Oct 1, 2009

A new month begins (+ photos!)

My agenda says today is the first day of October, but I'm not really sure I believe it. Because if today really is the first day of October that would mean that I have been in France for almost a whole month, and it definitely hasn't been that long...has it?

But seriously, it really is hard to believe that it's October. Time moves differently here, differently this year. I can remember exactly what they told us at the orientation in New York ("Dump your boyfriend and have fun in France"), the days in Paris feel like yesterday (I wonder what everyone I met has been up to?), and I can play the host family meeting like a movie (Saying goodbye, saying hello). But I can't tell the difference between what happened last week or my first week. There are days for which I remember exactly what I did, exactly who I hung out with, and how may minutes I waited for the bus. But I couldn't tell you what days they were. Everything moves so quickly, but at the same time incredibly slowly. I'll be half way through a Tuesday and wondering how long the class could last, and next thing I know I'm finishing on Friday.

But that's not to say I'm not enjoying every minute of it! Sure, there'll be moments where I'm sitting in class and I feel a pang of logning for everything to be in English. And there are definitely times where all I want is to see my friends in the US. But everyone here is so great, and it really doesn't take much to change my attitude completely. A moment of understanding or a good smile and I'm ready to go! I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. I'm realizing that with time going this quickly there is no time to feel sorry for myself. And what is there really to feel sorry for? I'm in a beautiful country, I'm surrounded by nice people, and I'm out there doing the thing I've been waiting for. What's bad in that?

The people are not the only great thing here. The food here is also wonderful =) One of the cool things about eating here is it's always at regular intevals. You have breakfast before you go to school, lunch around 12, a snack when you get home, and then dinner around 8. And people take eating seriously! Haha, let me explain that. In the US, people seem to eat sometimes for the sake of eating. You eat breakfast because your mom says you should, lunch because what else are you going to do then, and a snack because you're bored. (OK, I know that's a little exaggerated, but you get the point). But here, you eat because you're hungry. They seemed to have mastered the art that is figuring out when you run out of fuel. You eat a small breakfast when you wake up, and then 3 hours later noon your hungry again. Lunch is fairly large, so it can hold you for the 6 hours you may have afterwards. Then, you're hungry when you get home. You eat a snack that holds you 2 hours or so, and then eat a fairly large dinner. By the time you wake up in the morning, you're ready for breakfast. And lunch and dinner each have a few courses. A typical lunch (at least for me) is a hot meat/fish, a vegetable (Sometimes it's french fries. I have no idea why they say the US supersizes it's junk food, because while in the US we get like 15 fries at lunch, the French get an entire plate full. Which they then proceed to eat with a knife and fork. Kind of starange, lol. ANYWAYS...), a yogurt (Nature= plain. That's why they have suger packets next to it), bread, and a dessert (they have good desserts). Dinner is pretty much the same.

So what have I been upto in this blur of a month? I've visited Lyon twice more. (The first time my host mom and I walked around the old part and took and inclined railroad and then a steep path up to the top of a large hill where there was a roman theater and a basilica with a stunning look out point. The second time my host mom, host brother, and I went to the Parc de la Tête d'or, which is alot like central park in NYC.) I've met some of the family and friends of my host family. I've met more people at school (including one person who always asked the girl I was with to translate her question, and was surprised each time when I answered before it was translated =) ). I've started piano lessons (Solfege is slightly different in French. Just enough to make me utterly confused for about 30 seconds each time my teacher asks me a question). I've managed to score some points in gym class (despite my complete and total lack of basketball skills). I've taken somewhere around a trillion pictures (Wait, wait, I'll get to that...). And I've spoken French more than I ever have in my life.

Speaking of French, it's time for random French things that you may find interesting:

  • Water fountains: Do not exist (atleast not in school). You stick your head under the faucet if you're thirsty. I'm not even lying.

  • 4 wheelers: Quite a few to add to the population of motorcycles and scooters. However, they often are driven soley on the back wheels. Showing off much? Nahhhh....

  • French cars: The French are very proud of their cars. While the US auto companies are having a problem with Americans buying Asian cars, the French are quite happy with their Peugeots, Citroëns, and Renaults. It took me a week to find a non French car. It took me another 2 bfore I saw an American one.
  • Bikes, rollerblades, and scooters (Razor-style ones, not Vespas): Used by all ages. They have really snazzy bike rental things in Lyon. I can really rescribe them, but I'll try and get a photo of them. The only thing I can think to compare them to at the moment are those cart-rental things at airports. Roller blades are really popular, too. If they've fallen out of fashion, the French haven't heard. There are people roller-blading all over the city. There are also people scootering everywhere. And not just little kids like in the US. Pre-teens, teens, adults, everyone.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, photos! I've managed to get my photos onto FlickR, but the app on Blogspot for Flickr isn't working. So, here's what you gotta do. Go to


If you click on the icon that says "Septembre", you'll get the stream in order.

Here are a few of my favorites from my recent trips to Lyon:

Flower at the Parc de la tête d'or

Stature at the Parc de la tête d'or

Another flower at the Parc de la tête d'or

Inside a cathedral in Lyon

A street in Lyon

I think that about covers it!



  1. I love your pictures! I located a couple of them on Google Map's street-view of Millery. I can't wait to read and see more.

  2. Hey Sophia! Its Erin from AFS, Im the one in Lyon from Ak. Anyways, just wanted to say that your blog pretty much sums up my time in France too, especially the part about the time moving so fast but also so slow! And if you are going to the AFS retreat thing today, I will see you there!

  3. Grandma and GrandpaOctober 4, 2009 at 1:22 AM

    Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to share in your adventure.
    Grandpa and I are so proud of you and all that you are doing. Thank your host family for making possible such a wonderful and full experience.