Monday, June 15, 2015

State of the French Learner Address: June 8-14

lundi, 8 juin
I forgot to mention in yesterday's blurb from last week's update that when my roomate got home last night, she had a ginormous new musical toy with her: a bass balalaika.

She plays the Russian balalaika, and actually made this one:

So for her birthday (which was last fall), a friend made her this bass balalaika, sitting upright on the floor:

Our German friend and classmate Pia wasn't in class today since her boyfriend was visiting from Germany, but after class she stopped by with him, and then several of us went for ice cream together.

There was an ultimate event tonight, but I mistakenly went at the "regular" time, not realizing that the event had been planned for an hour later than usual now that someone else was organizing it. Whoops. I thought something weird like this might have happened when Damien wasn't there to pick me up at the last metro stop, as we'd arranged beforehand via Whatsapp. Luckily I just walked to the beach (instead of waiting for a ride) and hung around there until I eventually saw someone I knew when it got closer to the next hour.

We ended up being seven that night I think—I was the sole lady. It was a fun time playing!

mardi, 9 juin
Since Friday is the Americans' last day of class (the kids from a study abroad program who arrived three weeks ago), our school is having a potluck lunch after class. So Frank passed around a piece of paper today for people to sign up to bring something to share.

I went to GoLingo tonight, and afterwards ended up going to a tapas restaurant with three guys from the language exchange. Two were French, whom I knew from previous exchanges (Damien and Romeric), and one was a Brit, Alex. Please excuse the crappy, dark phone pic:

mercredi, 10 juin
Tonight I went to the same bar as last Wednesday to hear Emily sing again—this time with her other jazz group. It was great, and there were more lindy hoppers again, but I was super tired and didn't stay out as long.

jeudi, 11 juin
After class I worked for a couple of hours, and then went to a French "cooking class" that evening. No language exchange afterwards for me, as I had to finish up work and then French homework. I got a message from Damien, my friend from GoLingo, asking if I wanted to go swimming tomorrow. He's a really good swimmer who has both lifeguarded and been on swim teams that swim in the freaking sea, and me... well, let's just say I prefer to have my feet touch the ground when in water, though I could get from A to B if my life depended on it—and if A and B weren't that far apart.

This fact had come out during one of the previous two times playing ultimate frisbee, when everyone jumps in the sea afterwards, and he'd offered to teach me sometime. I'm a bit nervous, because swimming, but I figure I should snatch up this opportunity that life has presented me. Also, it is a life goal of mine to become more comfortable in the water/swimming, so why not start now?

vendredi, 12 juin
It was raining a bit this morning, which I hadn't seen much of before in Montpellier. Due to lack of time last night, and my teacher saying there wouldn't be cutlery (... there was), I scratched my plans to make and bring a couscous salad, and ended up buying strawberries and chocolate that morning before class for our party afterwards. Oh, and by the way, this is my last day of class, too. I'm not too bummed about it though, as I still get two more weeks in Montpellier, plus I'm anxious to start getting caught up at work.

The little party after class was nice—a good way to end my 6 weeks at the ILP.

My teacher, Frank, and I

Some classmates and friends

At some point during the potluck, I got a text from Damien saying he could lend me goggles and a swim cap, and that I should definitely bring a bottle of water. Then I started wondering what I'd gotten myself into!

It downpoured as I walked to the swimming pool that afternoon. Although I had an umbrella, my shoes were absolutely soaked (thanks puddles), though I didn't really mind because I was going swimming. We met at Montpellier's olympic pool, which isn't too far from the center—maybe a 15-minute walk. I was worse than I remembered in the water, but Damien was super patient and encouraging.

Afterwards I went along with Damien to pick up frisbee cones from our friend Bertrand, who's going to Madagascar for a month for work. He invited us in for an aperatif, so we got to meet his girlfriend (who is from Quebec, and therefore I think knows the Quebec guy who organized the frisbee event on Couchsurfing).

That night, Asami (my friend who had her last day of class a week ago) arrived back in Montpellier from some travels, and stopped at my place to drop off her big suitcase. She's going to Madrid for the weekend, and will be picking it back up on Sunday.

samedi, 13 juin
Today I went to Carcassonne for my final excursion, a trip I could sign up for through my school. Here are the pictures.

That night Damien invited me to hang out with his two best friends, Julian and Julian's girlfriend Sophie. We went to Palavas (on the coast),  got churrow/sorbet, and walked around talking. It's crazy to think that tonight I was hanging out with three French natives comfortably when I compare it to my limited French speech/understanding my very first day in Montpellier just 6 weeks ago.

dimanche, 14 juin
I had a calm Sunday at home. That night, Asami arrived around 10:30 to pick up her suitcase, but turns out she didn't actually have somewhere to go. She wanted to use my wifi to try to book a hotel for that night, which I said was crazy, so she slept over and we shared my bed.

The state of the French learner is strong!

State of the French Learner: May 1-9
State of the French Learner: May 10-17
State of the French Learner: May 18-24
State of the French Learner: May 25-31
State of the French Learner: June 1-7 
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