Monthly Archives: May 2011

Nice. Day 2.

Last night, we had chicken cordon bleu. There are two girls who are living here as well this week from Austria and last night, it was hard to talk with them because none of us speak good conversational French. But ALLELUIA!… tonight, Nicole and her grandsons went out to a restaurant as the three of us girls were eating, and once she left, one of the Austrians goes, “Can we speak English?”
– “Umm…YES!”
They invited me out with them tonight after we talked for a while, which I will take them up on later this week. Claire and I have a date to walk to the beach, which is just two blocks from my apartment, this evening!

I had my first day of class today. I thought that class would just be something that I had to endure while I enjoyed the rest of my time here in Nice, but I was wrong. I. Loved. Class. It was SO fun and the people in it were really chatty and funny. We are all at the same level, so we help each other talk things out in French (we all tried to collectively describe foam parties and glow sticks at some point today), and talked about ourselves and asked lots of questions of each other. There are 10 of us in class, from USA, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, and Japan. It’s actually surprising how quickly we all clicked together, especially because we are different ages as well, not to mention different backgrounds and family situations (one girl is married with two kids). One guy from Switzerland said that he liked to dance, and the teacher asked what kind. His answer, in a heavy Swiss accent, was, “Cha cha cha, rumba, jive, disco-swing…”. At “disco-swing,” I laughed a little. Couldn’t help it. Disco-swing?? And he was completely serious. But I don’t think anyone thought anything of me laughing; I’m pretty sure they did too. The teacher asked him for a demonstration, but he refused. Pity.

After class, we grabbed sandwiches at the Monoprix (which I think is going to be a daily ritual- they’re cheap and delicious). The bread here is just so good. I don’t know how I’m going to eat bread back home after a month with these heavenly loaves. We met with everyone else from Millsaps and with Dr. Chadeyras back at the school at two PM because she wanted to give us an orientation of the city. The good of it was that I now know where some places are that I want to revisit at a more leisurely pace. And, it did include some incredible views. We went to le Chateau on top of a hill that looked out at Nice and down at the harbor closer to Monaco. This is what it looked like:

But probably my favorite part was when Nicole’s grandsons came over this evening. They are ten years old- Arthur et Lucas. Lucas was a little timid, but Arthur was obviously the kid who loves meeting company, because he gave me the biggest smiles and wanted to talk to me. They started playing X-Box. When I saw it, I said “Ahh… X Box!” and Arthur yells, “TROIS CENT SOIXAAAAAAANTE!!!!!”
I talked with them in French a little (they’re easier to talk to… go figure…). They showed off a little by acting silly. It was great. Turns out, French kids are just like American kids. I don’t know why I thought they’d be different, or cooler or something.

Tomorrow, we will plage it up. Au revoir!

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Buzz Killington strikes…

Four of us began our journey to Nice from Jackson, MS this morning from the Jackson-Evers Airport, each of us excited and eager to arrive in France. Claire, Madeline, Lane, and myself all were among the passengers of flight 2209 destined for Atlanta, where we would make our connection to Paris, and then to Nice.

The plans were interrupted, however, when after boarding at 11:15, we were informed by the captain that there was a “gauge discrepancy” (what?) giving faulty fuel levels, and that maintenance would have to be called. As we sat on the tarmac for what ended up being an hour and a half, we realized that our presence on the next flight was in jeopardy. We were supposed to leave at 11:31. We left at 1:00. I had an US Weekly magazine to keep me occupied, and was given two miniature packets of peanuts to ease my hunger and anxiety. Neither was sufficient.

This story ends with us actually making it to the gate a couple of minutes before it was supposed to leave, but SURPRISE!, they gave our seats away! You know where I am right now? I’m in a hotel in Atlanta with a couple of $6 food vouchers in my wallet and an overnight toiletries bag from the airline. Tomorrow, I will be in New York at JFK, and tomorrow night, I will be on a flight to Nice, where I will arrive a day late, missing our first appointment at France Langue.

The most annoying part is that we have too much time to kill here at our hotel, but not enough time to go do something cool like go to the aquarium or to the Bodies exhibit. Claire said it best: “Whalesharks would REALLY calm me down right now.”

Sadly, we will see no whalesharks tonight. We will probably try to find some laundry detergent to wash the clothes that we are doomed to stay in until Monday, as we don’t have our luggage, and I might consider taking up the suggestion from the man at the front desk that I use an iron to straighten my hair in the morning…. thanks, dude.

“The Dia-bee-tiss”

I had to take my 11 year old chocolate Labrador to the vet yesterday to be tested for doggie diabetes. She’s quickly getting very old, and some of her symptoms made me think something wasn’t right. I loaded her up into my car and took her to the office.

Luckily, she turned out to be diabetes-free, but for the first time, the dog that is usually an excellent patient was a little nervous and shaky, which made me sad for her. The trip wasn’t for nothing, though; she did get her toenails clipped.

This is life now that classes are over. I’ve spent my time between studying for the DAT (the MCAT for dental school), which I take a week from today, going to doctors appointments checking up on the clot issue,  and preparing for my upcoming voyage to Nice, France! Yes… starting next Saturday, I will begin my exploration of the French Riviera, taking French class in the morning four days a week, and pretending to be French in the city and surrounding area for the rest of the time. I’m staying with a family that doesn’t speak much (if any) English, and I’ve been instructed not to take a hairdryer because it will blow their electricity out. Needless to say, this will be an adventure.

And, before I end this post, I would like to add one more anecdote to the Remi chronicles:

I was on the phone with my dad, who was in his truck with Remi, when all of the sudden, the wind increased on the phone and I heard an explosive, “OH, %^&*! Stuuupid!” followed by more wind and some shuffling. Apparently, Remi had her head out of the window, and clammered up onto the door panel, pushing the automatic window closer with her enormous paw, and just stood there flailing while the window closed around her neck. Just another unintentional suicide attempt…