Tag Archives: Lyon

C’est La France

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Wow. Okay everyone – first of all, I apologize for my lack of activity on this these last few weeks. I’ll try to recap all that I can, but it’s been a crazy time so I probably won’t recall all of it.

*Actually, I typed all of this up while I was still in Grenoble, but with the lack of internet I never got around to posting and finishing it. I’m still not caught up, but this seemed better than nothing for the time being. Also.. it’s my 100th post — I am appointing myself an honorary badge for that.*

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As I sit here typing this, it’s my last day in Grenoble (Friday, 21/12/12), and I can’t quite absorb that idea yet. I think I may be numb to it, but that’s probably for the best. These past four months have been some of the greatest thus far in my life, and this has been an experience that I will never forget. Not only did I learn so much more about myself and travel to some unreal places, but also I met some of the best people on this trip, which is really what made the whole thing so unparalleled. We were (ARE) a crazy bunch, that is for sure, but I became close with some of the most unique and genuine people ever, and some of which will definitely remain friends. I can’t believe I will be leaving them; it’s painful to think about, but at least with all this technology, communication won’t be limited. We gave Grenoble, France a run for it’s money, and it definitely showed us a great ass time. A piece of me will forever be resting somewhere in Victor Hugo, awaiting my return.

What have I been doing, you ask? I’ll try and fill in as many gaps as possible:

Monday, December 3rd: School, blech. It was my last day of Culture and Society though, so that was at least a morsel of niceness. It was wayyy to long ago for me to remember what I did in the evening, but being the day after Rome and a Monday, I can deduce that I probably just went home, ate dinner, did some homework slash read 50 Shades of Grey and went to bed.

Tuesday, December 4th: Today was Carl’s birthday! I had the usual full drudging day of classes, unfortunately. After school though, I went home, ate dinner with Madeleine and sipped on some vino while finishing up 50 Shades! After my lovely accomplishment, I met up with Maddie, Ian, Carl and Max to celebrate Carl’s birthday at the one and only Subway. I was already a little buzzed from my celebration wine (whatever, when in France), so I think I only nursed one drink the whole night, kudos to me. I also was given this semi-gross cherry chocolate candy that has a pretty large amount of alcohol inside. We hung out at Subway for a solid amount of time, but I had a 8h30 class the next day, so I called it a night after the bar and went to bed.

Wednesday, December 5th: Hah. So, I had every intention of going to class, but I just couldn’t force myself to get out of my cozy, warm bed at 7h00. C’etait trop tot, et j’avait seulement one class on Wednesdays, so I skipped. Turns out I picked the best day to skip though, because we did nothing in class. So much so that my professor bought everyone coffee and they just hung out in the cafeteria.

I’m pretty sure after I peeled myself out of bed, I went and met up with Hannah at the coffee shop to do whatever. Once again, it was a very long time ago, so I can’t quite remember the details anymore. I do know though that after dinner, I went to Max’s to hang out while he prepped all his stuff for Florence and Rome. That’s about it for this day, though.

Thursday, December 6th: Finished up school for the week at 12h30, yippee! Unfortunately, I had to spend the majority of my afternoon copying down all my Culture and Society notes, since my exam was on Monday. It was a fun time, let me tell you.

After we logged a bunch of studying hours, I went home to drop off my stuff, then grabbed dinner at La Salsita and met up with a bunch of kids from my program for our soiree theatre. We saw this French film, called Populaire (je pense), which was about this small town girl from France who ended up being the best speed typewriter in the world. It was a romantic comedy, and I actually really enjoyed it. I was also very pleased with the fact that it was entirely in French, and I understood all of it minus a few instances. Three cheers for improving!

Once the movie was finished, those who were still in Grenoble felt the need to let loose (when don’t we have that urge, though?), and we instated a girls night. If I remember correctly, it was Hannah, Emily, Maddie, Ellisa, Evelyn and myself. We speed drank some wine/champagne in the foyer of my apartment with pure class and then walked around the corner to Subway to get some more liquor in our bloodstream, duh. We were a rowdy bunch of individuals this night, and Hannah and I become even crazier when a few kids from our class wound up at the same bar for our friend Jascha’s birthday. It was a fun time, and we were probably there for almost two hours. When we exhausted Subway, we changed the scenery and made our way to Couche Tard and were equally crazy. Fun things ensued, and I got to practice my French, that’s all I’m going to say. 😉

Friday, December 7th: Let’s just not talk about how exhausted everyone was after our night full of extravaganzas. Unfortunately being lazy all day wasn’t an option since we had that stupid exam to study for… mer. I spent my day at the French Coffee Shop with Emily, Maddie, Natasha and Hannah prepping for finals and draining our brains. Multiple breaks were taken. I was too beat to even think about going out that night, so I simply went home for dinner then hunkered down for the night to read 50 Shades Darker; I’m pretty sure I read close to half of it. Great success.

Saturday, December 8th: After a full night’s sleep, I was back at the coffee shop squeezing a few hours in before I went with Natasha, Maddie and Hannah to the Lyon Festival of Lights!!!! We took the 16hish train into Lyon, and hung out and enjoyed the festival in all its beauty until 23h30.

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I think the entire population of France was crammed into Lyon that night… too many people. Don’t get me wrong, it was a grand experience and the lights were unreal, but it was just too crowded for my liking. You also had to pay for toilets, which is outrageous; so we just snuck into Quik’s. Another thing that was irksome about the festival was how poorly the map correlated to the city itself. We got lost a bunch of times, and it was almost impossible to figure out where you were. One would think for such a popular festival they would be more organized. No matter though, I had fun and got to see some crazy lights. Don’t forget to watch the insane video that I will most at some point in the near future.

CrazinessThat's A Building

The train ride took foreverrrr, and I didn’t crawl into bed until passed 1h00. It was freezing that night, so my cozy covers were more than appreciated.

Do DaLook Closely

Sunday, December 9th: I bet you can guess what I did all this day… that’s right: study. My electives here in France were tricky business. On one hand, it was very nice that I didn’t have homework for the entire semester, but at the same time… our final exams were 100% of our grade. How insane is that?! That’s not how we do it over in America, so needless to say I was massively stressing out for this exam. It was also extra important because I needed to pass the class (and History of Art) in order to get credit for one of my necessary classes for the European Studies major. I don’t think I had ever studied for an exam so much in my life… literally all weekend, blah!

After once again posting up in the coffee shop for hours on end, I went home to eat dinner, de-stress with 50 Shades and get a good night’s sleep before my exam. Eep.

Monday, December 10th: Had the normal class protocol from 10h40 to 12h30, then it was exam time, ew. I didn’t think it was that difficult. The one good thing is that these grades don’t get factored into my GPA, so I only need to get a 10/20 (that’s a C in France) on the exam to get credit for it. I am pretty positive I passed… if I didn’t I will be really angry and shocked, especially after all that studying I did.

Normally after I take an exam I am much more relaxed and just hang out for a little afterwards, but sadly this was not the case this time around. Classes were still in session, so directly after the exam we had to sit in History of Art for an hour and a half. It was not my idea of a good time, but it was the last time that class met, so that was a positive aspect of it.

I got home after class to find out my host mom was gone, so I was able to eat dinner while reading 50 Shades, which was a nice way to unwind. Afterwards I just hung out and putzed around for the night; it was all I could manage.

~~~~~ So, that’s all I had written down in my draft box. Looks like that’s all you’ll be getting for the moment. I don’t have too much on my agenda tomorrow so hopefully I’ll make some strides. Happy Holidays, Everyone! I know I’m a little late, but the good times should always be in session. ❤

Dear EasyJet & RyanAir: You SUCK

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Hokay, so here’s the first day of my Ireland adventure (or lack there of… you’ll know soon enough). It’s finally not so fresh and raw that I’m willing to talk about it.

Thursday, November 15th: Class as usual from 10h40 to 12h30, then I went back home to drop off my school stuff and traded it in for my IRELAND things (aka my sweet ass backpack)! From there, Hannah and I met up with Emily and McAuley to get some tasty kebabs at Fraternite Kebabs for lunch. Afterwards, we grabbed some snacks and then Emily and I started the long day of traveling ahead of us. Destination: Dublin, Ireland. This is where things got interesting.

We took the train to Lyon, France from Grenoble; it was about an hour long trip, and virtually painless. Upon our arrival to Lyon, though, the problems started blooming. There was an air traffic control strike — typical French behavior — and our flight that was supposed to leave at 19h00 from Lyon to London (Gatwick) was postponed until 21h00, deux heures en retard! This posed a major problem because London was only our connecting flight, and we were supposed to catch another flight from London to Dublin at 21h55. Umm… problem, considering our Lyon flight was about an hour long. Turns out, there is an hour time difference between London and France, so we would land in London before our Dublin flight left, but being an airport we would need more than like 45 minutes to make our flight. Obviously, Emily and I started freaking out. We talked to the woman at the help desk for Easyjet (the airline we were taking to London), and she was negative help. Seriously, fuck her (excuse my language. I’m still pissed thinking about this). We asked if there was anything we could do to try and make our flight, or if there were other options for us. Her answer? “I have no options or advice for you” — are you freaking kidding me?! You’re job is to help us, you worthless whore, do your goddamned job! So clearly that bitch was no help.

We both called our parents (and Anna, one of our API mentors), who really didn’t have any options for us either, which was expected being a continent away. The only choice we had was to just get on the plane and hope for the best, so we waited in line to check-in. When it was our turn to show our passports, the lady at the desk informed me that our flight was only 20 minutes late, not 2 hours… wait, what?! Emily and I were soaring with happiness at that, and we may or may not have done a happy dance in the airport. In our glorious moods, we made our way to the correct terminal, but it took them about 40 minutes to get us on the plane… and then the bad news struck us in the face: the strike was still going on, and we had to wait our turn in the queue for an undetermined amount of time. SHIT. I swear, now I have an idea what it’s like being bi-polar, my emotions were being brought on a roller coaster of a ride this day. We ended up sitting on that stupid plane for another hour and what a surprise, we didn’t take off until 21h00.

Somewhere on the runway taking off from Lyon, I lost all hope that we were going to make our flight. Emily clung tightly to hope for a little while longer, but it was very apparent our trust was diminishing. Still, we had to try our best. About 15 minutes before we were scheduled to land, I went to talk to one of the flight attendants to explore some options. Here’s how our conversation went down:

Me: Excuse me, sir, but I was wondering if it was at all possible for my friend and I to be one of the first people off of the plane when it lands. You see, our connecting flight is very, very soon, and we may have a fighting chance if we can get off the plane quickly.
Him: *with a mouthful of airplane salmon* It depends on where you’re sitting on the plane. If you’re in the front, you’ll get off first. The exit is in the front.
Me: Pardon? We’re sitting in the middle, that’s why I’m asking you this question. Is it at all possible that 5 minutes before we land, my friend and I move to the front so we can make a quick exit?
Him: No, you can’t do that.
Me: Herm, okay. Well, is there any way that you can call the airport, or the airline or even the flight we are trying to get on, and let them know the situation? It is not our fault the flight was delayed, and we really need to make this flight. Could you possibly ask them to hold off for 5 or 10 minutes? Or let them know we are close and they can expect us?
Him: No.
Me: Alright then. Is there any way, shape, or form that you can help us? At all?
Him: What time did you say your flight is?
Me: *slight sliver of hope shining in my eyes* 21h55.
Him:*looks at watch* It looks like you’re going to have to run.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That makes two shitty human beings that I had come in contact with in under a 5-hour time frame. At this point, I’m starting to hate a portion of the human race… especially those in association with Easyjet. Utterly defeated, Emily and I slunk back down into our seats and started to formulate a game plan to hopefully make our flight (no thanks to the stupid flight attendants). Emily is a serious runner, and God graced me with long legs, so we decided that we had to a) get off the plane as soon as possible and b)SPRINT as quickly as we can with our luggage to customs, check-in at the desk, and the run even faster to our terminal. We had about 40 minutes to do this. A slim chance of success, but we had no other option than to try.

So… the plane lands. The seat-belt light turns off, and Emily and I are instantly up, bags in hand, ready to hustle. We explained to the woman sitting next to us our situation, and her and her fellow travelers are understandable and let us pass. Then I meet terrible human number three: fatty mcfatfat. This guy very obviously spoke English; I tried telling him our situation, and he straight up ignored me! Actually, he reached above my head to get out his luggage while I stood there with a hurt-puppy look in my eyes, pleading to get off the plane… to no avail. Eventually I reached pissed off level, so I muttered something mean under my breath and pushed his obese ass out of my way. Sorry bro, maybe you should go to the gym, you fat, ugly fuck. Within a few minutes we were off the plane, and I started sprinting down the terminal, with Emily at my heels. It was probably quite the sight, us running down the hallway shouting “excuse me, excuse me… MOVE”. I mean, come on people! If you hear feet behind you moving at a rapid pace, and yelling, look behind you and move. I was not above crashing through idiots at this time.

Within minutes we made it to customs, and a kind elderly man gave us directions, and the guy at customs questioned why we were breathing heavily. We explained our situation and he pitied us and let us path without further questions… and then we met the biggest asshole of the day: the ryan air man. We made it to the check-in desk 35 minutes before our flight, pretty damn good considering, and we sincerely thought we had a fighting chance. No one was at the desk when we arrived, so we started pounding on the desk demanding attention. After two precious minutes, a grimy looking man with a greasy ponytail saunters up to the desk asking what we wanted. We explained our situation in rapid succession, and he simply told us ‘No’. I think I almost puked on him, ‘what do you mean no?’ we demand. He simply told us it was not possible (even though we still had 30 minutes, and the plan was still attached the terminal), and that it wasn’t ryanair‘s fault that our plane was late since they only do direct flights. Then he dismissed us and told us we would have to buy another ticket to Dublin for the morning.

Okay, I’m not normally a person who gets worked up, but I was at the end of my motherfreaking rope at this point, and I wanted to strangle this man by his nasty ponytail, then break things, then fall down and cry. I almost did them all, but I remained composed. Of course, to add salt to my wounds, my phone decided not to work, so I left my mom a voice-mail saying “hey mom… I’m stranded in London”, and then waited for Emily to get off the phone with her parents.

At this point, we were officially stranded in the London Gatwick Airport… and we had no idea what to do, so we decided to get some food and ask for help. Of course, no one was at the ticket buying area since it was passed 10 at night, so we found the help desk and she said to try looking for options on-line. So, we bought 20 minutes on the computers in the lounge, ate refreshing mango and pineapple, and started surfing the web. Eventually, my phone decided to function, and Emily and I both searched for ways to get from London to Dublin. We looked at boats, trains and planes, without much success (theme of the day, apparently). Thanks to our lovely parents helping us out, we ended up buying a plane ticket for 6h50 the next morning… for $300. Yeah, not pleased, especially because I’m already broke beyond comprehension; but, we successfully bought tickets and had a tangible solution to our current situation, so that was a large weight lifted from our shoulders.

By the time we had all this figured out, it was after 23h, and we were exhausted from one of the most stressful days in my young 21-year life. Like true vagabonds, we got ready for bed in the airport bathroom and hunkered down for the night, on the airport floor. Lovely, I know. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep total considering we were on the hard ground without blankets, and it was cold! At least we weren’t the only ones, so it wasn’t as creepy as it could have been.

So, yeah… that was how my day went last Thursday. Bet you’re reeeeaaaal jealous of it.