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Journals from France, Angers

2009-10-04 108 days

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So the ones who stay until December are staying for exactly 108 days and weve got exactly 75 left. I just counted down the days on my computers calendar and Im looking forward to when my calendar tells me to wake up because there are only 60 days left- I am already fantasizing about who is picking me up at the airport when I come home. This week were going to start classes. Word around CIDEF kids says that we get to shop for classes for this first week and next week we make final decisions; more to come on that. Last week was a week of vacation--a much-needed vacation. Most of the Linfield people went to Paris, not together, but in general, everyone headed for Paris. My favorite part of Paris was the Eiffel Tower. I know its clich, but really, its the best. LArc de Triomphe was also pretty cool, especially at night, but in my opinion, the Eiffel Tower is the best. One of the neatest things about Paris is that at night every monument and every semi-important thing lights up and makes everything look beautiful. Something that has amazed and astonished me while in France in general is that the food is not so great. Ive always imagined that the food is absolutely fabulous, but really, not so much. Im sure that if you pay an arm and a leg you can get amazing food, but you can get that in the U.S. So Im so far pretty disappointed in that. The thing I do like is that French-at-home-cooking is varied and pretty good. In my house in Oregon, we usually resort to spaghetti and tomato sauce for dinners no one has planned yet. Here, the food is always different. Galettes, hamburgers, hamburgers with eggs on top and no buns, salads with hard-boiled eggs and sausage, curry with rice, soups, you name it! Things are always different here. I like that a lot. This week has been a little stressful money-wise, I think, for everyone. There have lots and lots and lots of unexpected expenses and now money is running thin. I would definitely suggest to anyone coming here to keep an extra $500 in another bank and forget about it until your budget is zero. Then, remember it and hopefully youll have enough to eat for the rest of the semester. Even if you end up not having to use it (though I doubt that), youll always need extra cash in the long run- for presents or to pay off that first college loan. Trust me. Amanda Mattern

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