December 2, 2013, by Guest blog
It hasn’t been a waste of time after all!
Hello everyone, apologies for the lack of blog post recently, I can’t lie and say that I have been horrifically busy, more that I have been avoiding anything requiring intellectual basis (other than going to lectures… obviously) and I’ve been trying really hard to boost up my Russian recently, after a couple of test failures.
I will give you a very brief overview of the main things that have been happening here (a lot has happened because I haven’t blogged for a long time): a Christmas market arrived; it got very cold, very quickly; I am running a lot; and finally, I have noticed some small differences in my French ability (hence the title). With regards to the weather, I have taken full advantage to accessorise: 3 beanies, one bobble hat with matching gloves, 5 scarves, a nice warm coat and 10 pairs of thick socks. I even treated myself to a pair of Christmas leggings a couple of weeks ago, which have reindeers on. It’s safe to say I’m prepared.
After having been in Grenoble for a few months now, I have to say that I’m rather settled in. I have made a (disappointing) number of French friends, but the majority are English speakers. I have to say, I was warned of this when I chose a study placement, needless to say the warning was unheeded, and I am suffering the consequences now. Nonetheless, I have to say some of my French friends and I have noticed a marginal increase in the level of my spoken French. This, however, is not the only improvement that I have noticed: I can understand pretty much everything that’s happening around me, and my classes are pretty easy to follow. I have only one class in which I have difficulties still, and I believe that’s due more to my lack of interest combined with an uninspiring lecturer and the two hours that I’m usually sat there for. For the most part, my classes are ok, we have all noticed, however, that some of the professors are a little bit bias (both towards and against depending on how lucky you are) Erasmus students. This means sometimes we end up being a little bit singled out in classes, for example, a week after a friend and I had completed a presentation, and received positive feedback, the teacher said she couldn’t be bothered to listen to other Erasmus students. Rude. So in short: as per the title, it’s not been a waste of time, merely a huge amount of money.
Everything else in Grenoble is going really well. I plan to start skiing this week, and I have had plans to go ice skating for the last few weeks, but I haven’t really got round to it yet, for several reasons. I did go and watch my first ever ice hockey match though, which was pretty fun. I am looking forward to going to Lyon for the fête des lumières next weekend; it’s all about giving recognition to the Virgin Mary. It seems to be a really large festival, and thousands of people will be there. I think I read somewhere that it is the third largest festival after the Rio Carnival and Oktoberfest. Should be good fun to travel around and go somewhere other than Grenoble for a day.
In other news: my mum has just paid for her flights to come and see me, being as I shan’t be going home for Christmas, so it’ll be nice to catch up with her and my brother for a few days. I’m rather hoping that her hotel has a bath because I’m absolutely missing that the most about being at home. I will 100% be taking advantage of it if she does.
As per usual, I will leave you all with a few rather beautiful pictures of Grenoble (this time the mountains are engulfed in snow) and I have to say, more than anything the view will be something I miss rather a lot. All I have in England is a sports centre and a car park, and who even knows what view I will end up with in Nottingham next year! In the mean time I will eat my fill in soup and drink my fill in mulled wine at the Christmas market (never tasted anything so delicious in my life).
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