Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 Long update :)

Hey everyone, I would just like to start off with apologizing for not updating my blog recently, i tired to upload a video and that didn't work. After that I was quite busy as what will be explained below.

From the 4th till the 7th of November, my first host parents took me too Paris. The 3 days were typical fall weather in france, gray cloudy skies, we were lucky that it didn't rain when we were there. The first night there we ate le train bleu, it is a restaurant in la gare de lyon. Like most buildings in france, it is old, in Paris it is classified as a historic monument and literally nothing can be touched without authorization. Then next day my host dad had to go to a conference (he is an orthodontist and that is the main reason why we were in Paris). Anyways, the next day my host mom showed me paris, not in a tourist fashion, where you get on the bus and the guide speaks english and points out each site herding the group to each monument like sheep. Instead we did things Parisian style, by bike. Yes folks, I was shown Paris by a true frenchie in a mix of english and french. I thought it was pretty cool. And just so everyone is clear, we didn't bring our own bikes, in Paris there are these cool little machines posted all around the city where you can borrow a bike for the day (or how ever long you want it for) bike around and park it in a different machine, and grab the bike later on with the code that it gives you. Which i think is pretty cool. So by bike we went to all the big monument in Paris, La louvre, Eiffel tower, la bastille, Notre Dame, arc de triomphe, sacré coeur, and monmartre. All of these sites were amazing and it was cool to think of how old some of these monuments were. So over all my stay in Paris was a really exciting experience.

School has been going well so far, yes its impossible to do the class work but i am able to follow along sometimes about what is happening in class. My french abilities have much improved since I've arrived, but there is still a long way to go to consider myself fluent.

I guess it would now be about a week since christmas and that was one of the hardest times I've found on my exchange. Since i was born i spent every christmas with my family, thats just how it was. I didn't felt like i missed home, but i knew i did. I also found the way the French celebrate christmas to be really different. For their christmas there big celebration is on the 24th night to the morning of the 25th. For my christmas we went over to a close family friends house and ate with everyone. I think everyone could see that this christmas was difficult for me to not be with my family. I also didn't really have the feeling that it was christmas. The only decorations where on the main street, and there was no snow, it was just so different that i didn't feel anything.

Tuesday the 27th is the day i switched families. I am very happy here. Both my host parents are happy to teach me french and my host sister is nice, happy to teach me as well, and is also in my class in school. So far i am settling in very well and i will be spending the next 3 months here. The hardest part is when i had to pack up. Trying to gather all of my things was so difficult because just things I've randomly accumulated over the past 4 months wasn't thought about till it was time to pack the suite case. Im not sure how ill manage to get back to Canada...

From the 30th to the 1st i spent the new years at my friend Jennifer's house (the american). I spent the new years with her new host family, and her host brother is also my friend (he was an exchange student who just came back from Japan). On the 31st we drove over to Luxembourg (20 minute drive) to buy a few things since everything is cheeper over there. Jordan bought gas for the car and Jennifer and i bought some chocolate. On the night of the 31st it wasn't quite as big of a night as in Canada and you US. When i say this i mean in whats on t.v, for us we just watched the acts on t.v, everyone in the crowd was dressed up in their fancy clothing and sitting in a nicely decorated room. There was still the count down, well it was mostly just Jennifer, Jordan and i jumping up and down counting down till the new year. It was cool to think that for 8 hours i was a year ahead of my family and friends back home.

This is my last day of holidays, but likely for me, my next set of holidays are in just over a month for another 2 weeks. For 7 days out of my next vacation i will be taking a bus trip. I will start off in Paris and then by bus we will make our way down to Barcelona. Im really excited for this trip, its so cool how europe is so close together that it takes no time at all to be in another country and to see different sites. When i went to Germany, the thing i found to be cool is that you are in france and all you here is french, but then as soon as we crossed the border it was German. There was no mix of french and German it was just a start and stop. Its really cool and something I'm 100% not use to.

Over all the past four months that I've been here have been really good. I have no complaints and no regrets on coming on this trip. Yes I've faced my problems with homesickness and just the other little things. For me its crazy to think that i only have about 6 months left. For my parents i think they are counting down the days till i will be getting home. For me the last month before i left took literally FOREVER to come, for my parents it all happened in the blink of an eye. When i will be returning sometime in mid July, the rolls will be reversed, my last month will go by in a flash and to my parents a day will seem like a week. There is still 6 months left till i have to start to pack to come home, which I'm not sure how that is going to happen given my past history with how much luggage I've accumulated here.

Talk to you soon...i hope
I hope everyone had a good new year and christmas