I haven't even seen a Wal-Mart Super Center in California!
12.9.08 - 17.9.08
It's another beautiful afternoon in Bordeaux, but don't let that fool you! If I've learned anything in my time here it's that the weather is fucking unpredictable. It'll be sunny, rainy, windy and overcast all in the same day. Or maybe it will rain 3 days in a row and then be incredibly hot. I don't know what the heck is going on. I mentioned this to my landlady and she didn't seem phased. She said it's normal...
Anyway, I saw a poster today for the Love Guru, and apparently, it's just started playing in Theaters in Bordeaux. This movie came out in the states in fucking June!!!! This is severely depressing for me because it means that I'm going to have to wait between 2-3 months for a movie that everyone in the states is going to spoil for me before I get a chance to watch it. *sigh* The only country that is even more movie-release-date-retarded is Greece.
On another note, there's a couple of myths I heard about France that I see are not true. I've been here for 3 weeks and still have not seen a single Fromagerie (cheese shop). I thought that France was all about room-temperature stores with moldy blue cheese, but this is false. I also thought that there wouldn't be "Super Markets" but only small shops with individual specializations, like a cheese shop, bread shop, etc. At least that is what my french teacher in high school told me, but that's bullshit. Auchan is the French fucking Wal-Mart Super Center. First floor is electronics, Kitchenware and clothes, second floor is supermarket with a deli. I was pleasantly surprised to find this, particularly since it's only a 15 min. walk from my studio and they have EVERYTHING. Like I said before, some aspects of Bordeaux make me think that industrialization hasn't yet happened here, while other parts of it make me think that they've traveled into the future, so don't think I'm strange for not knowing there would be super markets. You just never know what you're going to find when you turn that piss-perfumed corner.
When I was getting ready to come to Bordeaux, various people told me that the women here dress much differently than California girls, more conservative and classy. I want to say that is COMPLETELY FALSE. Granted, there are tons of different styles, especially since there's no predominant type of person, Bordeaux is not full of french people, but just filled with every type of person... but the women as a whole do not dress conservative. One thing can be said about them though, they love their brand-name clothes. If you want to shop in Bordeaux, the street is Rue St. Catherine. There is everything from Diesel, HNM to Coach as well as all the upscale french brands.
Anyway, I don't know if I'd mentioned this, but I moved into my studio a couple of days ago. Hillary and I are trying our best to make the place look nice, but it's kind of hard because we're so busy trying to take care of school shit to be able to get down to IKEA (I'm shocked that they have one). Hopefully it's not too expensive (like everything else!).
As far as school goes, I start the French University next week and I must say, choosing classes has been hell! The General Catalog for classes was released just this Monday... and unlike my university, you can't just sign up for classes online, you have to go to each individual department building and sign up for the class. Maybe I'm lazy and spoiled, but I find it to be ridiculous! It's also hard to try to choose a class when each class has 3 subdivisions, which apparently the french students have to take, but not the California students... If a class has a lecture and then 3 different sections for different subjects, we get to choose which ones we want to follow. Ugh, it's so complicated. I still haven't signed up for any classes, but I've at least decided on a couple and tomorrow I'm going to perform the daunting task of trying to sign up... the secretaries here expect you to know how to do everything, so I get fairly nervous when I have to do administrative stuff.
As a random side note, I've noticed tons of guys and girls with a little Anakin Skywalker braid dangling out of their hair. I don't really understand this. Am I missing something? Does it mean something? It's not a big deal or anything, but I don't ever remember seeing so many people with one before.
Finally, how's my french? That's the question people have been asking me. It's fine. The big problem is that I'm really sarcastic and it's hard for that sarcasm to translate. It really depends on the person... some people really get my humor and they're cool about me joking around, others look at me like I'm serious and when I try to explain I was kidding, they don't really understand. I can maintain a conversation for fairly long periods of time, the thing is that in order to generate various sounds, you have to use your throat. After about 3 hours, you really start to feel it because you're not accustomed to using your throat in that way. I can't wait until I wake up and not have a raw throat from speaking french! But at the same time I like being able to feel the fact that I've been working hard to communicate.