found the H&M (this is important), I have found my favourite spot to drink coffee and some nice restaurants to eat it (also important) and even a couple of bars but as of yet no clubs but I’m informed they do have them here! Dijon is adorable; it’s a nice sized city, about the size of the centre of Bath and just as charming. It’s also very French; I pity any tourists who don’t speak French who may come to Dijon...in search of mustard?
I have made some friends with other assistants here in Dijon (we even have our own cliquey Facebook group going on) and as well as eating and drinking meet ups have included cultural visits and on Wednesday involves a trip to Ikea (also cultural, but of a different sort!)
I am working at a medium sized lycee (sorta like a sixth form college for those not up on the lingo) and the teachers and kids seem nice although I’m utterly confused about my timetable but I’m told that’s normal to be confused by the organisation of French institutions! I’m teaching 15-22 year olds!!! That’s right after French students finish the bac (kinda like A levels) those who don’t go to uni stay on and do what’s called a BTS where they learn a trade or something but they still have English class. Today one of the BTS students came up to me in town and asked me what I was doing; shamefully I had to admit that I was buying Glamour (en francais I might add!)
So aside from all the jolly things the main stress has been accommodation (as I expected it to be). I am living with a friend of one of the English teachers at my school who is this super lovely, well travelled and very interesting lady who has a very large and very nice house with a pretty garden all to herself (apart from her sons who visit and another student who stays 2 nights a week). The house and my landlady really are perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer person to settle me in to life in Dijon (and she cooks yummy food!) The only problem is I’m a city kinda girl who needs to be in walking distance of the shops and clubs so I have decided to look for somewhere more central than my current location. Telling my wonderful landlady was heart breaking and I cried and I think she did too, and the heartbreak isn’t over yet coz I haven’t yet moved yet but as a selfish move as it will be, I think it’s the right one, I’m afraid to say it but MY year abroad is about ME, if it was about other people I won’t be here (I know someone in particular who can vouch for that.)
For those who are interested in French actualities there’s a strike tomorrow meaning school’s a bit of a wash out so I have the whole day in bed....hence why I’m writing my blog at 1.30am!
Until next time...