Stephanie Morse Septembre, vingt- sept, Deux Mille Quatorze
L'université Le Français
It is finally Août (August), and it is time for me to go out of the country to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence. I'm traveling all the way towards the south of France to explore the culture, eat all the famous French cuisine, and paint the beautiful sceneries like Paul Cezanne did for his portraits.
While I may have traveled out of the country before, I've never been alone on an avion (air plane) so that will be a big adjustment for me as I leave the United States for a while. I've been studying French for about four years now, and I had just graduated with a BA in French as a foreign language and a minor in Studio Art. I just entered graduate school, and I joined one of their student exchange programs prior to graduation. I plan to get a master in Art History, so that I can be able to teach art and history classes aboard and maybe even live in France for two years, then I'll move back to the states without renouncing my American citizenship. I of course would need a working visa since I'm a non French citizen, but it would definitely land me a well paying job. Not to mention a good internship later on.
Part I: Bienvenue la France!
After that long twelve hour flight from San Francisco to Paris, I'm finally in France and ready for a nap already. While I managed to get over my separation anxiety being away from my family and my life back home, I still am not used to how things will work out for me. My mind was filled with endless questions.
What if I get lost? What will I say in French? Will they like me?
It wasn't long before I found my group at the baggage claim; it consisted of fourteen students from all over the world. Me and another girl were the only Americans in their group.
"Bonjour, je m'appelle Mme. Foret. Comment vous appelez-vous ? «
« Bonjour, je m'appelle Stéphanie. Je suis américaine et habite de Etats-Unis en Californie »
« Enchantée mademoiselle »
« Bonjour classe ! Bienvenue en la France ! Comment vas-tu ? »
« Comme ci, comme ça » « Je vais bien »
« Très bien ! » said Mme. Foret « Je vous présente Monsieur Maurice Mouillot »
"Hello! And welcome to Paris! I'm Monsieur Mouillot, but you can call me Maurice if you like." "First off, we will fly to Lyon, take the train to Marseille, and then have a bus take us up to Aix-en-Provence which is only a one hour drive." "We got all your plane tickets right here, but we must hurry before the plane departs without us!"
After another hour of flying, plus two extra hours on the train AND the bus, we were finally here!
"I thought this trip was going to take forever." Said one student, "Flying here from Germany was such a pain in the neck!"
"Your journey was not as bad as mine was, my flight got delayed by trente minutes! I for sure thought I was going to miss the flight to Lyon coming from Greece!"
"I was bringing my army knife from Switzerland, but they literally almost confiscated it at the security check. Thank god they let me put it in my suitcase."
I was just looking out the window minding my own business.
"Where are you from?" One of them asked
"Mill Valley, California. My name is Stephanie."
"Oh? You are American! I'm Beatrice and I come from Brussels."
"I'm Albert from Berne, Switzerland"
"My name is Gina, and I come from Germany."
"And I'm Athena, I live in Santorini."
We talked on the bus until we made it to our destination, the group decided to stop for lunch at a local café. All of us sat down to order our food from the menu.
"Je vous dire un boisant orangina, quiche lorraine, et crêpe de nutella s'il vous plait? »
Then the waitress takes the menu. « Merci beaucoup mademoiselle
"Wow, somebody still knows her francais" smiled Mme. Foret
"I'm a natural."
All of our food arrived, until Albert noticed a very unpleasant smell on his plate.
"Excusez-moi, qu'est-ce que c'est?"
"C'est l'andouillette" said the waiter, then he left.
"What is that? And why does it smell like merde!" Merde= shit
I had to explain it to him no matter what his reaction will be afterwards.
"Andouillette is a French sausage made of pork chitterlings aka the intestines and colon of a pig's entire digestive system"
"Oh merde! I thought I was going to have a regular andouille sausage!"
"Looks like somebody needs to get their eyes checked." Said Gina
But to my surprise, Albert actually ate the whole thing. Hopefully his crème brulee will be able to take out that awful stench from his mouth. Unfortunately he had some gastrointestinal problems in his own colon that he had to make a unbearable flatulence in the bus as we drove off on our way to the dorms.
When we arrived, I was so happy to go upstairs to my room that I paid for to have as a single. I didn't pack that much, because I wanted to buy some more clothes and other special treasures while I study here for two semesters. I know it's a long time, at least for the most part. Only, I wont necessarily be having fun all the time, there will be some devoir (assignments) for my art and history classes that I will take there. Plus it's all in French too, but I doubt there will any confusion during my stay here since I'm a very fluent speaker.
Chapter 2: A la fac
My classes didn't start until twelve thirty and three. So that gave me enough time to sleep off the jetlag over the weekend. I was very excited to learn in a different culture, and be away from my county for a while. I got everything I needed for all my classes, my checklist look like this:
Un dictionnaire –check
Un crayon- check
I technically had everything I needed to succeed. At least that's what Americans like moi would say… Other than that, I'm all prepared.
All of a sudden, I was j'faim (hungry) and I had to get some lunch before history class. I walk down to where the market was taking place, oh how I loved looking at all the poule de Bresse, Lavende de Provence sachets, freshly picked fleurs (flowers), perfumes, legumes (vegetables), patisseries, boulangeries, and other stands that hold souvenirs waiting for me to buy them all. I decided to buy some mini perfumes for me and my mom, a sachet, and some other stuff too. Then I realized I ran out of euros to buy my lunch! Damn it, now what do I do?
I walk over to the café to see what was on the menu, maybe some steak frites and the soup de jour will fill me up. Id definitely would love to try that cauliflower soup. I was paying at the cash register until I realized that I only had twenty euros on me.
"Don't worry mademoiselle, I got this!" A young guy with curly dirty blonde hair and blue/green eyes walked up with another twenty euros in his hand.
"Merci" I replayed
"Enchantee, je m'appelle Stephanie."
"Tu parles en francais?" Julian asked
"Vous parlez tres bien"
After we talked and ate our food together, I looked at my montre (watch) and realized that I was going to be late for class! Julian was in my class too, and we both had to rush to the liberal arts building.
Mieux vaut tard que jamais
Better late than ever.
Chapter 3 : Une semaine a la fac
Just when I thought that studying was going to be easy, it was a lot for work than I have ever imagined.
After I walk out of class, I hear Albert complain about his classes and devoir (homework).
"Je deteste la physique! Le cour c'est tres difficile! »
Athena catched up to him saying "Pourquoi? Tu es brillante, intelligent, et optimiste !"
« Oui, pour je n'aime le professeur pas tellement. Surtout l'examen ! »
« J'aime l'histoire et la psychologie, mais je n'aime pas les maths spéciales ! C'est très difficile et impossible être reçue a les examens. »
« Je aime mieux dessine et retrouve des amis en le café. Pour je déteste travaille et étudie le physique ! »
« Moi aussi, je aime mieux voyage en Europe. Je ne optimiste en les maths. »
« Agréable »
I was waiting in line to get my food until this stuck-up long haired blonde guy happened to push past me, he had eyes that shined like the blue sparkling topaz with non frame rectangular glasses. While he maybe cute, me and a few other students got fed up with him.
"Hey! What the hell are you doing? "
"You're not the only one who is hungry!"
"Sorry if my special placement needs are making you all jealous." Said the guy.
"Whatever, it still doesn't mean that you can just cut in front of people like that!"
He just laughed and walk away to join his female fans who just coo over him while he's eating his lunch craving all the attention he's getting from his "secret admirers"
"That guy is such an ass."
"It looks as if he was just born with a very big ego." Laughed Albert
"Yeah, or the fact that his testicles never grew since puberty." Said Gina
"He's unfortunately my cousin," said Julian "I basically have to share my apartment with that rich snob! One time he brought home a girl from his date with her, and I ended up having to clean his dirty mess he made from "accidentally" spilling champagne on me! Worst day of my life! And he barely even talks to me as if I never existed in my own house!"
"Je suis desole Julian." I said.
"If that guy lived with me as a roommate, I'd sure give him a piece of my mind!" said Albert
"Yeah good luck with that, he's also an amateur beat boxer if you can believe that. Its like all he loves doing in his free time is talk about himself and push people around, all the girls even walked out on him because of that and I highly doubt that he keeps his relationships with all his ex-girlfriends." Said Julian rolling his eyes.
"It's not high school for crying out loud." Said Athena
"Yeah, try telling that to Mr. I'm ten times better than you in class and in life." Said Julian
I was walking over to the trashcan to throw out my empty soda bottle, then I proceed and return my lunch tray. Mr. Snooty pants happened to pass by, and I accidentally bumped the tray into his face. The whole cafeteria was roaring with laughter as the chocolate cake splattered all over his face, I looked up and realized that I was in real deep trouble. With that, I ran out of the café before he even said something to me.
After the day was done, I was hanging out with my friends at the restaurant having my dinner. The first course was escargot, followed by beef bourguignon, and a grand Marnier soufflé with raspberry white chocolate crème angais.
"Omg! I can't believe the look on his face!" said Julian "I couldn't stop laughing."