My week has been sort of rough, because (obviously) I'm in a completely different place which is really different from the US. Plus, I've been so incredibly busy! Here's a few home comforts I've been missing:
The stereotype of France is that everyone walks everywhere. This really shouldn't be specifically a French stereotype, but a big city one. Sure, no one drives a car in Paris, but no one drives a car in New York or Chicago, either. Everyone in Chambery drives, except me. Obviously, I don't have a car here, so I have to walk everywhere and when you think walking two blocks is rough (as I once did), 30 minutes of uphill walking, will really do you in.
There are no screens on the windows here. This seems irrelevant, but for someone who is as terrified of bugs as me, it is a huge life changer. If I want my room to cool off, I've got to open the windows. I've already killed, BY MYSELF: 1 bee, 2 beetles, and a spider.
3.) Air Conditioning
There's no air conditioning here and when its 88 degrees and you just walked uphill for thirty minutes, a/c becomes pretty freaking important.
You never really realize how awesome and organized the US is until you visit somewhere else. When I signed up for College, I filled out an application and the school sent me one paper that had, in plain English, a list of everything I would need to finish signing up. Here, there is so much bureaucracy, that I have to fill out 3 papers for 4 different departments and when I go to turn something in, I find out that I wasn't told about needing a certain paper signed and delivered to a certain person and I need to pay 200 euros for this and 50 euros for that. All of this is in French, and can be exhausting!
HOWEVER, I had a marvelous day today! I went wine tasting in Chambery, swimming in Annecy with some British girls I met at school, and toured the very small Aillon-le-Jeune, where I tasted cheese at a Fromagerie (or a place where cheese is made). Here are some pictures from our awesome day.
Here we toured the town and tasted cheese. The town was beautiful and very quaint. When I say this town was small, I mean incredibly small. They even sort of had "town pets" that were just really friendly and roamed around!
At the beautiful town of Annecy:
Le Lac d'Annecy is the third largest lake in France and is known as "Europe's Cleanest Lake." The water was crystal clear and perfect! An amazing place I'll definitely go back to! My pictures could never do it justice, but here they are.
Lastly, we tasted wine that was made in Chambery!
It's raining here tonight, so I'm just went to a little pizzeria and had an evening in to catch up with everyone at the end of my first week of classes. Tomorrow, we are going on a hike up Mont Blanc, so wish me luck!
Let the Shenanigans Continue!