This last few weeks have been incredibly fun. That seems to have become the standard scale on which to measure my enjoyment here so far, with no measurement existing lower than "unreal".
Following Ireland's 6-1 drubbing against Germany the other week, where I looked on surrounded by smug Germans and begged the barman to not change the channel (apparently "it's already 4-0 so there's no point" *insert French language and disinterested shrug* was a good enough excuse. Tell that to the Swedes.)
My week did improve, straight away actually, as all gloom was soon forgotten with one of a large number of weekly soirées.
A visit to the Chartreuse caves last week was quite fun and cultural, in stark contrast to my weekly shopping trips, where I tend to head straight for the discount aisles - quite a few French people have been visibly offended by our choice of wines and "French" things (apparently the €1 stuff isn't generally the pride of the region.) A French themed evening also provided plenty of clichéd amusement, as moustaches and baguettes were obviously the order of the day. Admittedly the face paints did get a little out of hand and some of us ended up looking like French Hindu vampires... again, a situation where the leaders of the European Commission are probably wondering who the hell invented this Erasmus thing...someone is definitely getting fired.
Big news on a slightly different front though, I've been selected to be a "Jeune Ambassadeur" for the region, essentially a programme run by the Chamber of Commerce in Gcchhuunnobblh to get foreign students involved with the businesses in the region, establish links etc. It's very fun so far, my "coach" is one of the hotshots in the Chamber itself, so he basically knows everyone, meaning that I get to meet, quite literally, everyone. He brought me to an evening with the wine traders in France, an incredibly cultural experience, where as well as tasting the finest of French beverages, I also had my first foie gras experience (apparently some people in the EU want to ban it, so good timing I guess!). I also got into the VIP marquee where I gave the "bises" to the French Education minister (no big deal), and met lots of weird and wonderful and influential people, who kept giving me their business cards, misconstruing my polite nods as avid interest.
It's good fun so far though, and I'm looking forward to our next excursion!
At the weekend, I went ice skating with a big group from the Résidence, for the incredibly cheap price of €3 for over 2 hours! It was hilarious, partly because of my extreme lack of talent, and partly because one tends to witness some very funny incidents. We soon discovered that going around in a big train doesn't work and will inevitably end in disaster, and so will going too fast with no idea how to slow down or turn (my main problem). However, despite my quite extensive accident prone history at this type of activity, I left the building unscathed, apart from my dignity, which I have to be honest, was in tatters.
It is quite telling when my paragraph on my academic situation and college life/attendance is being squeezed in at the very end, but all is good so far, presentations went well, the book review still looming over me, and the mid term break next week may well be spent with the head down. Hopefully it can be slotted in around something fun though.
À la prochaine mes amis! x
PS: Have a listen to my new favourite song, it's fantastic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdC119_bm1k