This week I was brought back to reality just a bit…
French administration is notorious for being slow and overly bureaucratic which I have experienced first-hand. Opening up a bank account has been a long process of which I am still waiting on to be fully completed. Sorting out a French phone is another story altogether! It has been frustrating to be in my third week abroad and not have these issues sorted. It also didn’t help that I was an idiot and left my debit card at home… luckily I am on the other side of the world when Mum and Dad receive that first credit card bill! Oops!
Obviously these are little problems but it was the first time I did let some negative thoughts slip into my head. I then went to Carrefour (the giant supermarket) and life got a whole lot better! Just thought I would let everyone know that moving overseas does not mean it is going to be perfect all the time.
Other news this week includes an integration party our University hosted at a secret location that buses took us to. A great night of dancing and strong vodka est pomme drinks (vodka and apple). Also got cultural this week and visited an Art Gallery that was showing Masterpieces from the Pearlman collection – including paintings by Cézanne!
I also received an email from a French girl called Sarah who had just completed an exchange to Canterbury University. We decided to meet up and I was able to see her apartment and meet her lovely flatmates. The apartments are amazing and Sarah’s is one of the best. It was central and had its own little outdoor area where we sat and had a drink while looking out at the patchwork of rooftops surrounding us. It is great to be able to make friends with other French students, especially one who has New Zealand in common with me. She even mentioned how much she loved the Riccarton Farmer’s Market in Christchurch and Cakes by Anna… she instantly gained my respect after that.
On Saturday my friend Grace and I signed up to a trip to Saint Tropez which is on the Mediterranean Coast. I imagined it to look like Monaco (not that I’ve ever been to Monaco) but I was pleasantly surprised by how quaint and charming the buildings were. We came across a busy market where we tried a Saint Tropez specialty – tropezienne. The port was bursting with the most ridiculous yachts and super yachts I have ever seen! We saw the back garage door type thing closing on one which housed a jet ski and a dinghy, among other water sports gear. The people of Saint Tropez are fabulous and we have to admit to keeping our eyes open for a potential husband! The afternoon was spent at the beach which of course included a hike to get there but makes it worth it. The water was warm and crystal clear, it the perfect setting, with some sailing yachts peacefully bobbing in the water in the distance.
The morning I left for Saint Tropez I was able to vote in the election, having pre-enrolled for an overseas vote before I left. I went the whole day not knowing who had won as I wasn’t able to get wifi anywhere. Was a surreal feeling having to wait till I was back that night to learn about it. Considering I am a politics student but not only this, also being lucky enough to live in a democracy, I sincerely hope everyone voted. Especially those my age. You can’t complain if you aren’t going to participate!
On that note, Aix is still as charming as ever… I’m off to study French in the park xx