francophile friday: france email #2

This is a continuation of my lost emails that I sent while living in France. You can read more about it here.

Today's email is from September 22, 2007. The jet-lag had worn off and I was having a wonderful time living the fabulous life in Bordeaux.

Bonjour Tout le Monde!!

Well, even though I still have not started classes yet, I felt like it was time to send out another mass email because I wrote the last email after my first email after my two worst days here (and my only bad days).

Ok so I must say: besides the first two days it has been absolutely fabulous here and it has been almost a blur. I am always so busy here. I just want to tell everyone that if I am not back when I am supposed to be, don't be alarmed, I am just probably hiding somewhere where they have good French wine and cheese hoping everyone forgets I am not back yet.

Ok so I will start with the first Saturday here. I went window shopping with Jenny, the girl I told you about in the previous email. She has been so helpful here and has really helped me adjust. Her parents are really nice too and have helped me a lot. We also went to a coffee shop called "The French Coffee Shop." Of course I am in France and I have to go to the American coffee shop (this was absolutely not my choosing). I just couldn't deny Jenny her chai tea that she discovered in America. She didn’t know that any coffee shops here sold chai tea until we stumbled on this place (even though it was hot out and we ended up getting smoothies). I also went to dinner with her at this pasta place where they give you pasta in Chinese takeout containers. It was probably the best pasta I have ever had because the portion wasn’t huge and the sauces here are not so thick and rich, even for the vodka sauce I got that had cream in it.

Sunday, I went to the bassin d'arcachon and climbed the highest dune in Europe. My sponsor Katia drove me there with her husband and their two friends. Her husband goes (on the ride over before I can see the dune), "Do you want to climb the highest dune in Europe?" And I was like sure no problem. He was like it is really steep and hard to climb. I was oh lets do it. Apparently I was way to optimistic. I am really not sure why I think I can take on athletically inclined things when I am NOT athletically inclined. It was really hard to climb because with every one step you slid down two because of the sand and how incredibly steep it was. But I was determined - especially because her husband made it so easy, snapping pictures along the way. And of course the competitive American came out and I most certainly was not going to be the last one up. When you got to the top, it was beautiful. You could look on the one side we climbed and see the top of the forest down below and you could look at the other side and see the bassin d'arcachon. The bassin has no waves because the coast is actually farther out. Look on a map of France. Then we went down and walked around arcachon and I had the best peach ice cream ever.

Then we drove again and went to a beach called biscarrousse. That was fun. I got in even though the water was cold. Then we went to have dinner in town and had really good pizza (not dominos). I had a really good pizza with mozzarella tomatoes and pesto.

Monday, I had my first day of orientation and I met two Americans who seem really nice. Their names are Sahar and Laci and they are from Oklahoma. After that I met Jenny in the city and I went into the Longchamp store just to look - well I ended up buying. I am going to justify this by saying I only brought two purses and both are too small to carry my wallet camera and sunglasses and so since I was going to buy a Longchamp purse at some point here because they are cheaper here I figured why waste my money on buying a cheaper one and then buying the Longchamp later. I got one for 62 euros which is about 80 American dollars. In this US this purse goes for almost 200. And I am not allowed to buy any clothes until some Monday in October - I wrote it down in my planner. It stinks here because you can’t "wait for it to go on sale." So whatever clothes I buy here will be full price which I almost never do. They only have sales here after Christmas and in July for which neither I am here. I am in love with this store called Zara and I am definitely going to get some of that but hopefully in Spain where Zara is cheaper. Monday afternoon Jenny's mom took me to the auchan because I had to buy heavy stuff like laundry detergent. I also ate dinner at their house. It was so good. One interesting thing I learned on that auchan trip while buying milk for my tea - you don’t have to put the milk in the fridge until you open it here. Wild! So I was able to buy two and sit one on my desk and not have it go bad.

Tuesday, orientation was actually informative. They gave us some maps of Bordeaux and a guide thinger. Some stuff in it looks interesting. But of course, typical of this school and the French, orientation was supposed to start at 9 am but they changed it to 10 without telling anyone. So I went with Nezia, Laci and this girl Julia we met to go have hot chocolate for me and coffee for them in the student place. The hot chocolate was really good and only 1 euro. Tuesday, Jenny tried to help us figure out with our class schedule. Nezia and I found out since we are not here for finals and wont be taking tests we don’t need to sign up for classes, we just need to have our professor sign this thing on the first day of class saying that they allowed us to take it. If it all works out the way I am hoping I will only have classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is great for traveling on weekends.

Wednesday, I don’t really remember what I did except find out that I couldn’t return my headset to the auchan that doesn’t work in my computer. See I wont be able to use skype with anyone until I get a usb headset because apparently the outlet that you plug the mic part into in my computer is broken and the only usb head set I found here is 69 euros which is 90 American dollars. A usb one is being sent to me from the states for a lot cheaper and will arrive soon. I will let everyone know when I can talk to people through skype.

Thursday, I met Jenny for a hot chocolate in the student place and then Thursday night I went to the international students party with Laci and Sahar at the Club House du Bec. It was fun. The theme was French wine and so we got to drink French wine (and pay for it) and meet a bunch of people and attempt to dance like French people. We met a bunch of Brits but we spoke to them in French. They seem nice.

Friday, I went into the city for a little bit and of course went to the auchan again because I was running out of food. I had been eating salad all week and decided it was time to eat some real food so I sautéed veggies last night with couscous. It was good. Vegetables and fruit are so much better tasting here - well everything really is. It just stinks we don’t have an oven. I could really do some dangerous cooking here. I am thinking about getting a French cookbook while I am here but all the measurements will be different for when I get home. I will probably just get one for the novelty of having one. After dinner, Nezia and I went to Jenny's to have some wine and attempt to figure out how one plays rugby (the rugby world cup is in France right now). We had an Italian wine that Jenny and I had bought at the auchan earlier that day. It is called Lambrusco and it is really good and had bubbles. It is cheap here too, only 2.80 euros. I am sure it is more expensive in the states. It amazes me how one can get good wine here for nothing. If anyone likes really fruity wines then this is good. After that we went to a British pub called Houses of Parliament to watch the rest of the game. The French one last night and everyone was crazy. I find drunk French people quite annoying. {Note random French man in the picture above. He was trying to kiss us all night. He finally got in his sneak attack while we were distracted by picture taking.} I thought Americans were supposed to be bad. After that we went to Jenny's to sleep because she lives in the city and the tram stops at 1 am and it was 1 30. I slept until noon - the French really know how to do blinds.

Today I really didn’t do much except make an amazing sandwich with amazing salami called rosetta and cheese called Port Salut and really good French mustard. I might bring the mustard home with me.

So I decided I would start a list for myself of good wines and cheeses I have while I am here so I can try and find them while I am home but I thought I would add them to the email in case anyone would like to try.

Yummy cheese
1. Port Salut
2. Rouy
3. Lendammer
4. Emmental (I have this shredded on pasta and veggies)

Yummy wine
1. Lambrusco (in red)
fruity, bubbly and italian

I will let everyone know how my classes go. I am going to try and do something touristy tomorrow.

A tout!


  1. I spent the summer in Cap Ferret a few years ago, Archachon is just across the bay!!! It made my heart so happy to see your beach pictures!!

    Happy Friday!!!

    <3 MuffinLovesBiscuit

  2. Morgan I love reading these accounts, so wonderful, so fun!!

    Have a great weekend!

    Art by Karena

    I hope you will come and enter my Giveaway!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.