Friday, October 10, 2008

Only in France

Pictures: (in order from top to bottom)
1. Karen and I getting at school waiting for Rally des Bars to start
2. My team for the bar race! Scotty (left) and Joey (right)
3. Scotty, Karen, and I taking some pictures when we passed the fountains
4. Me running through the fountain! (Though it would be cool haha)
5. Karen and I's faces after drinking a gross black licorish drink
6. Hugging a huge pilar.. our arms didn't make it all the way around haha
7. Standing with Joey, pretending to point in a direction
8. At the animal park
9. The ostrich!
10. The baby goats I fed!

So last week started out with me being sick. I woke up on Thursday morning with a sore throat and about halfway through our first class all my energy was gone and I felt terrible. I spent the weekend with a self-diagnosed sinus infection and just ended up sleeping and complaining (imagine that). Once I started feeling better, Karen and I decided to go with the Irish guys to a random park they had discovered. It was right by Carrefour (the huge Wal-Mart-like store). They already had a soccer ball, excuse me, a football, so we stopped in the sports shop to buy a basketball. There was a basketball court that had soccer goals underneath them. We played "knock-out" and quickly discovered that Irish guys have no business playing basketball. It reminded me of my friend Mary (who was a gymnast) shooting a basketball with two hands. TERRIBLE. Karen and I won almost every game.

Then they started playing soccer and where clearly better at that. Karen and I just watched while they played some sort of shooting game. Once that boredom was over, the boys took us to a petting zoo they had discovered on their last visit. Upon arrival we found random animals in large pens. The first one contained a really hairy sheep/goat thing, a peacock, and what looked like an albino peacock. The second pen had the biggest variety of ducks I have ever seen. I started feeding them my sandwich when all a sudden and OSTRICH comes running up to the fence! I think it was a young one because it was all grey, but was still almost as tall as me. I was scared to feed it because it looked like it would eat me, but Ben was brave and gave it some bread. Next, we went around to the third pen and found baby goats! They were so small and adorable! We spent a while feeding them and taking pictures. Only France would have a completely random animal farm with those combinations of animals.

One day I was sitting in the school cafeteria, kind of bummed because a lot of our friends were going out of town the next morning and I figured we wouldn’t have anything to do that night. Shane told me about the “Rally des Bars”, a bar competition/race put on by our school. I’m telling you these people are crazy. So I said to Shane, “It sucks you guys can’t enter the contest since you have to catch a train really early in the morning.” And he says to me, “What?? We already have a team!” HAHA Typical Irish. So Scotty, Joey, and I signed up as Club Liberté. The premise of the competition was for teams to go from bar to bar, 12 total, drink one drink/shot, and whoever got to the last bar first wins. Good thing we did not plan on running for the win and just wanted to enjoy ourselves because the paper they gave us was in French and only contained hints of which bars to go to. We mostly just followed other people we saw from the school. The drinks were small and not too strong so it turned out being really fun! All the Europeans kept saying the final bar was New York because that was the last hint. Finally I said to them, “Guys, there is no bar here by the name of New York. MAYBE it’s Manhattan…you know the bar we always go to. I don’t know, just an idea.” They were like, “Ohhhh yea that makes sense!” HAHA. So the night ended up with a ton of students hanging out in Manhattan and it was awesome!

On a more studious note, classes are going really well. It is still hard to adjust to the inconsistency of our schedule, though. For example, last week I only had one class and it was Thursday 9:45-1:00. Next week we have class Monday-Thursday from 9:45 to either 1:00 or 5:15. It is hard to remember what assignments to do and such but it has turned out great for traveling. We normally have at least a 3-day weekend. The only annoying thing so far is that all of our classes require a group project from and"international group". This means that we have to have 3 or 4 nationalities in our groups, which is fine, except for the fact that European students work completely different than we do. Everytime we are given an assignment in class all the Americans finish it in about 15 minutes, while everyone else takes an hour. I've found that the Europeans stress over details and take a very long time deciding how to do something simple, whereas we just look at the assingment and do it immediately. Our method is beneficial for getting things done in a timely manner, but their method is perhaps more meticulous. Interesting cultural difference, but this will definitely be a struggle when completing our final projects.

That is all for this blog! Check out the pictures! If you wish to comment on these blogs I think you can just sign up for a username and password on blogger. Then you will be able to comment and I can read them!

Au Revoir!

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