Moving to The City of Lights

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Bienvenue à mon Blog!

In the first of many blogs I want to fill you in on my experience of moving to a different country, trying to remember how to speak French (it seems the words disappear from your head when you want to use them) and starting at a University where everything isn’t quite as clear as Durham.

I was lucky enough to have my family help me move to Paris, and so my first few days here were filled with sightseeing and more importantly food shopping for when I moved into my temporary house. Note the word ‘temporary’, as in I haven’t found anywhere to live yet… This is but one of several things I still need to sort out. Given that I’ve only been in Paris for 11 days, I’ll let myself off.

fam at eiffel tower

A classic Eiffel Tower selfie.

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Top 10 Moments (so far)

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15000762_1170867532969204_8375154948438180072_o-1Hello again fabulous readers!

As the semester is coming to a close (it’s the last week, where has the time gone?!) I thought it would be nice to go through my highlights of the semester. There is an unreal amount of great moments but I miraculously managed to narrow it down to 10 so you won’t get overwhelmed by how much fun I’ve had. Here goes…don’t forget to scroll over images! Continue reading

Blog 7: Happiness is a Cold Country

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This month I visited Stockholm, the beautiful city in Sweden which is the biggest in Scandinavia. One million people live there, which isn’t very much compared to say Berlin (at about three and a half million) or even Paris (at two million). In fact, considering it is the biggest city in Scandinavia it’s quite small. But that’s quite reflective of this part of the world. Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is only a little bigger than Liverpool (although it has a far lower rate of Beatles/capita). In fact, the Nordic countries made up of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and Finland (and a landmass that would make them the 7th largest country on Earth combined) are as highly populated as the South of England. Continue reading

Ways in which I am now a Japanese person

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I’m well into my second month here now, and I’ve begun to realise that I’m feeling very settled-in. …TOO settled-in.

The people of Tokyo have quite a distinct set of mannerisms to other places in the world, and I have definitely adopted basically all of them. I’ve been told several times BY Japanese people that I’m very Japanese, or have a Japanese spirit. It’s a relief to know that I fit in, especially since the white-person stereotype here is something along the lines of too loud, too open, socially tactless, overly-sexual, not Confucian in any way at all… Yeah, you get the picture. But I’m sure that when I return home, I will be renowned as the girl who acts really weird. So here is a brief account of what happens to you when you come here and you’re susceptible to picking up mannerisms… Continue reading

Just one more bake-off till Japan 

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That’s right, I measure time in Bake-Offs now.

As you may have guessed from the title, I am not yet in Japan. I’m still sat at home jealous of all the Australia year-abroaders who jetted off forever ago. But my departure is just a few tiny days away and now it’s definitely far more real! For the past eight months I’ve actually doubted that I would even get to Tokyo, dreaming up every ridiculous scenario ever that could possibly ruin my year abroad plan. I guess it felt too good to be true? Well, now everything is actually completely 100% sorted. I’ve even paid my first two months’ rent (to the detriment of my bank account lol). Anyway, since I’m not there yet, this is a blog entry dedicated to those little pre-departure things.  Continue reading

Chinese Smartphone Culture: Bicycles, TV Shows, and Wechat

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After witnessing 3 different people simultaneously cycling while on their phones during my commute today, I felt compelled to write about China’s obsession with the smart phone. These people weren’t simply making a call – they were either instant messaging or watching a TV show, therefore completely unaware of their surroundings. The helmet craze that I was hoping to create also hasn’t caught on, but rather than ranting about the appalling (lack of) road safety, I’ll stick to technology. Continue reading