I said goodbye to a lot of good friends this past weekend. They’re all returning to their home countries soon. Fortunately not everyone had to go. The lucky EU citizens can stay here as long as they’d like, so my British and Irish friends are still sticking around for the summer.
Monday was my very last day of work. The first class didn’t show up and the second class was fine. It was a rather uneventful last day. I received a few presents last week: Savoy candy, Les Expressions Savoyarde en B.D., and cards signed by the students.
I’m not really sure what to do with myself now that I’m unemployed. I try to work on my website as often as possible, but it’s hard to just sit here and type all day. I’m a little preoccupied with my trip back home too. I’ll be in London in 3 days and the US in 5 days.
Tomorrow I plan on packing all day and then Saturday is David’s and my 6 month anniversary. We don’t really have anything planned except going to bed early since I have to take the 7 am bus to Geneva on Sunday morning.
My list of things to do and things to buy in the US keeps getting longer. Sometimes I can’t believe how expensive some things are in France (12 € for sunblock?!?) but then I remember how expensive some things are in the US ($20,000 for one semester of university?!?) Overall, it seems that Europeans have it better since essential things like education and healthcare are affordable. I will gladly pay extra for the little things in order to have health insurance. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that 45 million Americans have no health insurance, which is more than the entire population of Spain.
David and I finally were able to record an mp3 for the Informal French & Slang page. We’ve only done the first section so far (Informal Ways of Speaking) but we will continue to add more audio files throughout the summer.
Today was the last day of work at one of my schools. I did nothing in both classes. Three more days of work to go…
I’m feeling stressed about going to London before heading back to the States in May. I hate travelling (and especially flying) alone, and I really don’t want to stay in a hostel again. I’m hoping someone on Couchsurfing will be kind enough to take me in instead.
I’ve submitted my thesis to my advisor, and she said it looks good. I need a second professor to read through it before I can officially turn it in, but I think I may finally be done with grad school!
And now that my job is ending and my university education is over… what next? I really wish I had a clue. And the right to work in France. Though I suppose that might not matter since having the right work does not imply being able to find a job.
Today was the presidential election in France. Well, round one anyway. There are twelve candidates total this time, but only two move on to the next round. (However, if a candidate manages to get over 50% of the vote in round one, s/he becomes president and there is no round two.)
Big surprise… Sarkozy (Right) vs. Ségolène (Left) for round two on May 6. I fear Mr. Anti-Immigration will become the next president. This is the same sinking feeling I got in my stomach before the previous two US elections… and we all know how those turned out.
I’ve uploaded the Informal French & Slang page. David will be helping me to add sample sentences and sound files soon.
I’ve also joined the affiliate program at Champs-Elysées, so if you’re planning on buying the French, Italian, Spanish or German audiomagazines, please use my links.
I’m currently working on a French & Italian comparative tutorial. But I have no idea when it will be done since I should really finish my Master’s thesis first… The next comparative tutorial I write will be French & German.
On Friday, David and I drove up to the Plateau des Glières, the famous hiding location of the French Resistance fighters during WWII. There’s a Resistance Monument, a few restaurants, and several hiking trails on the plateau. David had heard about Chez Constance and their delicious meals of beignets, so we decided to head there for lunch.
Mappy.com’s directions lead us to believe it would take 44 minutes to drive there. It took us nearly an hour an a half because there are absolutely no signs for the plateau, except right next to the road that leads up the mountain. We drove through La Clusaz, Grand Bornand, St. Jean de Sixt and Thones (all of which are cute Alpine towns, btw) before we finally found the right road in Petit Bornand. That was actually the easy part.
The road that leads up the mountain is a tiny, although paved, path that only allows for one car at a time. Several of the curves had no guard rails, so I can only imagine how many cars have slid over the edge during the winter. We almost gave up and turned around twice because we didn’t think we were on the right road. Finally, nearly an hour after we were supposed to arrive, we made it to the plateau.
Friday the 13th is a LUCKY day in France. I don’t know why I never learned that before.
David never knew that it is an unlucky day in the US. Now he finally understands why that horror movie was called Friday the 13th.
I just watched the cutest language programs on the local channel here, TV8 Mont-Blanc. They’re part of the Victor Ebner immersion series. I learned how to enroll in a language school in British English and how to describe a hotel room in Italian. Each episode includes Victor, the animated character, answering questions that his teacher asks (the teacher being the booming voice in the background). He has a particular sense of humor and makes some mistakes, such as conjugating verbs incorrectly. In the English episode, he kept talking about the pretty girl who wanted to take a language class and how he wanted to hold her hand and give her a bunch of flowers. I’ve seen the English DVDs at the médiathèque, but I’m not sure if they have the other languages – French, Italian, Spanish, German and even Swiss German!
Right before the language programs, there was an infomercial for Ellezza cream. I had seen this bizarre Spanish infomercial in the US last summer, and I still can’t believe people pay 80 € for a jar of face cream made out of snail slime. That is beyond weird.
But I did discover that certain shows on my Swiss channel can be watched in French or English. Unfortunately, the show earlier today was The Bold & the Beautiful. However, looking through TSR’s site, I also noticed that Switzerland appears to be more up-to-date with their American shows. CSI (Les Experts) is currently in season 7 in the US. The French channel is still showing season 4, while the Swiss channel just started showing season 7!
10:30 AM and I’ve already watched too much TV.
The Fier River leads west out of Annecy, towards Rumilly. In between the two cities, there is a neat little tourist attraction called Les Gorges du Fier. Basically, the water has carved deep gorges into the rock, and you can walk through them on a little platform. David and I spent the day there taking pictures:
I spent today on a mountain. The weather was gorgeous, so David and I drove up the Semnoz (all the way to the top where there is still snow), and then came back down to have a picnic in the grass. We watched little children play soccer, dogs happily chase after sticks, and les parapentistes glide above us. C’était magnifique.
I was most amused by our choices of sandwiches. David made a typically French one on a baguette, while I stuck to my “American Sandwich” (it says that in English on the bag) sliced bread. I guess I still feel that baguettes are too high class and sophisticated to be treated as lowly sandwich bread.
Plus I learned a new word AND species of animal. Towards the bottom of the mountain, there was a small caged area full of daims. Looking up the French to English translation online only led to looking up the English definition of fallow deer. Apparently they don’t live in Michigan, and actually only in very small parts of the US, so I had never heard of them before.
J’ai passé une bonne journée.
I finally figured out how to turn the subtitles on! It only involved pushing random buttons on the remote for 15 minutes and then pushing 888. How easy. I mean, doesn’t everyone know that 888 means subtitles in France?
I just watched two episodes of Bones and understood almost everything. Je suis contente !
Edit: Apparently it’s 777 for the Swiss channel.