francophile friday: france email #6

This is a continuation of my lost emails that I sent to my family and friends while living in France in 2007 as a student. You can read more about it here. This email was sent right after I got back from Toulouse.

Hello Everyone!

Well the last couple of weeks since I got back from Nice have been interesting. The Tuesday after I got back was the last day that I had classes. The students went "en greve" (on strike). Apparently, the French government passed a law saying that universities could start receiving private grants. This is a big deal because all the universities here are public and they only pay like 400 euros a year to go as long as you past this really hard test at the end of high school. This technically will begin to slowly privatize the colleges. The problem with that is that some universities may not get the funding they need like Bordeaux 3. So either the schools will become horrible or they will start paying a lot more in tuition. So after my classes that Tuesday, the students at Bordeaux 3 went on strike along with a lot of other universities in France. (Each university does it separately though). So it lasted a week with them voting by raising their hands. Well early last week the president of the college tried to have a private ballot but some kids wouldn't let people in. Apparently this Friday we will have another private ballot and this one should work this time.

So Friday, I left for Toulouse early in the morning (luckily considering a lot of the train people are on strike too - for different reasons of course.) We got to Toulouse and had really no idea where our hotel was - neither did a lot of people we asked. We ended up taking many wrong buses that people told us to take until we happened to find it. Our check-in wasn't until 3 though so we left our bags there and walked around the city. We saw tha capitol and ate at the McDonalds nearby. (Yay for the cheap euro menu). Then we walked around some more and went back to our hotel around 4 30. When we got to our room (or studio I should stay) we found that we had a big room with a big bathroom and kitchen. This was nice because we went grocery shopping and were able to save money since we didn't have to eat out.

Saturday, I went to the Musee des Augustines which is an old church that has a lot of paintings and sculptures while Nezia studied for her GRE test that she was taking on Monday. I went back to our room and had lunch and then I went to St Etienne cathedral and Fondation Bemberg which a beautiful old private mansion that was turned into an art museum. When I got back Nezia and I went for a walk along the canal. We walked for about an hour. It was really nice even though it was cold.

Sunday we both went to see if the capitol was open to go in but being it was a SUnday it wasnt. We walked towards St Semin (the largest Romanesque church in the world) and found a market that we walked around. We went back to have a late lunch and then I read for a bit.

Monday, Nezia went to take her GRE test and I walked around Toulouse for a few hours. Then I found a place to have a late lunch and read. Then I moved onto a Tea place and read. After that I met Nezia to catch our train back to Bordeaux.

Nothing else is really happening. The vote is supposed to actually work on Friday so we will probably have classes starting next week (considering this will be our third week off). I will let everyone know what happens.


Have you ever been to Toulouse?

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