SO, I arrived in Pau exactly a week ago and here’s some stuff:
I took the train from Paris to Bayonne to Pau. The first train ride was kinda sweet because I got to take the high speed train (TGV). I met my host mother at the station and we were off. It was kind of awkward at first because I’m an awkward human being, but throughout the week it’s been easier and easier to talk to her. Also, she helps me a lot with my French and won’t speak English to me. I also have a German student living here with me until Tuesday. She speaks perfect French and great English and is super nice and super blond and German and tall.
We had group orientations on monday and tuesday and they were probably the longest days of my life. Basically like the first days of school anywhere. Tuesday we got an orientation of downtown Pau and it’s little and adorable. Also it has a castle!
It still amazes me that things like this exist here. Also, when I say that it’s amazing to people who live in Pau, they say it’s nothing special because a closer town has an older church or a “better” castle.
Downtown is really cute and has a ton of shops but since the town is so small literally almost everything closes by 7. There might be 5 restaurants open at night even though there are probably a hundred during the day. And I learned it’s completely normal for small stores to close from 12-2 so people who work there can take their lunch break. Basically everyone gets at least an hour for lunch here, even students. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go back to having quick lunches or eating on the go. I love being able to sit, relax, and eat, and sit. Mostly eat.
I’ve tried a lot of different things since I’ve been here and it has all been wonderful. It’s interesting how in America when I go out to eat or if someone is cooking I’m always conscious or wondering if something will be good or not, or satisfy me or not. Here, I literally think to myself that sounds good and in the end it always is. I was worried at first because my host mother is vegetarian but everything she makes is good too. French cooking and food is something else and I like all of it. Also: desserts everywhere and they are all perfect.
In terms of meeting people, so far I’ve mostly met americans. But my host mother rocks and took me to see some blues band on saturday so I could meet her friend’s son who is close to my age. She really wants me to meet french people and have french friends my age so I can practice so it’s really nice of her to help me ouuut.
This post was kind of boring but this is all that’s really happened in the past week. Just keepin’ ya informed.