Bonjour mes petits munchkins!
…I’m in a bit of a pickle as to how I want to relay my trip to Amsterdam to y’all. Obviously, you guys are well aware as to the culture in Amsterdam, and what is legal, et cetera. I have a multitude of stories that I’m itching to tell, but I also have a nicely functioning brain floating around in my head, and it isn’t really in my best interest to publicly publish this kind of thing. I have hopes of having a successful career in the future, so I’d rather not have any dirt on me that can be dug up, yah know? But at the same time… AMSTERDAM WAS FREAKING CRAZY.
So, I have come up with a solution. I’ll publish the “legal” pictures here in the next post, but I also have a separate post with all the juicy deets if anyone is interested. If you want to read it, either leave a comment on this post with your e-mail, or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, let me know you want the 4-1-1, and I’ll forward you a long the post in an e-mail. Not the easiest of solutions, I know, but I can’t really think of anything else, and this way we all win. Cheers!
On that note, I’ll continue per usual with a gap for the days of October 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st.
Monday, October 22nd: THE WEEK OF PURE EVIL. Not like I can complain too much after a weekend of epicness, but still… this week was hell in a hand basket (school-wise, bien sur), and it all started on Monday. Per usual, I had class starting at 10h40, but two of my elective professors – pour l’Histoire d’art et culture et societe – decided that class had to be two hours instead of 1h30… excuse me but NO. Unfair, you suck. Yes, I have taken 3-hour classes in college before, but in freaking ENGLISH… with debates and stuff. Sorry, but 2 straight hours of nonsensical French forces my brain switch into overdrive and I do not appreciate it. I wouldn’t even be shocked if steam started shooting out of my orifices.
Sorry, that was a mini-rant. Anyway, after my torturous classes were done I had to go next door and take a mo-fricken fake exam. Yes, you read that right. For my three elective classes, our only grade for the semester is our final (eep)… so in an effort to “help us”, our superiors decided that all the Americans get the elite pleasure of studying for exams that don’t even count towards anything so we can see where we stand in the class. It’s complete malarkey if you ask me. If I have to invest the time into studying for something, it might as well count; I mean, what on earth is the point to even study?! But of course, I like being a good student too much, so I studied (on the plane coming home from Amsterdam…), and it turns out that the exam wasn’t that bad – I finished tres vite and now I guess I know how the professor is going to test us. Regardless though… down with fake exams!
I finally arrived back home around 18h30, which left me just enough time to shower before dinner. I 100% wanted to just relax and recuperate from the long day, but noooo. Instead, I had to spend the next few hours doing homework and studying for my three exams on Tuesday. Excuse me, what? Eventually I just passed out from an overload of information.
Tuesday, October 23rd: The apex of evil pour moi thus far in the semester. Tuesdays are a hellish day as it is for me, but add three exams into the mix and you’re better off just not talking to me. My day started at 8h30 with my first batch of classes, which didn’t end until 12h30. During that chunk of time I took my first exam of the day. This one actually counted, and was the 2nd of the semester so it was kind of a big deal. I wasn’t too worried about that since on the first one I got an A+ (chyeah beetches), but it still stunk. After that we had an hour (as opposed to the usual 1h30) break for lunch, where Hannah and I met up with Max and Preston to enjoy our few minutes of freedom.
Lunch ended too soon, and I had my Translation class… and my second exam of the day. Thank the lord this one was just to judge how we are doing, because honestly I think our professor made the exam while smoking meth of equal value. We had to translate the most obscure words ever from English to French… some of them I didn’t even know the definition to, and I’m a freaking English major, so I kind of pride myself on my solid grasp of the English language. Whatevs. I survived it, and had a brief 30-minute break until my final elective class of the week, la litterature. After that class was done I had to go take yet another faux examen, but this one was also pretty easy, and once again I can now get a grasp as to how the final will be.
Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted, and once I got home I showered, ate dinner, did my homework, read some Game of Thrones, then sank into a well-deserved sleep.
Wednesday, October 24th: Another early morning with class at 8h30, but after that I was done for the day (well… kind of), so Nina and I went to the post office to get some international envelopes et les timbres, and I spent about 30-minutes being indecisive as to what I wanted to eat for lunch. I finally settled with Sandwich House and had this delicious sandwich with peppers, tomatoes, cheese and various other veggies on a sesame seed baguette. Nomnomnom. I took my sandwich to the ever-infamous French Coffeeshop, where I paired it with a mochafrio, which was equally dank.
I had every intention of studying for my last fake final of the week (Culture et Societe), but at that point I was at maximum capacity as far as exams were concerned and just sort of said screw it, aka I didn’t take the exam. I felt guilty for about a minute, but then I realized that a bunch of kids in my program skipped one exam, and I mean, it doesn’t count anyway… so the guilt quickly dissipated. Instead, I figured out what classes I want to take for my last semester at UVM, holycrapontoast. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but because I was such a boss with planning out my whole undergraduate career, next semester I only have to take one class: a senior seminar for my European Studies major (I finished my English major last year, holla). In lieu of taking a seminar, I have the option to take an Advanced Readings & Research class, but I’m not really sure what exactly it entails. I e-mailed some people and am trying to get the ball rolling with that, so I’ll see how it ends up. Unfortunately, in order to be a full-time student I have to take at least 12 credits, so I had to pick some others. I think I will be definitely taking Tolkien’s Middle-Earth (an entry-level English class, can you say easy A?), and I need to choose between Francophone Crossings — a 200-level French class… kind of stinks because it’ll be real work, but I need to keep up with speaking French; I refuse to lose all I’ve gained here – and Z Is For Zombies, which is a 100-level English class, and once again will be a walk in the park. So that means I have 9 credits. I also e-mailed my adviser and the English department head to see if I can take this class that is simply called Internship. Basically, I have to find an internship on my own, and I can get 3-6 credits for interning during the semester (I have to write like one paper, but that’s cake). I started e-mailing some people, and I think I may have found a potential: I would be interning at some magazine/newsletter in South Burlington and I would be in charge of planning meetings and kind of being the editors assistant. The best part… it’s paid! If I can get paid and receive credits at the same time I will be a very happy camper. Of course, all of this is still up in the air, but I still have a good amount of time before all of the kinks need to be worked out anyway. With the internship class, I could have up to 15 credits on the table, but of course I’m an overachiever and want to get the most bang for my buck, so I also think that during winter break I’m going to take two classes online: Crime Story: Agatha Christie and Careers and English: What Next? The Agatha course is 2 credits, and the English Career is only 1, so I’ll have a full course load once again. The best part about those two courses though is that they are only during winter break, so during my Spring Semester I’m only going to have class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for like 3 hours… and then whatever it is I have to do for my Research and Internship. HECK YES. I love life.
Now that I’ve bored you with my future classes, I’ll resume. After the coffeeshop I went to Monoprix to buy treats with Emily and Mike and then went to a Halloween/costume shop to buy tickets for a Halloween Bash for Hannah and I. I ended up buying a costume as well (‘tis a surprise), and the guys who worked there wanted to take a picture of me in it for their shop… I tried not to be 100% weirded out. They were cute though, so I didn’t take too much offense. When that debacle was over I stopped by Ian’s to pick up his sewing kit and chatted with him for a bit, and then headed home for dinner. I had some time to kill before Madeleine came home so I worked on sewing some more patches onto my backpack; it’s starting to fill up! The little things in life that make me happy, haha. Madeleine made an outrageously delicious apple tart, and I think I ate 1/3rd of it for dessert. Woops. I ended my night watching V for Vendetta; a much better day then the previous two.
Thursday, October 25th: AWESOMENESS. I had one class from 10h40 a 12h30, and then hung around on campus for an hour to wait to go PARAPENTING!!!! Parapenting = Paragliding, and it was one of the most amazing experiences ever. Picture this: being on the top of one of the French Alps, running off a hill and suddenly having the ground disappear beneath your feet. Guys, it was so so so unbelievable. At this time of year in Grenoble all the leaves are still changing colors, so the scenery was beyond compare. I videoed the majority of the flight, so definitely take a look at it. Seriously, if you ever get the opportunity to go, DO IT. It was something that I can’t really even use words to describe, and I’m pretty darn good with words. It was something that I’m never going to forget for as long as I live.
After living life to the fullest by running off a mountain, I went home to shower, rest and have dinner before the night began. It was the night of our first Halloween Party in Grenoble, and of course Hannah and I had to do it in style. I dressed up as a Geisha, with my Kimono from China, some tights and high heels. I can pull off a good Asian, if I do say so myself. In her own words, Hannah dressed up “as a slut”, so of course we were magnets. I mean, we’re both tall (and had heels on to boot), I’m a tan American with black hair, and she’s a blonde German, so unfortunately it was inevitable. Once we met up, we walked to Natasha’s friend’s apartment (comically enough, another German) to pre-game before the fiesta. The party didn’t start until 23h30 so we had plenty of time to do our thing. Following all the necessary preparations (i.e. costumes and wine/mixed drinks), we met up with some of Natasha’s friends from school, then made our way to the club where the party was. In all honesty, it was a pretty freaking fun time. I talked French with a lot of different people (and nationalities), got some free drinks, and had a blast breaking it down on the dance floor. One guy tried to show me “typical French dance moves”, but he looked like an epileptic puppet, so I made the excuse that my feet hurt (which they did) and went to sit down for a little. Apparently, sitting down is equivalent to having a giant sign flashing, “come bother me” above my head, because I think a new guy or pair of guys came up to me about every three minutes. One made me a braided necklace out of fake spider webs; honestly, the way people try to court you here… it’s just bizarre. I realized I was exhausted around 3h00 and made the terrible trek home in my heels. About halfway through I went barefoot and didn’t regret it. I got home 30 minutes later and passed out instantly. Sweet success.
Friday, October 26th: Today! I woke up around 10h00, woke up, puked (casual, I know. I officially have realized I can’t have mixed drinks with a lot of sugar. I wasn’t even that drunk the night before; the sugar gets me in the morning every time), and then decided I wasn’t ready to face the world yet (plus it was a very cruddy and rainy day), so I went back to bed. Hannah ended up waking me up by texting me at 13h30, at which point I decided to be a normal human being. At 15h30, I met up with Emily at Mezzo di Pasta where I had a tasty soup and macaroni with pesto, and we started to plan our trip to Morocco!!!! Details on that to come, but I am so beyond excited I don’t know how I’m going to be able to wait until December. Eventually Hannah met up with us, and after she finished eating we went to the Pathe Cinema to go see Taken 2. Heh, not my first choice movie to watch while abroad, but Hannah wanted to see it and I promised I would go with her, but it actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was pretty much an action film (plus it ended happy), and I was extra proud of myself that the film was in French and I could understand everything; I’m getting better everyday with this French!
Side Note Story: At the beginning of the movie, there was this large group of OBNOXIOUS teenagers that would not stop yelling and dicking around while the film was playing. After 10 minutes, a guy who worked at the theatre approached them and told them to be quiet, but they completely ignored him. A few minutes later, the workers paused the film and forcible removed them from the cinema. One idiot kid tried to punch the large man who was escorting him out, which was pretty hilarious to watch. Once all the perpetrators were gone, they rewound the film and everything continued normally… but 20 minutes later 5 police officers went out the same exit as the idiot kids. I’m sure they were being stupid and up to no good. Honestly, never a dull moment over here in Grenoble, France. I can’t say I hate it.
When the movie was over, I headed back to my apartment and then had soup and ratatouille pizza with Madeleine for dinner. It was extremely tasty. Now, I’m just lying in bed typing this up for all of you lovely individuals. I’ll probably go to bed early because this weekend is an excursion with the rest of my group to Aix-en-Provence. Stay tuned for the crazy stories that I’m sure will ensue.
❤ Love, peace and afrogrease.