Third time’s a charm.
I arrive at my family’s house in a small village in Brittany, France. It’s my third time in France, but there will be many firsts since I’m studying abroad for four months this time. I’m going to a university a few hours from my family in Brittany to earn credits toward my French minor.
After dinner the first night, I walked back to the apartment where I was staying and soaked in the view of the night sky. There’s nothing like looking at all the stars in a village that only turns the streetlights on during the weekends.
I stayed with my family for five days. I learned how to make a galette (an essential lunch food in France), went to my cousin’s soccer game only to get stuck under a shelter for about 15 minutes while it hailed, visited my family’s friends, went on a walk around the village, and finally overcame jetlag.
On Tuesday (the 31st), I took three trains to get to Angers (I thought it was going to be two; thankfully someone told me I needed to get off at a stop along the way). After I got off the train, my host dad came up to me, saying “Kah-SAY?” I responded “oui” (Kah-say, Kacey… tomayto, tomahto) and he introduced me to my roommate Emily. On the way back, she said that she’s from Canada and told me which territory in French. Since I barely know Canadian territories in English, I thought she meant Newfoundland. I looked it up later and it turns out she’s from Nova Scotia.
The two things Emily and I found strange right away were that Patrice talked about himself in third person and that we were required to wear slippers on the main floor of the house. I don’t think talking in third person is a common French thing, but we quickly learned from other students that wearing slippers around the house is very common in France since the tile floors can get cold. We also quickly learned that apparently pedestrians don’t have the right of way in Angers, or if they do, no one obeys.
Today (the 1st), we had our French placement test at the university in the morning, so Emily and I walked there. After the test, we got lunch at a restaurant and then met back at the school for a tour around downtown Angers.
After the tour downtown, Google Maps led us back home and we came across a bridge, which I expected to go above water, but it overlooked train tracks instead: