My project for the Provost Scholars LLC at Ole Miss.
So last night was “St. Cybranet en fête” or the next town over’s community party. The theme is pigs, as they give away a little piggy (most people are farmers, here) and they roast pigs on a spit! We had a five course meal, consisting of a “cocktail” (aka high alcohol content punch), some pork pates (which I was doing good about eating until someone said something about liver, uhm, ew), the pork with a potato (that pork fell right of the bone, delicious!), cheese (with lettuce?? I really don’t know, France.), and walnut ice cream. It was pretty good and there was lively entertainment by this band who sang a bunch of pub/drinking songs that everyone knew. (Including “When the saints come marching in….” in English.)
I think the most interesting thing about this night though was the spirit of this community. Everyone was getting up and singing and dancing through the tents; nobody was embarrassed or being a ‘party pooper’. I’ve never experienced something like that in America. Way to go, France.
I bought a t-shirt, because it was 6 Euros, and what’s a better souvenir, really? The back of it has a language that is a mix between a bunch of Romance languages called “Occitan.” It says “In the pig, everything is good. In man, also.” You learn something new everyday.
My friend who is studying in China (again) this summer sent me this.
To be honest, I was a little moved. It seems like sometimes people misjudge me or think I’m perhaps making the wrong decision, but it’s times like these when I realize that I’m making completely the right choice, and maybe others should recognize that although Chinese sounds great, it will never amount to the experiences I’ve had through in ‘hospitality’ or traveling.
I didn’t take any photos today (but I will get some from C).
Today I was invited to a pétanque/tennis tournament (for fun!) and picnic by some lovely friends of my host. I met so many lovely people, and a couple even gave me their email addresses and asked me to come visit them.
I had a lot of fun. I learned to play pétanque, which I apparently became quite good at over the course of one game; a few people actually complemented me on my pétanque skills! I did not play tennis, however. Pétanque is a little bit like bowls, you basically throw balls in order to get your ball closest to the colored one. It’s not terribly difficult, but clearly a lot of it relies on skills, chance, and luck.
The picnic was also great, and many people brought delicious food! I also enjoyed getting to talk to a Japanese woman, a French couple who were interested in the fact that I lived to close to New Orleans because of the different French there, a cool French couple with sweet boat hats, a Seattlite, and a very kind South African woman who invited me to stay at her home if I ever considered going to South Africa.
The more I am here, the more it becomes clear that my life is never going to be headed for the usual; I live on adventure, and I couldn’t see my future being any other way.
Unfortunately I found out today I won’t be visiting my friend in Angouleme, but that’s okay. I knew it would be hard because other people’s lives are also busy and chaotic. I had messaged another friend as well, but they never messaged me back and I don’t want to bother them. Hoping that my friend in Lyon will find time, so I can’t give up hope yet.
1) As you may have seen, I’ve been updating the daily board with interesting bits underneath the weather and date. Two unpictured: “RENT THIS SPACE: 20 EUROS/HOUR” and “17 JUIN: UPON RESEARCH, NOTHING INTERESTING HAS HAPPENED ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY. EVER.”
2) The local bike people (who rent out bikes) are English, and this is their dog Poppy. She’s cute and all but kind of dumb. I like that she’s literally SMILING in the picture.
3) This is my bro, Snail. Eh is a pretty cool guy and doesn’t afraid of anything (even sliming around my finger!)
4) Saw this weird bug on a door frame the other day. I think it might be a mealyworm thingabobber, but I’m not sure. It was actually pretty cute. For a bug.
5.) yours truly
6.) TIPPED??! This is not at all common and was also very unexpected. I’m very grateful, of course, considering I’m not getting paid! The note was so sweet, I really wanted to cry. Tip tip tally, ho: 26 Euros!
7) I just like the look of clothes on a clothes line. Think of all those movies with clothesline scenes? Oh wait, most of them end with someone being murdered, right? Uh.
I haven’t really been updating because I have to resize photos and that’s ANNOYING, but anyway.
I went into Sarlat the other day and C and I went shopping and just looked around so when I do go by myself, I know where stuff is and all. That was nice, but I won’t be uploading photos from that (they are on my Facebook, if you’re family.)
Today I went canoeing with my hosts’ friends. We started near La Roque-Gageauc, went through Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, Beynac, and ended near Josephine Baker’s castle. I had a lot of fun canoeing, as well as hanging out with a bunch of cool adults with neat stories and good life advice. They were all super cool and I’m glad I’ve been able to meet so many interesting people while I’m here. Even the guests have all been super easy to talk to and since they are vacationing, they usually enjoy just having a conversation by the pool, or being asked about their plans. Anyway, here is some photos from canoeing today!! Afterwards I went swimming and chatted with a bunch of guests who also designated today a good day to go swimming. Oh, and a picture of my daily chalk board update, with some humor.
Again I wrote up a really big entry and it was deleted because tumblr is a big butt.
So, yeah, here’s some pictures. You can just make up what is going on SINCE I’M NOT TYPING IT ALL OUT AGAIN.
Ok so I wrote up a huge entry about my stay thus far in France earlier and it got deleted, twice.
So far France has been amazing. I’m staying with amazing people, and they run an amazing B&B. Getting to experience this type of work here is incredible. I honestly can’t believe how great my life is right now. I’m not only getting valuable work experience, I’m also making good connections with people for when I’m older.
The area here is so beautiful. The food is good. The people are nice.
After ‘freshening’ rooms today, I biked to town with C & A (my hosts) and their friends to get lunch by the river. One of them kindly paid for it. One invited me to go canoeing with them in a week. When I got back I swam for a bit in the pool. I napped. I ate a delicious meal. I talked with somebody who actually knows what I’m talking about it, and actually agrees with my line of thinking (which is, you know, logic).
I can’t even put into words how perfect this summer already is and how much I never want to leave.
I feel at home. (Don’t worry Mum, no one can replace you.)
I’m not saying the UK doesn’t have some talented singers, because we all know they do, but recently I’ve been super disappointed in the music scene here.
1) The Voice UK; I caught this on tv while at my Aunt’s house, and how how how could the judges tell the contestants they did so well when they sounded terrible? I didn’t understand. Still don’t.
2) This Jubilee concert. Will I Am or whatever his name is came out and sang that one Black Eyed Peas song by himself, later accompanied by Jessie J (who thank god can actually sing) and frankly it sounded terrible. Transition a bit, and some dude and some chick are covering a country song. The girl can’t even get close to the right notes. Sounds pretty weak. (Looked it up, she’s actually supposed to be a good singer? Maybe chose a song that you can actually sing.)
I’m no expert on music, and I can’t even sing, but I feel like I’m missing something over here. What gives?
On Thursday I went to London. It only took about half an hour to get to Finsbury Park, and then another few minutes and stops on the underground to Covent Garden. We went to the London Transport Museum first. I would recommend it if you are interested in transportation, however I thought the price to get in was rather steep. It may be because it is somewhat new. It also has a great gift shop, especially if you want something that is essentially London / English (underground anything). I thought it was pretty neat.
Next we went to China town and had lunch at a place called “Beijing Dumpling.” I spoke Chinese with the worker, but I felt a little like the whole of London’s China town was a bit unwelcoming to non-Chinese. We also went to this food shop called “Japan Centre” where I brought some snacks.
After that we visited the Natural History Museum which, much like the Victoria and Albert Museum, goes on forever. It’s full of fascinating science and history, and great interactive exhibits. And dinosaur fossils. Who doesn’t like dinosaur fossils? But seriously, be prepared to spend a whole day there if you don’t want to miss anything.