25 September 2010

Settling in

I made it to France safely, in case you were wondering! My first few days here were kind of a blur, then I didn't have internet all day yesterday. Anyways - I arrived and I'm loving it so far! My roommates picked me up in Brussels, Belgium and we drove towards home. For dinner, we stopped in Tournai, Belgium for some Japanese Teppan Yaki. This means I ate Chinese food for lunch in Estonia, Japanese for dinner in Belgium, and fell asleep in France. I was exhausted by the time we arrived at our flat. 

I technically live in Marcq en Baroeul, a very nearby suburb to Lille. It's a nice, rich neighborhood full of regular houses and families, so I feel very safe here. The flat itself is cute, comfortable, and will definitely do the trick for nine months! So far, so good. My roommates, Cody and Sébastien are great! Poor Cody is quickly learning that I am pretty modest and very stubborn (not in a bad way, but especially about what I will and won't eat/drink). Sébastien has been very accommodating while I've been settling in, even letting me sleep in his bed the first two nights before taking me to Ikea and helping me set mine up. I'm learning a lot about how meeting and dating works in the gay world... It's very different from what I'm used to. I've spent an afternoon or two in Lille but haven't taken to the city by myself yet. I plan to do this in the next few days and will have pictures to share! Basically, I have a lot to figure out and get used to.... like the metro, tram, and the train and that  businesses close for an hour or two in the afternoons and everything is closed on Sundays (yes, even groceries). 

Coming off of a week in Estonia where I was so used to not being able to understand much of what was being said, it took me a full day to even entertain the idea of speaking French. That and it took a second to realize that, in fact, I could understand. Being over two years out of practice wasn't working in my favor the first 24 hours but it's coming back to me; watching TV has helped and I've started speaking more in French. The problem is, we often revert to English at home because Cody likes Sébastien's accent. Another problem is my hearing... It's not that I don't understand what's being said to me, it's that I can't hear them sometimes! But pretty soon I'm going to tell Sébastien not to respond to me unless I speak in French. C'est une bonne idée, n'est-ce pas? I've met a few of the other assistants and look forward to meeting more. I'm certain there are going to be some pretty cool people in the bunch! 

I'll have pictures to share soon! 

C'est une bonne idée, n'est-ce pas? - It's a good idea, isn't it?

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