Second Sunday

So it’s been more just over a week here, and I’m now on my second weekend. So what’s been going on since Wednesday? Well, not an awful lot, to be honest.

Lessons haven’t started yet (they’ll start tomorrow for me), so I haven’t needed to go out much. And without my bank card, it’s not like I can go shopping in the Centre Jaude shopping centre or eat out somewhere fancy. So it’s been quite boring stuck in my room for days on end. Although I suppose an advantage of staying put in my building for so long is that I have a higher chance of bumping into one of my neighbours in the kitchen or the laundry room.

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Speaking of neighbours, I don’t actually have very many. Surprisingly, hardly anyone has moved in by this point, and I would have thought the buildings would be fully rented out this close to the start of term. It also tends to be a lot of people with English as their first language, or any other language but French, with a handful of native French speakers. I’ve heard German, Spanish, and there’s an Irish girl across the hall called Lorna who I often have a chat to. You also bump into a lot of people in the laundry room, because it serves the whole residence. Once all the rooms are occupied, with 16 people per floor, 9 floors per building, and 3 buildings on the residence, that makes 432 people on site. One laundry room, two washing machines and a single dryer. At some point, it’s going to get hectic.

Not having a card also severely reduces my selection of food I can eat. One of my friends very kindly helped me out by withdrawing my own money via bank transfer, so I had some cash for stocking up on things. But since I wanted to make it easier on them, I only had about 50€ withdrawn to keep me going. While this was enough, it meant I couldn’t go all out on food choices. So I bought only the essentials, and only ingredients for simple meals that I can refrigerate and reheat. So basically pasta-based dishes with some vegetables, because I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been eating my five-a-day. Among these essentials was a second plug adapter. Some may say it doesn’t really fall under essentials, but it is to me. Before the second adapter, I was using my single one to power my PC, and it in turn was sending a WiFi connection to my phone and laptop. So, if my laptop needed charging, or I wanted to use a hairdryer, I had to unplug it. But now, I can always have my PC plugged in and ready.

As I said before, my lessons haven’t begun just yet. They’re due to start tomorrow morning. At least I think they do. Choosing our modules has been interesting. Now, I had already anticipated a situation where some of the choices we made earlier in the year would have to be changed, but I had assumed we would be given a timetable of what we could take, and simply having to fill the gaps ourselves. It turns out that we have to select modules individually on a web portal by clicking through drop-down lists of choices, many of them simply a bunch of letters and numbers with no description. At this stage, I have just over half of my modules ticked off, but because when I chose them originally, I did it off last year’s booklet with no codes, I can’t find some of them. So, I’m going in on Wednesday to speak to someone and see if I can make head or tail of the situation.

That pretty much sums up the last four (relatively uneventful) days. My next post on Wednesday will be all about my first few real days in a French university, so stay tuned for that! In other news, I’ll hopefully be starting up a YouTube channel to run alongside my blog. It’ll be a mix of discussion of student life abroad, and a few hopefully comedic videos about things that crop up in student living, such as what it’s like in the kitchen, and doing your washing. You’ll find it at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1zbNyXiiK5_kHNwaii_Seg. It would be fantastic if you could subscribe! I’m hoping to have at least two videos up by the start of October at the earliest, and I’ll keep you posted as to any updates on that. But for now, it’s à bientôt from me!

Tumbleweed photo source: http://www.tumbleweedhldgs.com/