This week I faced the never-ending battle of slooooow French bureaucracy.
French administration is notorious for being painstakingly slow and overly bureaucratic, which I have experienced first-hand. Opening up a bank account has been a long process on which I’m still waiting. Sorting out a French phone is another story altogether! It 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!
Then I went to Carrefour, the humongous supermarket and felt so much better. It’s the little (read: shallow) things!
Had my first taste of orientation French-stlye with a university integration party hosted at a secret location. A great night of dancing and strong vodka est pomme. 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. She mentioned how much she loved the Riccarton Farmer’s Market in Christchurch and Cakes by Anna… instantly gained my respect after that.
On Saturday my friend Grace and I signed up to a trip to Saint Tropez on the Med 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 back home. I went the whole day not knowing who had won. Was a surreal feeling having to wait till I was back that night to learn about it.
On that note, Aix is still as charming as ever…been spending my days studying French in the park xx