Journals from 2012-AUCP, Aix-en-Provence, France
2012-10-18 Hikes and chocolate croissants
Linfield Athletics at the top of Mt. St. Victoire- the symbol of Provence and Cezanne
Life in France is busy! I’m currently in the process of studying for my five midterms next week along with a normal homework load…it’s a little tough! But nonetheless I have been having an incredibly awesome time in Aix. I think I say it every day, but I love being here! I’ve met some really great people from all over the world, the food is great, my host mom is awesome, and while having all my classes in French is challenging, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.
Since food is pretty much at the center of my life, I will describe some of the typical food I eat here. Breakfast is nothing too special (but of course good since this is France), cereal and a toasted baguette occasionally. Some days I splurge on “un pain au chocolate” which, to Americans, is a chocolate croissant. For lunch I like to buy as much as I can fresh at the markets and bakeries and prepare something for myself. Typically I buy some camembert or goat cheese, some tomatoes and fruit- usually nectarines because they are amazing here, but occasionally I widen my horizons and get an orange, some grapes, a pear, or some plums (because all of the fruit is delicious and fresh), and then a baguette or some whole grain bread at either the market or one of the many bakeries around town. I like to try different shops as much as I can since prices can vary, and I like to compare their chocolate croissants and éclairs from time to time. I do the same with the cafés- I have a few that are familiar and that I prefer, but I try to go to a few different ones each week in different parts of the city to experience as much as I can. If I’m going to be out of my element, I might as well experience as much as I can, right?
In between all my studying and eating, I’ve managed to experience a few other things in Aix and France. I’ve gone to two French movies that were showcased at the Cannes Film festival; visited a region west of Aix known as the Camargues, famous for its salt, rice, horses, and cows; a region north of Aix called the Luberon which is filled with typical southern France architecture and landscape; been on a few hikes; and given directions to more than a few French people. If that’s not enough, I have three trips planned for the next four weeks. The week after midterms is our week off and I will be travelling to London and Copenhagen to visit some friends who are also studying abroad. Then the first weekend after break I am going to Nice with some friends from class. And the weekend after that (also the day after my birthday) I am going to Paris with a friend from college. So much travelling and I am so excited!
As my host mom keeps telling me- I have to take advantage of my time here. It’s already going by quickly (almost halfway done!), so while I try to get some sleep I also try to experience as much as I can both in and out of Aix.
My host mom: oh she is wonderful; I will talk about her more later because she probably deserves an entire post. As for now, I have some homework to finish and some sleep to be caught!
A tout a l’heure!