Friday, January 22, 2010

No contaban con mi astucia

Well, it’s been a few days since I updated so I feel like so much has happened since the last time. Don’t worry you won’t get the full scoop lol. Where to begin? I have made a list of things that I need to get done and I have crossed out a handful out of the 19, so I’m making progress and mostly procrastinating. Oh first of all, because the French school system is weird I have a week and a half off school. Life is just wonderful! The first week started with an intensive course that only went for a week, from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4:45 with some breaks in between. This past week, the semester long courses began. Since BYU worries that international students might be overloaded I’m only signed up for three other courses—International Business, Organizational theory, and French. So the semester will be easy, but I will have another intensive course. I enjoy the courses much because I have good classmates like Brazilians (Rafael and Sarah), Mexicanas (like Adriana), German (Olga, with whom I’ve had several courses), and many more friends and French students ☺.

On another topic, a week or so ago I went to buy groceries and I made a fool out of myself. To not share my embarrassing moments in too much detail, suffice it to say that I held up the line for a good 10 minutes because I didn’t know what I was doing. I never knew buying grapes could be so difficult. I felt so stooopid. On that note, some other things I have done that I’ve hated are opening a bank account, laundry (like always) and buying power adapters. I never imagined it could take over 2 weeks to set up and open a bank account. Fill this out, send this in, get this mail, stop by the bank for some more crap, and so on and so on; in other words, less effective. Another thing that has been a hassle is setting up internet in my room. Holy freaking crap! I still don’t have it set up. I’ll just leave it at that. Since power outlets are different, I need adapters and that whole thing has been a mess. I’ve spent well over $30 buying worthless adapters. I even bought an iron out here, with French power outlet, but not even that is compatible with the room outlets. Wtf, I wear wrinkly clothes now ☺.

So a week ago, a group of international students went to velvet, a small dance club (and from the two that I’ve been to they have both been small) and no one was dancing. Okay, truth be told, there were about a handful of people dancing. Needless to say, upon arriving the party started. . . and then someone had to call 911 because there was shawty fire burning on the dance floor, like the Mexicans lol :0). We started the dancing and then everyone danced. Hell of a night.

This past Sunday I went to church for the first time because last Sunday I didn’t know where it was. Online the site info said it started at 11. Well, I walked for 40 minutes, (I only planned on walking 20) so I got there for the last 30 minutes. Apparently church started at 9:30. Nothing better than a dumb foreigner walking in late for the last 30 minutes. A good thing is that everyone speaks slowly so I can understand a lot. I’m in a small branch with about 50 members. Reminds me of my last mission branch in size. Later that day, I took a nap and went to a Sunday potluck at the Mexicanas. I will post pics. It was interesting to see how the potluck became a crazy, ethnic dance party. Because we’re (the group that hangs out together) mostly international students, everyone displayed ethnic dances—Mexican, Salsa ☺, Italian, Greek, Polish, French, Brazilian and more. It was loads of fun and I took plenty of pics to capture the dances. At the end everyone wanted me to dance so I stripped danced for everyone. Somehow a pole appeared in the middle of the Mexican’s apartment and voila, I became a stripper. . . hahah just kidding. But everyone did want me do show my interpretation of different dancing styles, mostly for reggaeton.

So I almost forgot, something completely weird to me is that bathrooms are shared. Yea can you believe that? I’m in one stall and a girl in the one next to me. Wtf. . .oh and so the shared bathrooms at the dorms where I live, gosh, smell at times worst than the zoo. Holy freak, worst than the zoo, I said! But on a good note, the weather has been around the 40’s, the snow is gone, and life is great.

My dear reader, that’s all for now! Be happy, smile, and remember that I’m watching you ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Adventures of Jared in Frenchland

Bonjour! I don’t know who will read this but if you are reading this I will know that you read this. Right now, it’s 2 am and I cannot sleep. Wonderful! My body’s internal clock is still in Chicago time, where it is 7 pm. Oh and it’s Saturday night. I am doing my best to adjust. I still get hungry at noon (France time) though which is kind of weird because that is 5 am Chicago time. Weird. Well, as I said, I don’t know who will read this but I write to remember some of the adventures that take place in French land and to share my stories with you. Yes, you! It’s the simplest way for my thousands of fans to hear about me in France.

Okay, so I left Chicago sleep deprived because I planned on sleeping all 2.5 hours from Chicago to NYC and all 7.5 hours from NYC to Paris. To my surprise, I feel asleep before the plane took off from Chicago. Actually, not much of a surprise because I’m a good sleeper J. I woke up within 30 minutes because a little, brown, chubby girl of about the age of 12 who was next to me keep coughing. I then fell asleep again and I woke up about 30 minutes later. There’s nothing better than to wake up to a wet @*$. Yea, the girl who was next to me was, apparently, chugging her coke and she coughed it all out. Most of my butt got wet. So I had a pleasant ride with a wet butt. Fun!

The trip to Paris was normal. I couldn’t really sleep much. Upon getting to Paris, I walked forever to find the train station. I then took a 5 hour ride train. By then, I was so sleep deprived that I was jumpy. I made two good friends, who I will never see again, in my train ride—a high school boy and a girl who was going to Clermont-Ferrand to visit her boyfriend. We laughed, we ate, we argued. I argued that bigger is better and they would argue that smaller is cuter. Who is right??? Obviously me!

I then arrived at the Clermont train station where less people speak English. I was only able to arrive to Clermont because I would ask everyone in Paris and Lyon, “parlez-vous anglais?” If they did, which luckily I met the nicest people, they went the extra-mile just to help me. At the train station, I ate a sandwich. Wow, that’s when I realized how smaller is cuter. I got about a 9 inch loaf with cheese, one slice of ham, and some cream for 6.5 . I’m used to eating a foot-long from Subway with double meat. Maybe this is good to loose weight. That’s all I ate that day. From the Clermont train station, I took a taxi to my apartment where no one spoke Anglais. I checked in somehow and I was in a 12 hour coma. I was out. Because I didn’t have an alarm, I missed my 9 am tour with the other international students. I got ready and took the tram (local town train) for free because I didn’t know how to buy a freaking ticket. School is 25 minute walk and in the snow and cold weather it feels longer than that. Well, I finally got to school, got tons of papers, had a mini tour with two girls from Finland who were also late. For lunch, we met the rest of the students. Since then, I’ve made some great friends. Wiam is a girl from Morocco who showed me the city and has taken me shopping. There are also 7 or 8 students from el Tec de Monterrey so I speak a lot of Spanish. We’ve hung out the past two nights and that brings me to where I am.

I think I got bored writing this. I’m not good with this stuff so if this is my last entry I apologize in advance. Other than that, my dorm is. . . yea, something else. It’s tiny, empty, and crazy. I live in student dorms. Everything is shared. Craziness.

I have learned French people can be weird. They simply don’t do some things without logical explanation. Lines at stores and groceries are never ending. After waiting in line for hours I am ready to kill myself. The pace of life is too slow for me. Today I wanted to exchange dollars for Euros and the bank guy told me (not me but Wiam who helps me) that they only do that in the mornings. Wtf? Why only mornings? So weird. There’s tons of stuff like that that simply drives me nuts. Oh I also walk tons. I walk in slush so it’s nasty and I know that it’s only a matter of time before I fall, which is gonna suck.

Well, this is all for now. I’m sure I’ll write in a week or two again. Monday I begin my International Finance Intensif. Classes will be Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 with homework to do afterwards. Time to sleep. Au revoir!