Bonjour à tous !
Well, I was being good and doing some translation homework but the loudest storm I have ever heard has just descended on Montpellier and the wifi at uni has stopped working. I don’t know how I’m supposed to translate, ‘Do not burp or I’ll set you straight!’ without a bit of help from wordreference, so I’ve put the translation on hold and I’m going to write this instead.
This isn’t the first time it’s rained since I’ve been here, but the second. The first time it rained (for me at least), we were caught very much off guard in a torrential downpour and the result was this.
I know I look super unattractive but at least I wasn’t wearing a white t-shirt with a black bra like Ruth was. It was like she was the sole competitor in a wet t-shirt competition and she definitely won.
Today is the first time I’ve worn jeans without feeling like I’m going to die, though. It’s even a bit chilly and I wish I’d worn a jumper. What!?
Anyway, I had an idea about how I wanted to start this blog before the heavens decided to open, so without further ado, I present to you…
The Award for the Most Disgusting Toilet at Paul-Valéry!
In 4th place (that is to say, the nicest toilet at Paul-Valéry) is the toilet outside Vert-Bois. It doesn’t look like much from the outside…
In 3rd place, all the other toilets at Paul-Valéry, which are variations of the same thing. Mirror-less and toilet seat-less.
In 2nd place, the truly horrendous library toilets. In order to get to the library toilets, you must first descend the stairs of doom…
Open the door of doom…
Face the cubicle of doom…
And then wee in the toilet of doom.
Is this even the girls’ loos? Who knows.
And, in first place… *drum roll*
The less said about this the better, really. I mean, I have used one like this (when in Rome and all that) but it’s not an experience I want to repeat and to be honest it feels kind of degrading that after a day of lessons you have to crouch on the ground and wee in a hole.
What else in Paul Valéry news this week? Well, to confirm all my moaning about how shit and unorganised this university is, I have even more proof. One of our new friends, Florian, organised his year abroad on the basis of what courses he could take at Paul Valéry this year. Unfortunately, the courses approved by PV don’t exist any more. He had to go home. Like literally, they messed up so badly that he had to leave France. I can’t even.
I’ve done a lot of uni things this week. Paul Val doesn’t feel like university to me at all, it’s more like school. It doesn’t help that I’m taking mostly first year classes because they’re a bit easier, meaning that most of my classmates are about 17. The campus and classrooms remind me of school as well – there’s just something about the square rooms and the desks covered in graffiti and the whiteboards and the sitting in rows and the canteens. The only real difference is the length of the lessons – I’m used to 50 minute bursts at UCL, whereas here, my shortest lesson (I’m not even going to bother calling them lectures or seminars) is an hour and a half and my longest is three hours. That’s a long time to concentrate on anything, and it takes ten times the concentration when the lecturer (and by that I mean teacher) is speaking French. 25 hours of lessons per week instead of 10 is not suiting me very well at all, especially when there’s so much other stuff I could be doing.
The school dinners are quite good actually, you can get a starter, cooked meal, dessert and bread roll for 3,20€ and after one cooked meal I don’t necessarily feel like cooking for dinner which is good because I’m lazy. The food itself is alright too; it seems to vary a bit in quality, but it’s all healthy-ish and you get a lot of it so I’m not complaining (first time for everything).
Stationery shopping is difficult in France too. Lined paper and blu tac simply do not exist. But whatever, il faut le faire à la française. And that is why I am writing my notes on squared paper.
I’m trying to faire à la française all the time here. Writing on lined paper and classifying a hole in the ground as a toilet is just the beginning – I’m going to a protest on Sunday and I’ve started drinking espresso again.
Oooooo look at me I’m so French
Other than uni, since I last posted I’ve been to the flea market which was good but full of extremely pervy men and been to a club called Rockstore which is my favourite club in Montpellier so far. There have also been various nights out…
Someone’s been begging for money for alcohol and prostitutes. Honesty is the best policy after all.
This is super unattractive but thats what happens a litre of mojito costs 7€
And a night at a Brazilian themed bar with some live music.
We also went out for tapas for Flo’s last night…
And we went to the beach again but I thought I wouldn’t post any more beach pics because I know you’re all super jealous.
My favourite thing this week by a long way was when we went to the Pont du Diable and swam in the river there. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.
In other breaking news, I had my first cup of tea this week. Ruth didn’t have any mugs so I drank it from a bowl (again, so French) and I’ve found a way to make 4OD and iPlayer work so I’m almost up to date on Made in Chelsea and The Great British Bake Off (I know I’m about a million years behind but such drama in bake off, I love it!).
Things crossed off the bucket list this week:
- Have a coffee and croissant breakfast
- See some live music
- Go to the flea market at Mosson
- Visit St Guilhem le Désert
- Swim in a river
That’s all for now :)