Bonjour à tous!
This week’s blog post is going to be about the goings-on of last week because, as I basically took a second week off uni in celebration of my 21st Annie-versaire (and I now promise never to use that pun again until next year), I had more time to do fun stuff. The only uni things I did this week were two French classes that I went to because I’ve paid for them, one translation class because I had an exam and one lecture because we have an essay due in next week and I needed information about it. That totaled a mere 8.5 hours of classes – actually not an awful lot less than the amount of hours I have in a normal week at UCL. Just an observation.
Monday was my actual birthday but it sadly didn’t get off to a great start, because on waking up I decided that I could no longer pretend the steadily growing mould on the wall above my bed was dust and that I really needed to speak to someone about it.
When I went to reception to ask if it could be sorted out, I opened with: “I have a problem with my room, do you know who I should speak to about getting it fixed?” The man behind the desk looked at me and said, “What’s the problem?”, so I told him, “One of my walls is completely covered in mould,” to which his response was “Yes… and?”. I didn’t really understand how I could have explained the problem clearer than that so I just sort of said, “Um… can it be fixed please?” He took my room number but I highly doubted anything would come of it; sure enough though, 2 days later a friendly man knocked on my door and had sorted it out for me over the course of the week. Hooray for non-mouldy walls :)
I’d wanted to visit the cathedral on my birthday but unfortunately it was closed for lunch (of course); it was very impressive from the outside though and I’ve heard that the inside is kind of a let down anyway, so never mind.
It’s, like, massive
After that, even though the chocolate fondue restaurant that I wanted to go to was also closed and I had to go to a three hour lecture, I ended up having a really good birthday because Ruth got some pink champagne and made lasagna for dinner and Celia made me an amazing cake using practically a whole jar of Nutella. They also decorated the kitchen which was so sweet and I got some lovely cards and gifts, so I was a very happy bunny.
I LOVE THEM (the people, I mean, not the presents. Although I love them too)
The birthday celebrations continued on Friday when we had a party. We’d planned on going out, but as often happens when it’s cold outside and the atmosphere inside is fun, it got to about 6am and we decided we’d give the club a miss. I had such a good night with really lovely people (despite its somewhat dramatic end), and Thea made me an apple cake (my favourite!) so I felt very spoilt and very blessed to have met such lovely people while I’ve been here. Before I came here, I genuinely imagined that on my 21st birthday I would wake up alone, without cards or presents, and my birthday would go largely unnoticed but I couldn’t have been more wrong :)
Not many pictures exist from my party which is probably a good thing
This week also included a spontaneous trip to Avignon, which is a really pretty town, made all the better because we could pay Dan a visit and catch up. We saw the Palais des Papes and the Rhône, and then climbed up some rocks for a better view of the river. I saw the famous Pont d’Avignon but I didn’t dance on it because you have to pay to get on it, and while it was nice it wasn’t particularly different from all the other bridges I’ve seen since I’ve been here. It was certainly no Pont du Diable. We stopped for a bite to eat and I got English-ed for the first time in ages (when you speak French to someone and they reply in English) and then had a quick look round Avignon University before Dan went to his exam. Seeing Avignon University just reinforced my hatred of Paul Valéry because it’s so much nicer.
My extra week of freedom also included another round of ice skating, another French pique-nique and another visit to Barberousse for more deliciously flavoured rum (I still haven’t tried spécial).
Crossed off the bucket list this week:
- Visit Avignon
- Buy something from a classic French brand (I didn’t buy it but I got some Chanel perfume for my birthday so that counts)
- Go to the Cathedral
Until next time,