Life as a Not-So-Novice

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427462050As every good follower of old fishwives’ tales knows, bad things happen in threes. Recently, I left my phone in Wales, left my keys for my room in France at home and then my bag fell off my desk and smashed my laptop screen into a spider’s web. HOWEVER, on a positive note I think I’ve used up pretty much all my bad luck for a good few months because everything else is going very extra well.

The exam period was NOT THE ONE – largely because I didn’t know what standard I would be held to and so my brain was doing somersaults (french somersaults). As it turns out, yes, I have managed to fail one exam (by one mark) but in the grand scheme of things I’m taking that as a victory. I’ve passed 7 and have 1 left to do next week – because France is slow – but apparently there is some trickery that involves averages and so I don’t have to resit anything. Also, if I calculate my average into a percentage (which I am sure is not a legit thing to do), I’m averaging higher than the rest of my university career… Maybe I should just stay here?

I’ve also managed to do the close-to-impossible and move into a flat slap bang centre of town! Life is sooooo easy now that I can pop out for a dander, go to the market at Place Saint Marc and just generally chill and enjoy the city. It also helps that although it’s been cold, the weather has been absolutely cracking for the last while. I have enjoyed café life, restaurant life, shopping life… and now my bank has blocked me from paying by card (but that’s completely fine because France put very bizarre bank imposed limits on your spending and I’ve had to purchase flights too (to Morocco at half term – sorry everyone)). So, joke’s on them really because I can still withdraw money and pay in cash. I am unsure as to how this constitutes a safety feature.

As is the Erasmus way, I’ve had to say goodbye to some really good friends recently but more people are arriving to replenish the numbers. Also, I have even met many who don’t speak french very well (or at all) and this makes me feel weirdly satisfied. I’ve definitely come a long way with the language – I was so boring at the beginning because I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I could form you a basic sentence on what I’d done at the weekend but nothing overly impressive. The (almost) complete loss of ‘the fear’ that comes with speaking has helped and I can generally make myself understood. My french flatmate and I have also been bonding over how to say kettle in english and french because ‘bouilloire’ is not the easiest of words. Basically, I’ve been able to see that I’m on the up, although I don’t think we ever make as much progress as we’d like to.

Anyway, à la prochaine!

Jane xxx

P.S. My timetable this semester is much nicer and I finish at 12pm on a Thursday, but yes the early starts persist. My classes are just worth waaaaay more credits, so fingers crossed that I avoid failure this time round…

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