Story of my life: It Got Weird


Strangely enough vacation is almost over… WEIRD! It seemed like it would be soooooooo long but really it is halfway over. I spent the last few days in Thionville with Natalie and believe me did things get Weird. With a capitol W. Traveling there was a long and tiresome journey… 12 hours en totale. But I had a long layover in Lyon, the second largest city in France, which I took advantage of and explored with Mika.

Oh hey Lyon! Oh what's that? You have a fake Eiffel Tower? Cool beanz!

There was nothing strange about the journey, except maybe the old lady who was snoring the entire time in the seat across from me. It sounded like I was traveling with a large seal of some sort. She even kind of looked like a seal, if seals had cranberry red hair and crazy outfits on. Anyways upon arrival in Thionville I thought it was super cute and SO much bigger than Nyons. Not that it is exceptionally hard to be bigger than Nyons lol… Anyways Natalie and another assistant that she lives with from Scotland were telling me about a man who works there who they call Monseiur Baguette because he always brings them baguettes. There is only one problem, he is like a “silent penguin” according to Natalie and that is a perfect description. He kind of silently shows up and is kind of creepy about it, gives the bread, and silently fades into the darkness. Literally. Anyways Natalie has just finished telling me this story and I heard a noise in the corridor and turns out its Monsieur Baguette in the other assistant’s room. Granted he had a ton of baguettes but still totally creepy and weird and just reinforced the idea haha.

When I googled "Creepy Bread Man" this came up...

The next day we walked down by the Moselle river and had a good time talking about Guilford and how the F we don’t know what we are going to do with our lives after this program. Well that was more me freaking out and Natalie listening to me rant. I took some pictures of some cows…  and yeah it was pretty cool.

Saturday night is where it gets WEIRD and awesome. If you’ve been thinking Ellvis is dead, please let me inform you of the contrary. Not only is he alive, he is singing at an American diner called “The Fonzie” in Thionville. That’s right people. I just blew your minds didn’t I. Proof:

Elvis ain't dead!

The Fonzie also indulged me in my craving for American food with a bomb burger and a coke and tons of Americana decoration and waiters on roller skates. Also Elvis GAH that is probably my favorite part.

GET IN MY BELLY... dang that burger was gooooood

Next we went out to an Irish pub for the night and it was pretty fun. However, I did get hit on by a 17 year old. YUP. That happened. Apparently the key to my heart is telling me I have a beautiful accent, because that is exactly what this kid did. In France the legal drinking age is 18 but they don’t card sooooooo if you look kind of old you can go to a bar. I definitely forgot about that so turns out I think I’m getting hit on by a suave French dude telling me how great my French is and how beautiful my accent is and turns out he is just a kid. That’s how it got weird. WEIRD. I know it doesn’t sound too weird, but I felt pretty much like a cougar. I’m 22, I don’t think I should be feeling like that haha. The night ended with me arguing with some kid (he was 18) over why I don’t want to teach French gangster-thugs English. Basically he was like Paris is awesome you should work there and my response was, “so they can put me in a bad school with kids that hate me and are gangster-thugs? No thanks” We argued for a long time about this, with my main argument being that teaching gagnster-thugs would in no way be enjoyable. Also France, like any other country, is full of gangster-thugs and if I can avoid them I will gladly do so. The gangster-thugs and blood thirsty pigeons are my two top things to avoid in life… easier said than done in France.

Fat from eating humans on the daily

Speaking of French gangster-thugs, Nyons seems to be full of them lol. They like to cruise through the streets hanging out the window of their best friends ride trying to holler (see what I did there? I’m bringing TLC back). It gets really weird. My favorite part though is when they are gangster-thug daddys and have pimped out strollers. Anyways, in Nyons since I am somewhat of a celeb here, people have started telling me how good I am at running. They pop out of their shops when I walk by and say things like “Hey! Good running! It is good for your health you know! Bon Courage!” It’s only adding to the delusion that is my life right now.

Anyways, back to the rest of my trip. On Sunday we watched the world cup of rugby in an Irish pub where New Zealand beat France. That was pretty fun I’ll say. Most of the pub was drinking beer at 10am but I had to stick with Orangina; the wine from the night before did me in. Monday was also fun; Natalie and I went to Metz, which is a 20 min train ride away and a really big city. It was super pretty and had a huge cathedral and lots of neat shops and things. Yay for being a tourist holla!

Monster Cathedral will eat all other Cathedrals!

Found: Camo fishermen in Metz

Currently I’m sitting in a lovely café writing watching the old men play petanque (like bocce ball but weirder), a woman walk her child on a leash, and the Nyons bike squad  bike by. They all have matching “Nyons, Pays des olives” shirts on (land of olives) and are looking like they want to be in the next Tour de France. They are kind of old and maybe they shouldn’t be wearing spandex but this is France and they get rill srs about their biking.

Me in a French cafe... all I need is a man with a mustache, a striped shirt and a beret and I'll be living the dream

Well I’ve been meaning to do a post on food/wine and perhaps I will get around to doing that in the next few weeks. All I have to say is that there is a reason French women don’t get fat: they don’t deny themselves anything but everything is so freaking healthy! I eat like a king on a poor man’s budget and it is awesome. I also drink wine, eat bread and cheese and yet I’ve lost weight. Sigh…. France: I love you. Even if your post office is full of all the crazies in France.

Well, I’m off to Marseille Friday (hopefully… I seem to have misplaced my tickets whoops!) so hopefully that will be fun!!! Keep it real back in the states ya’ll!

Grand Bis

Meaghan

Probably one of the strangest things you could ever put in your window... Found: Thionville

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Believed Ham and Crystallized Plug


WOW! Sorry, long time no write. I’m sure all you avid readers (cough my parents cough) are dying to know what I have been up to recently. The good news is LOTS of fun things and I have lots of funny stories to tell so you are in luck (quelle chance!)!! My title is from a menu that Stephanie found in Nyons… the owner tried to have translations of meals in English and this was one that I found. Another favorite was “vagueness of St. Jacques on his crawfish beach” which really meant like clams on crawfish but hey to each their own crappy English translation LOL. I told Stephanie that I’m going to tell the owner that if he gives me free dinner one night I’ll redo his translations so that they actually make sense. If he says no well then it is funny and if he says yes then holla free dinner!

YUM I definitely want "vagueness of St. Jacques" in my belly!

I also started my first week of school last week. I worked two days, what horror! Ha just kidding it was awesome. I think I’ll be working something like half days Mondays and Thursdays and all day Tuesday. My life is awesome! The schools are pretty cool they are just basically like “talk about America” so I tell the kids things like we do nothing but play sports and eat McDonalds erryday and drive SUVs because we have nothing better to do with out time. Just kidding! I do talk a lot about sports though and for some reason spend an inordinate amount of time explaining that America is NOT England. That however has gone right over most children and teachers heads. In one class the teacher said “Alright you are from America you know English, here explain this map of England to the kids.” That ended with a bunch of 10 year olds staring at me like “who the hell is this girl and what is she talking about?” because I stood up there and looked like an idiot. I don’t know the first thing about England’s geography. I said things like “well here are some rivers and that is London and Scotland is at the top and Ireland is over there and yup that’s all you need to know…”

The kids are pretty funny though. One class asked me if, since I lived in America, I knew any rappers. I was like no but I live like 6 hours away from ATL (durrty souf) which is where T.I., Jermaine Dupri, Usher, and Justin Bieber (I’m a biebliever don’t hate), all live. The girls immediately started screaming “JUSTIN BIEBER!!!!” and then asked me if I knew him. I said no but that didn’t stop one girl writing me a love letter on the back of her math notes for him. She asked me to give it to him the next time I go to his house (where she got that out of the conversation I don’t know). The note is written in terrible French and doesn’t really make sense. She says things like “I live near a ‘pisseria’ that you can see my mom from at my house” and that she lives in “nionce.” She also misspelled his name. Before you jump to conclusions and say “oh but it is just a child!” I will say to you she was 10 and I feel like 10 year olds should be able to spell the city that they live in haha.

Justin Bibere pleese come to nionce!!!!! We can eat pissa!

On Friday my friend Mika came to visit and it was super fun. We went out with Stephanie to our fav club called La Ruelle and it was fun. Naturally since I love clubs I am now becoming bffs with the manager and bartenders. SW33T LYFE. Also I’d like to point out that it is our favorite club because it is literally the only thing open past 10:30pm in town. Anyways, the next morning I had to pack for our stage (orientation/learn how to teach/seminar/truc idk) in Grenoble since Stephanie decided to do a weekend in Grenoble before the stage. Unfortunately packing hungover is not conducive to bringing things that one might actually need. I managed to bring an iPOD cord, my charger for my computer, and hairbrush but forgot underwear, pajamas, and enough clothes to wear. I had to buy underwear and PJs in Grenoble. Grenoble was fun though, we couch surfed with a young guy who was nice but a little odd but he was nice for letting us stay so I can’t really complain. We also hiked to the top of the Bastille, which was AH-MAZING!!!!!!

Str8 illin with Mika at La Ruelle the most bumpin club in Drome!I didn't photoshop myself in

I didn't photoshop myself in, I promise this is real

Our stage started yesterday and was in a building downtown somewhere and then they bused us up to the Vercors mountains to a town called Autrans. It was super cute! BUT we managed to miss the bus. YUP we missed the bus and were chauffeured up by a nice lady working for the department of education. Embarrassing, yet awesome because tour buses are kind of smelly and weird. Anyways after dinner last night Stephanie and I wandered into town and went to some bar. The manager started talking to us and showed us a bunch of pictures of himself with Prince Albert of Monaco playing petanque together (sidenote: petanque is basically bocce ball but French). I don’t think I really believe that they are bffs or else he wouldn’t be working in a ski town bar, but the pictures looked real enough. Also he was like kind of really old.

Sad faces... bus missed!

Well I’m pretty sure that’s the update… France is getting weirder by the day! I’m sure I’ll have more stories about the chitlins as soon as I start spending more time with them. I’m excited because this week is when our fall break starts and I am heading to Thionville to visit Natalie for a few days then hopefully to Marseille with Mika and Stephanie for the end of it. FRANCE GIVE ME MY PAYCHECK so I am not poor/ using all my savings…  Well until next time avid readers, go and eat some believed ham for me!

Grand Bis

Meaghan

Juice box wine HOLLA

Adventures in Nyons


So I love Nyons. Not only is it beautiful, cute, adorable, and pretty much what I imagine a fairytale city looks like, but I kind of feel like a celebrity here. Everyone stares at me and the other assistant, Stephanie, when we are out. Occasionally we hear them whispering things like “oh there are the Americans!” even though she is Canadian (eh). It is a common fact that French people don’t really have tact and are kind of just blatant about everything (probably one of the reasons why I like them so much) hence the obvious staring/whispering. However, it lends itself to my delusions of grandeur. I like to imagine that I am a celebrity of some sort, preferably a rich heiress so I don’t actually have to do anything, and that these people staring because I am famous… sigh… what dreams! Haha.

Anyways, I’ve been exploring more and more here finding little things that make this town quirky.

Look at the kid's face... he must really love vinegar! haha!!!

I really want to know who painted that because it is supposed to be vintage-y but they kind of just look like aliens. And the kid’s face just kills me.

Le Tex, specializing in kitschy americana decor

Wanted: a better criminal name

I’m tempted to try this place who claims to serve tex-mex food but there is no way it will even come close to Rio Grande in Greensboro and I might just get all sad and depressed. This is probably the second longest time I’ve gone without eating Mexican food (sad, yet true) with the first being when I studied abroad LOL.

On Thursday mornings here there is a HUGE market. Everyone from all the towns around come in and it is just insane. Anything that you could possibly want to buy is there: clothes, jewelery, plants, food, fish, cheese, bread, shoes, scarves, random things, JEGGINGS!!!! LOLOLOL. I actually did laugh out loud when I saw jeggings, they were probably my favorite find of the day haha. I also spent time reading in a park in the afternoon where I promptly fell asleep on a bench and probably looked like a homeless woman.

Last night Stephanie and I attempted to go out at the only club for like 40 miles. First we started off the night on an embarrassing foot by showing up too early. Apparently it didn’t open until 11 and we showed up at 10:50. Embarrassing… And we were like THE only people there all night. Also embarrassing. Haha I love my life.

Today we went in all the antique shops in town and found some cool things. There was also plenty of weird things as well. Like this,

Why yes I would love to buy a creepy African deer leg for my room

And this…

I'd just like to thank Lafeyette for helping the American Revolution by buying this plate with his face on it

I’m confused as to why this plate exists. Oh the 70s… what a silly time.

Tomorrow we are going to an English breakfast/bruch/coffe hour. That should be interesting. I also start working on Monday or Tuesday (whatever I feel like) and by working I mean teaching kids English games/songs/poems. Yeah this job is awesome! Have a good rest of the weekend everyone!!!

Grand Bis

Meaghan

Do I live in California or France?


So Nyons is beautiful. Like beyond words. It is weird because it really really really reminds me of California, the way the vineyards and olive farms are terraced on the hills/mountains and the roofs are all stucco and like that almost like pueblo style. It just reminds me of pictures of like Sonoma valley (not that I’ve ever been there or anything… Robert Mondavi could be lying to us all… you never know!).

My camera isn't that fancy so thats as good as its gonna get for now!

tOo CuTe FoR wErDz

At any moment people are going to burst into song, this is a fairytale

So anyways this is where I am living! I would post pictures of my apartment (if you could call it that) but everything is a hideous shade of cornflower blue, including the ceiling… wtf, so I won’t make all you readers puke in disgust. Blech! But anyways there are olive trees everywhere!! It is sooo pretty and picturesque. I can also walk EVERYWHERE in like 10 minutes. I’ve been running outside of the city and it is just AH-Mazing.

Olives olives errywherrre

Thats like 3 olives trees in an olive garden I found. YUP sure don’t have THOSE back in ole’ Virginny. This place just makes me think that if I wander outside the city limits I’m going  to find various magical creatures (maybe thats where the Barbapapas are hiding LOL) like dragons and wizards and sheesh. It just reminds me of a fairytale place, not to mention that most people who live here live here their entire lives and never leave. Soooo… maybe it is magical!

The people here are super nice! They kiss you three times on the cheek instead of the typical two and they talk in funny accents. The other day I was introduced to a woman who when I told her I lived “near” Washington DC (the only cities most French people know are DC, NYC, Vegas, and California… not a city but whatevs) she goes “Oh I’ve been there! I ate delicious pizza at a Mexican restaurant, do you know of it?” One I laughed because who orders pizza at a Mexican restaurant when you are a tourist, and two DC is HUGE!!! I was just like nope no idea I live at least four hours away from there… She was like “oh. It was the best pizza, you should try it sometime!” Yup lady I will definitely keep that in mind.

I also opened a bank account this week and that was very complicated. But I got it done so WHEW what a relief! However I was talking to the lady who helped me and she asked where I was from since I had an accent. When I told her America she was like “OH you speak English that is awesome! My son is learning English, he is about your age you two should meet! You know a lot of Americans come here and get married! Maybe you and my son…” I was just staring at her mouth open. This was a woman I just met. I was like well you know you are in a small town when…haha

Well its 80 degrees outside so I am going to go profiter bien du soleil (enjoy the sunshine!)! I will leave you with a picture of a cat on a car, because that is just what the internet needs, more pictures of cats!

i can haz napz?