Adventures in Yonderland

A log of my adventures, both real and imagined.

Archive for the tag “Home”

Things I No Longer Understand Since France

1) Pancake mixes. (They don’t exist in France, so I’ve just been making them by scratch and it’s so easy!)

2) Gallons of milk. I mean, liters were working just fine and now I feel cowed by my own milk.

3) American alcohol culture. I just literally don’t understand anymore.

4) The lack of bakeries. Seriously though. Where the hell am I supposed to get pastries and bread?

5) Where’d all the cobblestone go?

6) How am I supposed to go places if I can’t walk there?

7) So…where did the espresso go?

8) You mean I can actually SEE my friends again? Wait. What? They live in the same time-zone? Woah man. One thing at a time please.

In the End There’s Only Love

Well my time in France is done for now and I am back home. As we all know, I will never forget my time there and it is so bitter-sweet to be home. I made some pretty fantastic friends. Friends from different countries, different states and all with the most wonderful views and experiences. I think that might be the hardest part about leaving. Leaving all those wonderful, fantastic people.

What isn’t hard is leaving French University. And that’s the last time I complain about it here! Because I will also miss just how jank the Fac des Lettres was. I doubt I’ll go into a building like it again!

I’m also going to miss this. My home street. The place I walked up everyday for a year. Cobblestones, a sketchy shisha place and the strangest lingerie shop I’ve ever come across.

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France, I’ll miss you. My friends, I will miss you more.

p.s. culture shock is really gonna suck.

My Old Kentucky Home

2009 Kentucky Derby

It’s the Kentucky Derby today!!!! Everyone grab your Juleps, hats and friends. It’s time to watch the race!

Churchill Downs—with the University of Louisvi...

Churchill Downs—with the University of Louisville Marching Band in the foreground—during the 2006 Kentucky Derby. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Love where I’m from.

Adventures

Having my parents and brother to visit me here was incredible. Tired as I was afterwords, it was well worth every second. The trips we did were fun, but honestly. It was good just to be together as a family and to show them where I’m living. Because, as I said before, this is really where I am living.

I got to introduce them to real hot chocolate. Which is basically like drinking hot pudding and is generally the most delicious thing ever.

I also went with them here. To Cassis.

Cassis, France

Yeah. If you haven’t gone. Put that one on your list. Or at least some Calanques somewhere.

Oh. And Montagne Sainte-Victoire. Because it’s one of the most amazing and stunning and arresting and generally awesome views I’ve ever seen.

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A Quiver of the Ending

Two weeks of classes left before two weeks of break and then two weeks of finals. And then home.

But it’s interesting. “Home,” evasive as it has been for me the past four years of my life, seems never to stop shifting for me.

When my parents came to visit, I noticed that this place has become my home. I’m not a tourist here. I do touristy things sometimes, but even then I return home to Aix. And that’s the thing about study abroad I most definitely didn’t think about or anticipate.

I’m not just a student. Or a bystander. Or “an American.”

I am a resident.

Home

I’m there. 🙂

I’ll have a post on Lyon, finals and all the small little strange quirks I’ve been slowly digging up in the USA soon.

But right now it’s time for family.

Also. There is snow. BEST DAY EVER!

I’ll Be Home for Christmas!!

santa

Pasta and I: The Hard Truth

So last night I had a revelation about me and pasta:

I like pasta just a little too much. How is that you say? Well…I often end up eating it raw. Yeah. I know. Disgusting, strange, bad for your teeth, what would my mother think, how do you live in civilized society, etc.

But the thing is IT’S JUST SO GOOD! And I don’t have the time to be wasting cooking a small quantity of pasta that I’m just going to eat with my fingers! Psh.

So I see three possible solutions: 1) Cook what I’ve got and don’t buy more pasta unless I have immediate plans for it. 2) Cook all the pasta and put it in the fridge to snack on later. 3) Have a constant supply of baguettes.

Option three it is. Welcome to France!

Barcelona

So, after waking up at 4am to come back to good ol’ Aix, I thought it would be a great idea to wake up at 5:15 the next morning in order to head out to Barcelona.

Street Performer! High caliber man. These guys are crazy.

Boy was I right! Haha it was really sweet. And just nice. I got to meet new people, make new friends and see one of the most beautiful, fun cities I’ve been to yet. And the market! Goodness. Let me put it this way: fresh fruit smoothies for a euro.

Sagrada Familia -By Gaudi. Really tight architecture. Man was a genius.

Inside the Cathedral of Barcelona, the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever been inside.

 

I also got to go to clubs, like real clubs, for the first time and that was a really neat experience. The first one had some really freaky demons on stilts walking around (honestly that just freaked me out) and the second one was REALLY cool. Three floors, each with their own music and just tons of people to dissappear into and dance with. My poor ears though!

Saturday was the eve of my birthday, but I didn’t feel like going out because I was honestly just exhausted. And I wasn’t invited, but I didn’t know that when I originally made the decision and that’s another story altogether!

BUT I ended up staying up until 3:30 anyway talking with a girl I met on the trip and another friend from my program. The three of us may have gone for McDonald’s ice cream at like 2/2:30 in the morning. It was glorious. Honestly, for as low-key as my birthday was, it was just really, really nice.

Painting on the wall at the Contemporary Art Museum in Barcelona.

And now! We’re all caught up. Back to my boring ol’ stories about Aix. haha just kidding. It’s about to get real interesting over here. Midterms. Why yes, I would like to take an hour-long test in French.

We’ll see how it goes.

Went to Marseille Today

For a med check so that I can finally be officially allowed in France. Haha. So much bureacracy. That really should be a stereotype, because of all the things about being in France, that’s definitly the most true of them all. So many things to sign. SO MANY. I miss America where you can do the ol’ one-and-done sign away, yes I read this/I recognize that I’m throwing away my right to say that I did NOT in fact read it. It’s just so much easier than signing each page for essentially the exact same effect.

ANYWAY, this all resulted in a mandatory med check at the immigration office. Was it reminiscent of Ellis Island in New York? Actually, now that I think about it yes, yes it was. Haha. Because basically you go in, get an X-Ray of your chest to check for Tuberculosis (and in some cases get diagnosed with Scoliosis? Surprise!), make sure you’re not dying (yep, colds are okay), and that you are up to date on Tetanus shots (apparently they don’t care about the other ones? Why? No idea.).

I thought we were going to have to do the whole physical thing, which is fine, but I’d rather get mostly naked with a doctor whose reputation I can vouch for than some rando french man/woman. No offense to them, they were really nice.

ANYWAY, on the way back to the metro to get to the train station to get to Aix (Marseille has a metro! Who knew? Obviously not me), we found one of the seven wonders of the world. Well. The seven wonders of things from my American childhood I never hoped to find in France: candy apples.

Not only that, but I have been really wanting just some good ol’ country-style home-grown cooking. Proabably because I’m sick haah. The fact that I can’t bake anything contributes as well haha. SO I looked up how to make Stove-Top Biscuits.

For those of you intersted. Here is the recipe:

2 Cups Flour

4 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Butter or Margarine (or if you really have to, you could theoretically use a neutral oil)

1 Cup Milk

Butter to fry/whatever you’re doing to the dough in

Combine the dry ingredients and then cut/pastry mash in the butter. It should get crumbly and have pea-sizedish clumps of buttery-flour stuff. Then add in the milk. Heat up a pan on somewhere around medium heat (mine was medium-high and cooked too fast, but the janky stove-top’s medium-low heat was really too low, so medium I have decided would be ideal). Add in enough butter to get a good layer in there. Take small balls of dough and smash them down into the pan so that they are pretty thin. They pop up, so don’t worry about that, you just want them to be cooked all the way through. As far as how long. Ha. Do your best. They’re a lot like pancakes except they’ll probably get a little darker.

Boom. Recipe.

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