It's Friday right? Or Thursday? I can't seem to get my days straight anymore. In any case, I've already been here for a week which is hard to believe. The first half of it passed in a sort of jet-lagged haze, I didn't really start doing anything besides food shopping and unpacking until a few days ago.
I opened up a bank account, I got some ID photos, I filled out my OFII forms, I found my schools, I emailed my schools, I got a tram pass, I bought a French sim card, I ate sushi, I found a hill and walked up it, I watched an Indian woman defend her PhD and ate samosas and pizza afterword, I found a library which made my day.
I met up with some of the other assistants a couple of times, once in a bar and once we climbed up the Bastille.
Honestly though, there isn't much to say. Mostly I've just wandered around. A lot. And stared at mountains. A lot. The more I walk around here the more I like it. Grenoble is a little more hippy than most other European cities I've been to, which suits me just fine. Like I said in a previous post, it feels less pretentious. And between all the trees and mountains, it feels much, much more nature-ey which I love.
I guess it's only normal that I keep comparing this to my Montpellier experience. Everything about Mont was intense. The bad things were sometimes overwhelming, but the good times were absolutely amazing. The second we got there it was go go go. Jet lag? Too bad. No breakfast? Don't care, get on this bus, we're going swimming under a 2,000 year old historic site, and then we're going out to a bar. Everyone was awesome, relationships formed quickly, we were constantly together, constantly moving, planning. I could go on, but I don't see the point, you had to be there. It was such a unique experience.
This, on the other hand, is an entirely different animal. Some things are the same, like the grapes. I can't get enough of these French grapes. I really want some grapes right now. But I ate all my grapes. What were we talking about again? Right, differences.
Well for one thing I've been here a week and I haven't eaten a single thing from a can. Considering that I basically lived off of bread and canned lentils, go me. (Although I'm still eating way too much immigration crab, I blame Carefour for making it so cheap, and whatever crap they put in it to make it taste so good). I live in an actual apartment and I didn't feel like crying when I saw my room. I have a kitchen, with an over and a microwave and burners that stay on as long as I need them to! I'm still getting used to living with people I don't know too well, but they're all incredibly nice and have helped me with all the admin stuff.
I also speak way more French, which I guess isn't saying much considering how little French I spoke in Mont, but here it's all French all the time. The people I live with are really open and like to talk. Not all the assistants are from anglophone countries so the last two times we've met up it's all been in French. I'm pretty sure I've spoken more French in the last seven days than I have in the last seven years. It's good for me, I know, but sometimes it gets mentally exhausting. At those times I lock myself in my room and watch Colbert and Fallon.
Overall it feels much... slower here. For now it's fine. I came here sick and jet-lagged so slow is good. It's also my second time here, all the administrative stuff seems less terrifying, I feel more relaxed. But I'm starting to get antsy, I'm excited to actually start working.
I also have to say that being here makes me miss all the Mont people terribly. It's not the same France without them here. Guys come visiiiiiiit!