Tuesday, November 2, 2010


  • school is serious business
  • tests are never, ever multiple choice
  • it's toally normal for a test to require at least 4 pages of written response
  • they have a lot of bad words :(
  • everybody's catholic, but nobody's "practicing"
  • "religion is for old people"
  • their school supplies are awesome
  • and very organized when put to use
  • dessert is an obligatory part of the meal - parents force their children to eat dessert.
  • country music doesn't happen here
  • neither do random holidays / days off of school
  • they just seem a lot less... festive? jolly? congenial? affectionate? zealous?
  • road signs are different
  • the sign for a speed bump looks like a mustache :)
  • it's not tailgating until there's an audible collision
  • there are no SUV's, or a word for them
  • all cars here are stickshift
  • they drive exactly like in the movies
  • they do the air kissy thing exactly like in the movies
  • ... they pretty much live just like in the movies.


things that bother french people:                                                       
  • burping/sneezing/hiccuping/making any sort of unexpected noises
  • smiling at strangers / cheerfulness
  • loud americans in the bus/metro (apparently)
  • being wasteful (letting the water run, leaving the lights on, not recycling)
  • giggling
  • noise outside
  • especially during meals
  • school (i guess that's international)
  • driving
  • saying entire words - everything gets abbreviated
  • living far away from family (far = an hour or more)
  • halloween :(
  • using the wrong form of "you" :P
  • being too casual in public - pyjamas are entirely out of the question
  • when i say "desolée" but haven't done anything bad

things that do not bother french people:
  • stinky cheese
  • stinky people smells :P
  • their hair, however it is when they wake up (this is awesome)
  • speaking english, whether or not they know what they're saying
  • listening primarily to english music... whether or not they know what it's saying
  • smoke
  • lung cancer...
  • being reeeeeeally close to other people when usinbg public transportation
  • kissing people's faces (i've been here two months and i still panic every time i encounter a large group of people i know)
  • when their teachers write in chicken scratch :(
things i heard about in french class that are very true:
  • french ads don't usually make a whole lot of sense
  • they talk FAST
  • they do the little pulling-on-the-eye thing when they don't believe something
  • they write in cursive, all the time
  • they are seriously meticulate in note-taking
  • teachers are authority, not pals
  • teachers change classrooms, too

p.s. i edited this list, because it sounded too pessimistic the first time. i need to learn to write only when i'm in a good mood. :)

    those magic chaaaanges...

    1) that song has been stuck in my head today
    2) there really have been a lot of changes since my last post!

    so - i'm in rennes, again. i left, but now i'm back.
    long story short, i'm no longer an AFS-er (sad), but i'm still here, and still gonna finish out at least my semester here (happy!).
    i'm staying with the letorts, a really awesome family that lives here in rennes.
    they have three kids  - antonin, who's five, lucie, who's ten, and valentin, who's fifteen.
    i'm going to lycée st martin, which is so pretty, and i'm in a class of about 15 people, which is nice. miranda's also in my class - she's another american here, and also a redhead! what a happy coincidence. :) she's spunky and fun and awesome.
    we're in the same class, so i get to not be alone, and i get to help her when she doesn't understand.
    it's really cool how i'm starting to actually understand the majority of what people are saying!
    i'm confident enough in my language skills to put french down as a language i speak fluently on my BYU app. :)
    oh, yeah. applying to college from a foreign country is even more awful than trying to do it from home.
    j'ai la flemme! (also a very handy expression)
    i'm getting even better at procrastination now that i'm here. i mean, there are better things to do than continue to further my education. like eating pastries. definitely a worthy substitute...
    especially after this weekend (vacay), my eating habits are... not what they should be.
    we went to le havre this weekend and stayed with delphine's mom. it was really great. :) it's kind of hard here sometimes to feel like i'm not totally crashing the party of their lives, especially when it comes to family time. but i just felt really.. belonging. :)
    it's really hard to think about leaving. i mean, i miss home. i miss a lot of things about home. i miss people at home. but there are so many things here i know i'll miss. my bus pass, having to really think before i speak, breaking cultural barriers every day, facilitating world peace when i participate in class, you know...
    really, though, it's cool to feel like i'm doing something important here. everything is coming together all at once, and it's really overwhelming, but i love it.
    my language is really taking off, so i can have real conversations and actually explain things - so when people ask me about america and why it's different, i can answer. i'm really getting to dig in and learn about the culture- it's like the initial "i'm in france!" shock has worn off, so now i can look around and see what makes it france. and i'm starting to really be at home at home, too.
    poof! all of a sudden i'm living this french life and i don't want to think about it ending.

    anyway, that's all for now, but i really am going to be posting more often.
    for serious. :)

    à bientôt!

    p.s. pictures! :D
    the perfect strawberry, and xenia. :)
    all french children are adorable. proof.

    tomato picking!


    antonin :D
    this is what happens when young children stay up too late.

    au havre

    falaises à etretat

    etretat :)

    le mont st. michel

    in le mont st. michel :)

    "oh my goodness! the sun is on these fields but not those ones over there!"
    yeah, it's pretty. :)
    hailstorm! :D

    le parc thabor
    a rainbow over the train station on our way to school :)