Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Solo Time

My third week abroad started off pretty average. I’m enjoying having the house to myself, since that means I don’t have to worry about whether they’re waiting for me to eat dinner, or whether I told them I had my late class or was going to stay out with friends. It’s nice. I can just leave the house in the morning when I need to and come back when I’m done! On Monday I went to the University of Nantes and signed up to take ROCK CLIMBING!! That’s right, and it’s only costing me 10 euros! At Jewell the rock climbing class is an extra $100. And along with that I also signed up for weight lifting no extra charge. I’m basically getting a gym membership and rock climbing course for the price of 10 euros. The only down side is I didn’t bring my tennis shoes because I didn’t think I’d be using them, so I have to go find a cheap pair at the store that’ll last a couple months. But that’s OK, it’s still cheaper to buy shoes and pay the 10 euro class fee, than it would be to take the same course at Jewell, or pay for a gym membership. I’m fairly excited about this, as I’ve always wanted to learn official rock climbing and I enjoy working out. I also bought my tickets for my upcoming break in February on Monday. So I’m officially going to the East Midlands in the UK for about 4 days before flying to Dublin and staying for 3 days before flying to London for a couple days to see my Cambridge pals before I have to catch a bus back to France. My friend Lindsey is coming with me on my exploration and I think we’re going to stay with a friend in Manchester for a couple days before heading to Nottingham and couch surfing there and then again in Dublin before we make it to London where we’ll stay with the Cambridgers. I’m really looking forward to traveling again, so even though I had to spend money on tickets, I’m really excited about having real plans for exploration. On Tuesday we have the conversation club at IES after classes during which we can go and talk with French students and get to know them a little. So I went and it was fun, we did a fake speed dating theme so we just got a few minutes to talk to people and part of it was in English to my great surprise. So that was fun and I think I’ll go again next week. After that my week kind of leveled off and became more normal. I went to classes spoke with friends and then went back to the house. Pretty average week besides the fact I was doing it in French. Saturday I met a friend and since neither of us have internet access at our houses we attempted to go around and find a spot where we could get cheep internet on the weekends. McDonalds offers free internet, but they have no outlets to plug our computers in. The university was closed as far as we could tell, which was disappointing and annoying, even though we don’t know if it has wireless. There’s a knockoff McDonalds called Quick that we saw has free internet, but we didn’t go in to see if there were plugs, that’s an adventure for another day. I’m also looking trying to find a local internet café, or café with free wireless that I could hang out at on the weekends. If such a place can be found I will be better able to coordinate speaking English via Skype with my family members. After the search I went to friends for diner and then went to see a concert featuring music by Bach. It was a big multi-day festival thing in Nantes, but the specific concert I attended was played on the Harpsichord which I’d never heard live before. It was very beautiful and quite fun to attend. Pictures have appeared in the Nantes album above, along with another couple random things I spotted around Nantes that day. After the concert we went out for a while and then I returned to the house to stay and work/rest all of Sunday. It was quite nice. My host parents returned Sunday evening right before dinner so we talked a little about their trip. My host dad fell and hurt his foot really badly, it was all swollen and not good, so they’re going to the doctor tomorrow to have it looked at. Other than this I can think of nothing else to say here, so until next time,


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