Hullo, friends. I’m a bit behind on my blogging grind (per usual), but I mean… you can’t blame me. When in France. Anyway, here’s an update up until Friday night. I’ll get caught up eventually, I promise. To make up for it, I’ve got a plethora of pictures for y’all to look at.
Wednesday, October 3rd: After class, Nina and I went to our café for a bit (peep the most amazing coffee/cookie hybrids),
and eventually Mike and Emily met up with us, so we headed out to find some good grub for lunch – yay for not having to eat on campus! We walked by a sign that said falafel, so of course that’s where we had to go for lunch. It was a cute place called Neroli Hammam, and the proprietor was a really nice guy who took the time to explain what all the different dishes were – and in slow French so we could actually understand everything, huzzahhh. It may be the apocalypse, guys, because I forced myself to get something other than falafel. I figured no time like the present to step out of my comfort zone. The winner was something called Chawarma, which was essentially a beef wrap with veggies and yummy seasonings/sauces.
I can’t say I regretted the decision. Of course, being a bunch of sweet/ice cream addicts, we had to stop at Punto Gusto for the dank-a-lank gelato. We made the awesome discovery that you can get two flavors in a small (which isn’t really even that small by French standards), so today’s victims were vanilla bean and nutella, nomnomnom.
After we were finished eating ourselves into a food coma, we parted ways to get ready for the API Aperitif, which was that night. I walked there with Emily and Nina, and we got to meet all of our fellow peeps host families, plus eat some saussison/fromage/bonbons. Not too shabby. I had every intention of going to a free concert that night, but I got distracted and too sleepy to do anything of merit, thus concluding my “hump day”.
Thursday, October 4th: KEBAB THURSDAY/WEEKEND! Woooo. I had my one class from 10h40-12h30 (aaaand I actually went for a short run in the morning beforehand, gold star for me) and then headed to Centre Ville for the weekly kebab feast. I want to try as many different kebabs as possible while I’m here, so I tried Nabab Kebabs this week; however, I must say it was inferior to Batman – except the one bonus was that the bread was cheesy na’an bread, quoiii. During lunch I attempted to Skype with Aly… attempted being the operative word. Epic fail.
I was still in my running clothes, so I decided to be an extra-motivated human and go on another run. I was only planning for ~45 minutes, but of course I managed to get lost and it turned into 1h15. Needless to say my legs were NOT happy by the end, and taking a shower was practically a religious experience. Afterwards I just relaxed, read some Game Of Thrones, ate dinner with the host mom and then before I knew it… the night arrived.
Of course, we started off in the ever-famous Victor Hugo, where wine and beer was consumed (I can’t remember who I was with, but I know there was Karen, Emily, Nina, Max, Ian, Carl, Preston and Lars, a solid grouping). We had every intention of going to Vertigo, which is a bar that was having their own Oktoberfest, but from what I remember there was a really long line, and we were not sober enough for patience, so we went to a different bar. Honestly, I don’t remember the name of it, but I remember that Ian, Lars and Carl all ordered these freaking gigantic beer mugs and that Ian was souped on having it (we were under the impression that he bought the mug), but due to shit luck he was forced to give it back. Carl and Lars on the other hand, boosted down the street and got to keep theirs – except Carl broke his on the walk home. Fail. I also remember that I got a glowstick and was pretty freaking excited about it.
After the beer mug debacle, we headed to La Vieux Manoir, which is the disco/bar/club/what-have-you that we often find ourselves at (it’s open until 7am, Grenoble goes hard). I don’t exactly know how long we were there for, but around 2am I couldn’t find the majority of my friends – turns out they were dancing it up, but cell phones don’t work inside so my calls were futile – so Max and I just ended up walking home, where I promptly fell asleep. Solid.
Friday, October 5th: I successfully slept in a little bit (like, 10h), and a little before 12h Nina and I met up to go get ourselves some burritos at Burger & Cie, which is that awesome place I’ve been to before with the stamp card, chyeah. I went with the boeuf this time and was once again not let down. Emily met us there, and after lunch we took the tram to the bus stop to go to Les Caves de la Grande Chartreuse a Voiron. Basically, in Voiron (which is about an hour or so away from Grenoble up in the mountains), there is a distillery for this alcohol called Chartreuse.
The two main strains are green and yellow, and in all honesty I think it tastes terrible, but the rest of the world seems to disagree with me. Anyway, these monks make it, and it’s some crazy big secret involving 130 different herbs, and we got to learn all about it, plus go down into the caves where the Chartreuse is stored in gigantic wooden barrel things.
I took more pictures, so feel free to peep them once I put up the gallery. The tour started off with a movie, then we saw the distillery, then another movie (this time in 3D), followed by a tour of the “caves”, and it ended with a tasting of your choice of Chartreuse. I opted for the yellow one, since I’ve tried the green before, and it was disgusting. I took one sip and claimed defeat. One of my friends had a raspberry liquor though and it was delicious, so of course I bought myself a bottle in the gift shop – along with a bottle of the green “nectar” for my parental units.
Once the tour was complete, we piled back onto the bus (us cool kids sat in the back and played with a cootie catcher that was pretty much a truth or dare game, yeahh…) and headed even further up into the mountains. The drive was breathtaking (and extremely windy, my stomach had moments of near rebellion), and our destination was some museum and the monastery where the monks who make the Chartreuse habitent. The museum was a church and pretty sub-par (sorry I’m not sorry), so we kind of boosted through it in order to get outside into the beautiful sunshine. We walked by a gigantic field of cows, and after a short hike got to the monastery. I can’t say I would enjoy the life of a monk, but seriously, if I was forced into living in one place for the remainder of my life, this would not be a terrible location – it was amazing.
To my despair I didn’t see a monk, but some other kids in my group got to talk to one, so at least we know they’re not a myth. Mike, Max, Ryan and I came across this creepy-ass tunnel on the way back from the monastery; seriously, this thing was petrifying. Stephen King would have loved it.
The picture doesn’t quite do it justice, so you just gotta take my word for it. On the walk back to the bus, the four of us came to the conclusion that the excursion as a whole would make a pretty solid horror movie. I’ll spare you the details, though.
Let’s see… eventually we got back onto the bus and had a hilarious drive back where we blasted outrageous throwback music and probably scarred the newbies for eternity. Whatevski. Once back in Grenoble, Nina, Richard, Emily and I had some Mezzo di Pasta (I went with 4 fromage tortellini with a Indian Curry sauce. Super awesome) and then I went home to eat some more – fat girl problems – with my host mom and her daughter and friend who were in town. Thank goodness I stuffed face on pasta before because dinner was a “picnic”, aka lots of wine and pita bread with random things to put on the pita.
After three cups of rose I called it quits and got headed out for the night. Of course, it began in Victor Hugo (you’d think I live here or something), where I met up with Max, Preston, Richard, Heather, Evelyn, Roman and Roman’s friend whose name I don’t remember. After a little under an hour, we made our way to London Pub because Preston’s friend Brandon was there, so he had plans to meet up with him and we tagged along.
This kid is hilarious, and his Swedish and Korean friends were pretty cool as well. The Swedish boy (I should probably try and learn his name) bought a gigantic dispenser of beer, and I was handed a cup and told to help myself – yuup. We all just danced around and had a good time until it got late and we needed a change of scenery. Somehow we lost Heather, Evelyn, Roman and friend, so it ended up being me, Preston, Max and Brandon. Brandon’s host family was out of town, so of course his pad became our destination. Brandon was a good (and drunk) host, and as soon as we got there he set out wine, Chartreuse and some cups, along with a hookah. I haven’t smoked a hookah in a long time, and since I don’t smoke cigs like the rest of the world (poo on you if you do), my head was buzzing before long; but in the fun kind of way, especially after I found out they had a pet bunny (!!!!!). Needless to say, I was beyond stoked about having an animal to cuddle, so the bunny — his name was Speedy, I think — and I had a nice bonding session. Mostly I think he was just using me for his warmth, but I’m okay with it. Once the hookah was done I had reached my limit of being awake, so Preston, Max and I left and I was pretty excited to crawl into bed.
… Well, I have more stuff written, but I’m currently at MacDo stealing their wifi and it’s being slow as a slug with uploading pictures, so I’m just going to wait until I get to my coffeeshop later today for the rest. In the meantime, this can be your petit morceau. A tout a l’heure.