Posted by: katelyninfrance | September 30, 2010

Ohio tempests, Super Smash, and the joy of housemates

Tuesday I woke up at 8 in the morning to walk in the pouring rain to pee in a green paper Gatorade cup and get felt up by a rather handsome doctor, before damply trudging all the way back to the conservatory for an hour of music history in which I nearly fell asleep multiple times learning about the wonderful world of Mozart’s opera. Obviously my day could have started better.

If there is one thing to know about Oberlin, or living anywhere near a large lake for that matter, is that it rains. A lot. And in the winter it snows. A lot. I was aware of these things, painfully even, and yet what did I not bring to campus? An umbrella. And what did I not buy while on campus despite there already having been at least three rainstorms? Yup. I think this must be a result of what I like to call the “short-term memory effect.” After spending a year in the south of France where it hardly rains, and then spending the summer in my hometown where it certainly didn’t seem to rain much more often, I seem to have forgotten that yes, rain does exist, and yes, it is wet. And requires an umbrella. Perhaps after today I will have thoroughly ingrained this life lesson into my skull after plodding back home from French class awkwardly with my professor (who also happens to live in French house, who knew) for the third time. Perhaps not.

One thing that I did not forget to bring to college, however, was the TV I bought with all of my hard-earned Bat Mitzvah money, our out-dated purple Gamecube, and a shiny copy of Super Smash Bros. Melee. What is this mysterious long-titles game, you ask? Well first off, you should know what this is and thus not have to ask. Shame on you. However for those sad souls who are not already familiar with this wonderful piece of electronic entertainment, I’ll be a kind soul and enlighten you. Super Smash Bros. Melee is the second installment of the popular Super Smash Bros. fighting series by Nintendo. The game entails pitting various Nintendo characters against each other in epic battles with special attacks, items, and interesting stages. The cool thing about this game is that while you can get fairly far just button mashing, there is real strategy to be garnered and used here. And once you master the game, you can be the envy (and hated) of all of your friends by crushing them with an iron fist! It almost makes up for the fact that you’ve spent hours controlling an electric yellow rat-like creature who can do nothing but say his own name!

Also known as Cheap-a-chu.

Over the summer I played tons of Smash. (My main is Marth although I sometimes deviate to Kirby, for those who are interested. Which is probably no one. Oh well.) And after a while I began to realize the positive bonding and social aspects of playing this game with friends. You could say, “Katelyn, what the hell are you talking about this is a video game,” and I could say, “Shut up and go back to your non-nerdy activities games are awesome.” Likewise I could tell you about how sitting hunched around the TV in my quad at French house has helped our whole floor become closer. It can be surprising how much people who hardly know each other bond when shouting profanities and cries of “God dammit Peach STOP THROWING TURNIPS WITH WEIRD FACES ON THEM!” Our RA even played with us once, and there’s talk of a tournament sometime in the future. As another French house resident says, “It can be a really great way to de-stress. I’m honestly really glad you brought it. You’re so amazing Katelyn, people should really look to you as an example.” Okay so maybe he didn’t exactly say those words. But the thought was in there, trust me.

Our quad has become what we like to call “The Party Quad”, aka the room where people just tend to stop by, play some smash or make tea, and mooch off of the Dominos pizza we order when too lazy to walk across the street to Stevie. And it’s really a wonderful thing. The thing about college, and Oberlin especially, is that you can meet so many interesting people and make lifelong friends without even realizing it. Although studying is certainly important, having a social life is as well. Except when studying for a gigantic biology exam. Then they can be kind of distracting. Good friends at college can be there for you when you’ve had a bad day and can laugh with you when you’ve had a good one. Sappy thoughts aside, they can also be guinea pigs for trying out your new Samus combo on.

Then again, you can also get said combos used on you.

We’ve all become really good friends quite quickly, which I’m going to naively attribute to video games. Because it’s common knowledge that if there are video games involved, it must be good. Amen.

While I’m on the topic of my fellow French-house residents, I guess I’ll go a bit into what the hell French house actually is. French house, aka Bailey, is conveniently located right next to East, which means we can give a full-hearted laugh while walking by, ready to enter a house that does not smell like an odd mixture of catfish and peanut butter. Nah, honestly East seems like a cool place to live. I mean, the people there are nice, right? But not as nice as the people at French house! …Okay, house rivalry aside, French house is a place where those who have an interest in French culture and language congregate. We’re all at various levels of fluency, and there are two French TAs who live on the second floor, so the idea is to speak as much French as possible. There is also a really shady library that is probably used for sex, a bunch of magazine racks, and a French TV. We have movie screenings, a Mardi Gras party (which is apparently pretty bangin’), and best of all, French breakfasts with delicious wonderful flaky buttery tasty heavenly croissants, baguettes, and pains au chocolat. Can you guys tell I like French pastries? Oh how I have missed them. Oh dear.

Yes, that is a giant-headed Napoleon statue in the background.

We also have a table at the dining hall called “Chez Nous” where one can go if they are in the mood to speak French. It’s also really handy when Stevie is crowded because there is always space at French table and we don’t have to play the awkward “oh hey where are we sitting” game! Yay!

All in all French house is a party, and if you guys want to check it out, please do! All of the movies are subtitled in English and the breakfasts are open to the public (I think?) so we’d love to have you. We’re super nice people! Definitely!

See how welcoming we are? 😀

Well that picture was quite a bit larger than I expected it to be. I suppose I’ll finish up this post with that, as a sort of open-door welcoming omg yay Oberlin ending. Yup. Well, I hope everything is going well for all of you reading this, thanks so much! Till next time!

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Posted by: katelyninfrance | August 11, 2010

Oh hey there

It has been almost three months since my last post. I was planning on writing a spiel about when my parents came to visit and how we took a week in Norway with our friends and I honestly started it, but then like my computer died and it didn’t save and well, that’s life I guess. So here I am writing this from the couch in my living room under the paper maché sun, the location where I feel as if I used to do quite a bit of my writing. My first few entries were most likely done here. And now so will be my last few. Oh time. Oh how absolutely bewildering you are. I can hardly keep up with you, now can I?

So I’m back home. And I’ve been here for almost two whole months. Thoughts of the beach and parties with Sarah and seeing exchange students in Toulon and going to lycée with Manon have been replaced by thoughts of college and dorm room shopping and new beginnings. And while at times it is so unbelievably difficult to just sit with myself here in the united states, almost feeling as if I’d never left, almost feeling as if the life I’d spent so much effort and time building for myself in France was nonexistent, feeling the aching emptiness of left friends and family and joy, sometimes I look at the open path that is my future and feel so excited and so thankful for the miles of opportunity and potential that are in store for me. I’ll be starting this fall as a freshman in Oberlin College about 40 minutes outside of Cleveland, planning on double majoring in creative writing and music composition with perhaps some sort of minor in French or vocal performance. I’ll be living in Bailey House, aka the French dorm (where there is a library and French TV and French breakfasts and French speaking yaaaaay), with three other girls (oh man you know that’s gonna be a party!). Oberlin has so many opportunities available to me that just get me so excited. Like winter term, where I have the possibility of spending the month-long winter break of January doing community service in Ghana or touring castles in France or working at an orphanage in Costa Rica or even creating my own plans, whether they be abroad or local, and doing WHATEVER it is that I want to do, whether a traditional type of college activity or something quirky and incredibly ridiculous FOR CREDIT. Oh man guys. How awesome is that?! And the experimental college, aka exco, where they get student instructors and instructors from all over and do classes normally not offered by the college and suggested by the students and said instructors such as latin dance and martial arts and clothes weaving and even a course on freaking MMO’s. Then I can take horseback riding and voice lessons and piano for credit as well. And of course the writing program is apparently phenomenal, not to mention the very highly regarded conservatory. As you can see despite all the doubts that seem to constantly be in head about my choice to go to Oberlin (and about all my choices really, being indecisive is soooo much fun let me tell you) it seems like it’ll be a great place for me with such a liberal attitude and quirky, interesting, and creative people. I leave on the 30th, which just happens to be about a week after alllll of my other friends, and since my summer has just been me hanging out with them almost everyday, I’m going to seriously have to find some things to do those last few days. I’m thinking about forcing an entire summer’s worth of creativity and writing like a maniac all the time, and reflecting on my year in France and life in general, and playing the piano and maybe taking my bike out to Border’s just to read all day (idea courtesy of Kristin who is a genius pretty much).

So there is honestly so much that I could and probably should be writing. I’m in a weird mood right not though and as writing is artistic and such, it’s kinda difficult to just be like- GO! YOU WILL WRITE AS IF YOU WERE IN THIS MOOD AND IT WILL BE GENUINE! So I’m gonna post some stuff I wrote before. And I’ll probs be updating this maybe eventually with more on how tough it can be to be a rebound, and how much I miss like everything about France. Oh readjustment, you sneaky little devil, you!

So first off I wrote these two little vignettes for out principal, Nesbitt, as my sort of senior project deal as I didn’t get a chance to take it in the states and it’s a required course. I also sent him the song I wrote and the link to this blog. Baaaasically the easiest senior project ever eheheh. These two pieces aren’t really alllll that good or anythings and they could totes be elaborated on and stuff but I’mma post them anyway because I like long posts and feel as if you all deserve one after so long. Hooray for forcing this post to be ridiculously lengthy! 😀

VIGNETTE 1!

“And now, everybody, we have a rather multi-national program tonight. Get excited, because the next performer is our very own dear American, Katelyn!” announced a student MC in French in the Salle Paul Eluard in La Ciotat, France.

Oh god, oh no, there is no WAY he actually just said that, I thought as all the heads within a 3 meter radius turned to face me, both those of my friends and of people I never even realized knew who I actually was. Sarah and Emma started giggling as I quickly moved towards the stage, pushing people aside with a “pardon, desolé, c’est moi l’américaine là” and ungracefully hoisting myself up and joining Guillaume, my rather handsome piano accompanist, in front of the crowd.

There were a good number of people that night- the turnout for the Soirée Black and White, which was a fundraiser for the Seconde Europeene class’s trip to Chicago, was rather successful. I steadied myself in front of the microphone, turning to my pianist and nodding as he glanced back. And the music started, a gentle flow of notes on the keyboard, the room quieting down after hours of rock groups screaming incomprehensible lyrics in heavily accented English. I started singing My Immortel by Evanescence, a song rather low for my opera-trained soprano voice. I clutched the microphone with my hands, leaning into the more dramatic parts and conveying as much emotion as I could, even if the majority of the listeners probably couldn’t understand a word of what I was saying. And then it was over, Guillaume playing his last delicate arpeggio and my voice dwindling out into the cheers of the crowd. I beamed and shot Guillaume a quick high-five before descending the stage, my friends running up to me in congratulations amidst the continuing cheers. It was a moment in which I felt entirely and completely content, overjoyed with this country and it’s people and it’s opportunities.

The entirety of my year as an exchange student on the French Riviera has by no stretch of the imagination been like the above story the entire time. From the first day in the airport with a 7 hour layover in DC, and showing up exhausted in Nice, baggage lost, or perhaps my host mom leading a terrified me like an abused puppy up to the high school, searching for my name on the class lists for “Premiere L”, I’ve been through some rather difficult times. I’ve experienced loneliness- days spent in front of the computer feeling worthless and without friends, gentle leaps of happiness- a text from a French girl wishing me a happy new year, and bounding joy- spending hours singing in the music room surrounded by people, or being invited (and rather enjoying!) a party, or shouting “smurfette!” with Sarah and Manon in gym class while trying to come up with our routine for acrosport. And throughout all of these moments I’ve lived through, I’ve gained. I’ve gained a new language, I’ve gained new families, new friends, and I’ve gained new skills and confidence in myself. And I’ve lost. I’ve lost a “normal” senior year in the United States , I’ve lost opportunities to make new relationships and to take AP classes and to have a part in the school play. But I’ve never been one for regrets, and I am thankful for all that I have now: 4 moms, 4 dads, 4 sisters, 1 brother, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 guinea pigs, birds, wild rabbits, Manon, Sarah, Gaëtan, Benjamin, Raphael, Eli, Oneza, Vanessa, Emma, Yuriy, Guillaume, Théo, at least 4 bakeries within walking distance, fresh nutella crepes, crispy baguettes for breakfast, new beautiful homes, a new beautiful language, a new beautiful life. And it will be difficult to step on that plane in two weeks and leave it all behind for another new home and another new life in college. But I’m trusting (and hoping!) in my new-found abilities to adapt and to learn to love the exciting terrifying newness that is growing up. And with skills like that, I will be able to accomplish my dreams and continue moving forward.

VIGNETTE 2!

I don’t understand time. What is this concept of clocks constantly turning, spinning in the same rhythm as the globe, forever and ever? It seems as if each tick-tock of the second hand these days is a pointing finger, a laughing voice. Tick-tock! Ha-ha! I can’t quite pin-point the exact moment in my life when all the world’s clocks changed into such haughty creatures. It’s rather mean; to be honest, holding their superior knowledge above our pathetically human heads.

But it is what it is, and if there is anything I learned this past year, it’s that more often than not, we just need to accept things as they are and learn to live with them.

At the beginning of this year I was thrust into the bright sunlight of St Cyr Sur Mer. I stared out into the ocean with feelings of indescribable loneliness as my 14 year old host sister smoked and laughed with her friends, tossing empty beer bottles into the port. And I cried out of sheer overwhelming confusion and exhaustion on the couch after my first day of school, sobbing that I couldn’t do it, that I wanted to go home, that I was wrong- I wasn’t strong enough. But the days passed, time continued on despite my struggles, perhaps even in spite of them. I built my life one vocabulary word, one nonsensical grammar rule, at a time. I was charmed and betrayed, confused and certain, slowly figuring out the slight differences in culture that somehow managed to make all the difference. I whacked myself in the head and beat furiously against my tough shell of timidity and self-consciousness, desperately trying to overcome powerful waves of feelings of inadequacy. With every “coucou” and kiss on the cheek I felt elongated and separate, confused and stuck between “friend” and “obligation.” And somehow I lived. I managed. I gripped onto the hands of the clock and held on for dear life as it made it’s endless cycles, eventually joining in it’s turns and spinning like a dancer. I threw off my shawl of fear and said “screw it”, speaking broken “franglais” and making up words and completely butchering tenses. I took a deep breath and forced myself to talk with someone new, or someone new enough. I asked what people were doing the next weekend. I forced and shoved myself into their groups. I chickened out and I felt the pressure of how completely and entirely culturally inappropriate the things I was doing were, at least for my culture. But I was determined to not follow the binding rules of Americanism. I found that in America it is the group that invites in the outsiders, but in France it is the outsider who consciously joins the group. I learned that just because I’d do different things with my friends in the US than with my friends in France didn’t make either of them any less of my friends. I discovered what I call “French politeness” and how easily us “warm Americans” can mistake it for coldness and a snobby unwillingness to open up to strangers. And I slowly managed to form myself into some sort of French-American, finding my own niche and place as a type of world citizen. Things between cultures aren’t black and white. I am not certain and will perhaps never be certain if I really am reading the signals correctly, if I’m right in what my newly conditioned instinct is telling me. But as with the mystery of time, this is a mystery that we just have to let be. That we just need to accept as being there but not let it hinder our lives and prevent us from exploring new experiences. That we can take this fact with us and laugh at how ridiculously confusing and difficult it is to move forward, but then take perhaps a rather mean haughty exterior, and continue on anyways.

Okay so I guess I’ll post these other little two fairly worthless things I wrote when feeling depressed just because I feel like it and it gives some insight into how I was feeling towards the beginning of this summer. Oh man do I have a lot to write about that. Like saying goodbye to my friends, especially breaking down crying in the hallway hugging Manon as tight as I could. And then missing my flight out of Marseille. Eheh. Yeah. Okay so these are honestly just little things I wrote when I was forcing myself to write just sort of stream of conscious style and I wasn’t really expecting to share them with anyone but HERE I GO ANYWAYS LOL!

NUMBA ONE!

I have grown and you have grown and she has grown and this exchange has been nothing but a constant growing for everyone involved.

I don’t quite know what to write. I just know that this writing is long overdue. But time has just been so finicky lately, it’s been speeding past me and yet I’ve been so horrendously bored and wanting more, desiring more from these seconds that dance around my head, laughing at my absolute inability to do anything. For I am helpless, we all are, when it comes to the master that is time. Like a temptress she revels in this power and dangles it in front of our faces. And we paw at it like frustrated kittens until she yanks it just out of our grasps.

AND NUMBA TWO!

oh dear god save me from this defeaning sadness, from this horrific melancholy that overtakes me at the sound of clair de lune by debussy. when the song plays it is just me and guillaume in the music room. he is at the electric piano and i am sitting on the desk right next to him, feet dangling off the sides. i swing them gently as he starts playing with such a smooth fervor, such an emotion, fingers stroking the keys with a softness, a douceur that makes my heart ache and reach out to him, hands desperately clutching at air, at smoke, at the water that flows from this beautiful melody played with such earnesty and truth. and i see manon sitting at the other piano, the actual one which i would always chose to play as it was real and i could feel its push and pull, the warmth that emanated from the wood used to create it. she starts to play the first nocturne by chopin and i melt into its tearful chords and gentle decrescendos.

Weeelllll there you go. Yeah. I’m not really sure how to end this to be honest. I could talk about the note Manon wrote me with a poem and her adorable doodles that I must have read a million times especially in the airplane, close to tears next to a college student returning from a semester abroad. I could talk about my last few weeks going out alllll the time and coming back early in the morning and somehow managing to make it zombie-like and tired to school. I could talk about the last dinner with my first two host families, the amazing hiking trip with all of them (in which there are pictures on facebook just sayin’), saying goodbye to Eli and Oneza and Vanessa, my last days in school with a little “goûter” in French class, going to the beach on Tuesday afternoon with some classmates, even the whole freaking week with my family in France and the concert that I performed in with a band (actually hey go check these videos out, despite the fact that I am AWKWARD AS HELL onstage since I’m such an opera singer at heart and have never performed rock live before it’s still kinda cool to see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbbT2Y-kC4E (I’m towards the end of this one), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORfcRPqF9LU and finally, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDHm-4MJzfk that being said please don’t judge my inability to be somewhat cool and anything more than awkward heap of “hey she sounds pretty good I guess” onstage. Just want to post these anyways because it was SUCH a fun night and my families and friends were there to see me!) and then the week in Norway and coming back with one less suitcase and yet still feeling as if it was going to be impossible to pack everything up and get back to the states. And I could even talk about my summer with these friends of mine that I had missed so much and getting together with Abel and oh hey Katelyn can just write and write and write novels and novels of absolute uninteresting nonsense if she had the drive to, couldn’t she? Ahaha yup. Well, I’m thinking that’s all for now. We’ll see if and when I’ll update again. I really do like blogging so perhaps I’ll continue that a bit even though I’m technically no longer an exchange student, who knows. Bye guys, and thanks so much for reading throughout this year of craziness, I really do appreciate it! Love you aaaalllll!!!!!

Posted by: katelyninfrance | April 23, 2010

In St Cyr and EXHAUSTED!

Howdy guys! So I got back from Eurotour about 2 or 3 days ago and am freaking TIRED AS ANYTHING. The fact that I just changed host families might have something to do with it too. Oh man changing host families is tough. But I suppose I will adapt (no actually I’m CERTAIN I will adapt) and I guess it’s nice to have new experiences and possibilities to make new relationships and new opportunities for travel and visiting and did I mention I have A DOG now? She’s insane. And I love her.

Before I jump into Eurotour I’ll give a brief overview of Corsica since I haven’t updated since then and everything. Corsica was GORGEOUS. Like I predicted we did a lot of lame Rotary meetings where all us exchangers were like- whaaaaaat are we doing here but we also got to go down to the beach and walk through the market and there was also a goat that was eating some bread which was cool. It was supa nice seeing all the other district 1730 exchangers again and all. This was our last scheduled get together but dear god I hope we do some more things like maybe go to the Cannes film festival. Did I mention that I’m within driving distance of the Cannes film festival? As in celebrities? As in the French riviera is rockin’? Yup. Pretty much.

Okay so Eurotour! 55 rotary exchange students (me included) spent 12 days visiting 18 cities in the countries of France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and the principality of Monaco. I’m gonna give a bit of a break-down of where we went and add in fun reflections and blah blah and hopefully make this interesting for you guys.

So first off there were 6 of us from my district who went on the trip. Because our district is strict as anything when it comes to traveling alone, we all took the train together from Toulon to Paris with our district guy. It was an overnight train. We got no sleep. End of story. The next day we arrived groggy in Paris and had to walk to another train station where the bus would be picking us up. Wonderfully, I totally didn’t think about how freaking difficult it would be to roll my suitcase since it was one of those four wheelers that normally has a rope/handle thing but for whatever reason, does not. So I awkwardly carried my suitcase through Paris, arms dying. I think if anything I’ve probs gained muscle on my arms this trip. Which I guess is a positive. So right once we got to the other train station (I think it was the gare de lyon) we got some expensive coffee/hot chocolate and waited. We were joined by other exchange students including Amy who was on the plane with me from DC to Paris and two Mexicans who had a party speaking Spanish with Vanessa. Did I mention now I want to speak Spanish? All of the latin americans were all- SPANISHSPANISHSPANISHWECOOL and I was like- awwww. So yeah gotta get on that one day. After what seemed like faaaar too long, the bus came to pick us up. It was like- EXCHANGE STUDENT OVERLOAD WHAT. We took a tour of Paris seeing stuff I mostly already saw with my host mom but it was still fun. And then we drove off to Reims to sleep in a youth hostel. End of day one.

The next day we got up nice and early (god I hate early mornings guys) and headed off to Strasbourg! We took a boat tour which was pretty hilarious because we all had headphones and a little channel changery thing to choose languages from. And let me tell you there is nothing funnier than listening to the kids version of the tour in French. Cracked me up. After the tour and some free time and a rather delicious cheeseburger type dealy thing, we headed to the youth hostel. And low and behold, when walking out of the bus and towards the hostel, who do we see looking out of the window other than Robert Pattinson! Okay so it wasn’t really him but guys the likeness was FRIGHTENING. It turned out that there were two soccer teams staying at the hostel that night because there was a tournament the next day. So we all hung out with tall attractive Dutch boys. That drank Heinekin as if it were water. As Vanessa poetically put it, Heinekin tastes like cat piss. Trust me. Gross stuff.

Day 3 was in Munich, which was absolutely NOTHING like I expected it to be. It was really modern with amazing architecture and it was like we were in the future or something. It was so cool! We bought kebabs off a stand which were delicious but rather spicy for lunch, and later on we took a tour comme d’hab. Dinner at the hotel jeunes was pretty good if I’m placing the right night with the right city. It involved ghetto necklaces. Eheh.

The first part of day 4 was spent still in Germany at the castle of Linderhof. IT WAS PRETTY. The rooms were fairly small compared to the other castles I’ve been too (lolol who would of thought I’d every end up saying something like that am i right) but everything was gold coated and decorated and really over-the-top that we were just like, stunned with it’s beauty. I couldn’t even imagine living someplace like that. Crazy stuff. In the afternoon we crossed over into Austria and the city of Innsbruck. It turns out that one of the friends of Vanessa and Oneza (two exchangers in my district) have an exchange friend who comes from there, so she made them a map with all of the things they had to find such as “the tall mountains”. I think we found them. Anyways the city was really cute, it was a change from Munich but it wasn’t exactly like the cute French towns I’ve seen either, so it was really interesting. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of Austria, or even of Germany, but I guess there’s only so much we can do in 12 days.

The next day we headed to Italy! We had lunch in Verona, aka the town where Romeo and Juliet was situated. We only had like 2 hours there which was really lame tho. This day was pretty bus-heavy as we drove to Lido Di Jesolo, which is an Italian town on the ocean not far from Venice. We went to the beach and ate delicious gelato and enjoyed the warm weather that evening. Our room had a balcony that was connected to a bunch of other balconies, so it was really fun to jump over the fences separating the rooms and just kinda hanging out with the other exchangers. Honestly I’d really like to go back to this town, it had such a nice vibe to it!

The next morning we bused it to the port where we took a cute little boat to the city of Venice. Guys, I was seriously looking forward to going to Venice for like ever. Like I’ve always wanted to go there and live there and write and just BE THERE. I suppose it’s hard for a city to live up to expectations like THAT, but we had a really nice time! It was beautiful if a bit too touristic and I bought this gorgeous lace parasol that I’ll probs never use but hey it was pretty. We also got to take a gondola ride which was AWESOME and I took a bunch of awkward videos that will hopefully be finding their way onto youtube one of these days. That evening we returned to Lido Di Jesolo and had a fun evening being crazy crazy people. And I split beds. A lot. 

Exhausted as anything, we headed off to Florence the next morning. Florence was gooorgeous! Also had some of the best mango gelato I’ve ever had. Another cool thing- there was a group of German rotary exchange students doing their Eurotour at the same time as we were, and we just happened to cross Florence on the same day! So I got to meet Luke who I met through this exchange student forum but like for real. It was cool stuff. There was also this random street performer who was freaking hilarious. I was going to throw out my empty gelato cup and put in the trash can when suddenly from behind me I hear this loud “NOOOO!” and this guy in like clown make-up comes dashing over mouth hanging open and staring hopelessly in the trash can. I screamed. Then he proceeded to follow me in this creepy zombie walk staring right at me. Dear god it was creepy as anything. I hid behind Oneza despite the fact that she’s a good 5 inches shorter than me. This guy’s job was pretty much to freak out passersby and be hilarious, so we all stood and watched for awhile. It was great.

Day 8 was at Pisa. It was amazing there, like when we saw the tower all leany and what-not I was all- OMG GUYS WHAAAAAT. And there were lots of beautiful buildings all around and we ate at this fancy restaurant in view of the tower. I literally spent over one euro per ravioli that day. They were good and all but seriously expensive. Dang. Pisa was like such a great day for no particular reason. It was warm and we were stylin’ and it was just seriously awesome. Also I ate fresh coconut. Yum.

9 was Monaco, which is principality owned by France but not an actual part of France despite it being completely enveloped by it. I bought myself a nutella crepe (guys seriously WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT THOSE AMAZING WONDERS OF CREATION) and we walked a bunch around and ate sandwiches and the like. Monaco is cool because it’s built upwards, sort of like an American city, because of how little space they have. Normally in France cities build outwards, not upwards, so it was a really interesting mix of beach-side French town and higher building-ish city. If I’m remembering correctly this is the night where we stayed in a youth hostel in the middle of freaking NOWHERE and it was literally just us staying there. We amused ourselves playing capture the flag though, except that literally at the beginning of the game I thought I’d be cool and all and leap over the not-even-knee-high-stone fence while running, but then my foot hit the wall or a rock or I don’t even know and I went tumbling over, landing painfully on pavement and rocks and skidding and blood and owwwwww. My legs have gone from red to blue to greenish/yellow. Nooot fun stuff, guys.

Then on day 10 we went to Lyon, which I found that I actually really liked perhaps due to the sheer amount of used book stores there were. I was like- GUYS OMG WE NEED TO GO INTO THAT BOOK SHOP YESYESYES CAN I LIVE THERE and spent 30 euros on books. Oh man honestly I have so many books here that I don’t even know how I’m going to be able to bring them all back to the states. I LOVE BOOKS FAR TOO MUCH DEAR GOD. For lunch we ate at this delicious kebab place of awesomeness, and then that night we partied it up. It was a good time. Oh how I miss it. We met this random Canadian guy staying at the hostel and chatted with him for awhile which was pretty cool. Also I tried playing some pool and horribly failed at it. Oh well. 

Finally our last actual day, day 11. We visited the united nations headquarters dealio in Geneva, which was really rather interesting! Oneza and Vanessa were creepin’ taking candid photos. Also Daniel made me pretty stylin’ by tying my sweatery jacket flowy thing in this cool twisty fashion like out of nowhere. He was proud. We walked around a bit in Geneva but lots of places were closed as it was sunday and French-speaking places’ stores seem to really like closing on sundays for some odd reason. Or maybe us Americans are spoiled? Who knows. That evening was our rotary organized farewell party at the hostel in Dijon. There was music and we danced a lot and partied and it was a nice ending to the trip. That being said the next morning I got violently woken up by Oneza like- KATELYN WE HAVE 10 MINUTES UNTIL WE NEED TO GET DOWN THERE GET THE HELL UP WHAT ARE YOU DOING and I was like- huhwhaaaatsleepy. Ahaha thanks for getting me up Oneza seriously, I could have slept in till like 4 pm that day I swear.

Day 12 was a- let’s drive the bus to Paris and then tearily say goodbye to everyone and drop them off at various train stations tiredly and depressingly and man that was sad. Us southerners waited awhile in the gare de Lyon for our train, teary-eyed and depressed that the trip was over. We really got close during this trip, it was a wonderful experience to visit such places and I’m very thankful for the opportunity! It was also really refreshing to be with other people that have fairly similar frames of minds, I mean, we’re all exchange students so we’re all into exchange studenty types of things. I got to really realize how much I miss being able to (more) easily make friends without the language or cultural barrier. Well I mean we didn’t all speak English, and we certainly weren’t all American, but just all being exchange students gave us some sort of connection I guess. Did I write about this already? It’s taken me about a week to finally get to the end of this ridiculous description and I’m too lazy to go check if I mentioned this whole thing before so if I did sorry for the repeat ahaha. Anyways, due to amazing train strikes in the south of France, our train stopped at Aix en Provence rather than going all the way to Toulon where it was supposed to. So we had to wait an hour for another train to come to take us to Toulon. However, there were so many people also taking this train to Toulon that there was no room for us, so we had to wait ANOTHER hour in the cold cold train station in Aix. Dear god we almost died. Finally at about 11 PM-ish we made it to Toulon and my host mom picked me up. After getting back to St Cyr I collapsed on my bed and died for awhile. Yup.

Next day we shoved all of my crap into boxes and suitcases and whatnot and I changed to my last family where I am now. My exchange is winding down and like, I want to stay longer! I really love this place (especially now that I have friends ahaha) and new opportunities are opening up for me and there are going to be parties this summer I’m gonna miss and oh man France I gotta come back I will certainly be coming back to you, my dear! These days my head is all filled up with mixed feelings and stress about leaving and this and that although it’s also really nice out so I’m trying to enjoy my last time here. Tis a shame but all things must end sooner or later. I’ve really learned a lot and grown from this experience and it’s certainly going to shape the way I live the rest of my life and thus I am rather thankful for it. It certainly wasn’t chocolate sundaes and rainbows the whole time but I am not one for regrets and there have been so many amazing times here that I can’t help but be sad to be leaving this life I have built! Now I have skills and I have strengthened the sense of who I am and in that sense I am sure that I can face any challenges up ahead. Amen. Oooorrrr something like that. xD

Well this has become one of my rather long posts, so I think I’m gonna finish it on up and get to reading some of those books I bought. I. Keep. Buying. Books. Even when I have others to read. It’s like a disease. Well, thanks for reading guys! Please comment! Love you aaaaalllll!!!!

Posted by: katelyninfrance | March 24, 2010

Hiiiiii guuuyyysss

So I’m just gonna throw in a quick update here while the latest Lost episode loads on up because I feel like if I don’t now and wait till I get back from Corsica and most likely Eurotour also I’ll have soooo much stuff to talk about that I won’t get to talk about Paris! Also lololol quick update who are you kidding Katelyn those don’t exist to you srsly.

Okay so first things first, remember that Greek waiter I was talking about in my last post riiiiight there below this one? Well he called me. Seriously. I was shocked. Shocked and peeing my pants laughing. All at the same time. Basically it went like this: I was falling asleep on the couch because the life of an exchange student is tiring as anything when my phone was all- RING RING HEY RING and I was like- HUHWHASLEEPUH and picked up with a French greeting- Allo? Then from the other end there was a lot of noise, as if the person was calling from a party or a public place or whatevs. I didn’t understand aaaaanything. Also the fact that I was literally just sleeping and was thus groggy with tired-ness didn’t help my comprehension either. I continued on in French being like- sorry I don’t understand and etc figuring that the person was speaking French and I was just being a failure at understanding which kinda made me feel bad because my comprehension is pretty rockin’ nowadays. Then like 5 minutes after awkward- whaaaat is going on exchanges (no seriously I don’t know if the guy was speaking English, French, or freaking Greek) I finally understand a “you speak English?” and I was like- well yeah and the other person was like- are you Katelyn and my brain was like- CUH-LIIIIICK! and I was like- WAIT ARE YOU FROM GREECE HOLY SHIT and he was like- yes it’s meeeeee and I was like- LOLOL SRSLY and that was pretty much our conversation as like I’ve said before, his English is kinda lacking. That being said my Greek is even lacking-er (nooot a word) so I mean I’m not calling him out for it or anything. Anyways I sent him a text afterwards like- uuuhhppp sorry for being a failure at life I hope things are going well in Greece and he wrote me back calling me Katalina. Eheh. Heh.

Anyways I told my friend Carina who was with me in Greece via text yesterday, and literally the first thing everyone says to me when I walk up this morning before math is- SO HE CALLED YOU DID HE? Dear god gossip travels FAST in France let me tell you. It’s pretty hilarious actually. I was like- wait how do you know that and Yuriy was like- EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT IT and I was like- oh you silly Frenchies. But seriously guys I am going to miss this country SO. MUCH. I’m starting to really realize how little time I have left and it is scaring the crap out of me. I love this place, I love the people I’ve met, I love how happy I feel when someone calls my name or comes to talk to me on their own because they want to, which might seem kinda lame when you think about it but for a foreigner in France and compared to what it was like earlier I’ve just come so far and I feel so accomplished and I love this language and the way it feels on my tongue when I speak it (kiiiinda awkward image there Kate) and joking with Manon and having Marion say “Je t’aime” and asking me if I could take her sister’s spot for good (lolol) and Martial’s Jewish motherness and endless pasta and Catherine’s funny comments and hand-motions/charades (there’s a better word for this but uhp forgot it with the rest of my slightly intelligent English) and the nutella crepes at l’albatross right on the ocean and the beautiful weather and the palm trees and my class PL2 and sharing music with Yuriy and spanish with Gaetan and Magali and Estée and Sarah and Manon and gym with various changing sports and free hours in the music room with Guillaume playing piano and Sophian on the ukulele and Julien on the trombone and Romain on the bass and Ingrid on the guitar and the bus with Théo and Benjamin and Raphaël and Hugo and lunch with Claire and Jessica and sometimes Allison and talking with Kirsten in the hallways and just being a crazy outgoing what-is-she-doing-that-is-not-culturally-appropriate-here american and being ACCEPTED for it. France is in my blood and with every pulse of my heart she swims through my veins and traverses my organs and settles in my brain with a sweet sigh and whisper of bread and cheese and wine and of the art that is life. It’s a shame because I’ve come to realize that I will never be whole in one country, I’ll always be missing one place or another no matter where I am. But my host mom was saying that this way, even though I’m not necessarily “complete” in a sense, I am everywhere all at once. And it’s that which is beautiful.

Well that last paragraph turned a bit more introspective than I was expecting it to ahaha. But yeah I’ve really come to love it here, not necessarily every minute of every day, but you know, it’s a life, and I wasn’t happy every minute of every day in the US either. It just goes to show that I’ve adapted and accomplished my exchange I guess? So I don’t have to be overly critical and harsh of myself saying that I’ve wasted this time or that I’m not fluent enough in French or blah blah blah because my exchange has been my exchange and it has been special in its own way.

SO SUBJECT CHANGING. Last week my host mom took me to Paaaaris! It was awesome! On Tuesday we woke up at like 5 AM ish to head to Marseille and grab a supa-quick TGV to Paris. We did A LOT of walking and sight seeing. Included in said sight seeing was Notre Dame, le Sacré Coeur (sacred heart), this boat tour thingy in which everything was repeated in like 2903758374 languages, various shopping around our hotel, la defense, les champs elysées (I sang the champs elysées song on the champs elysées. ACCOMPLISHMENT), le louvre, that park thing right by the louvre, and of course, the eiffel tower! (Can you tell how lazy I am by the fact that I stopped capitalizing these proper nouns lolol.) So basically the line for the elevator in the tower was like 238973544 people long, so we went and bought stair-walking tickets. We walked 700 stairs that day. Ow. Owwwww. My thiiiiiiighs. That being said it was really pretty and just so magical to be like- HERE I AM ON THE EIFFEL TOWER OMG DREAM MUCH? And when we were walking closer to it from far away it just kinda POPPED up and I was like- GYAH! IT’S THERE! and the closer we got the bigger it got and it was just so amazing. Like I remembered my French class back in 8th grade and I remembered just getting ready for this exchange and the Eiffel Tower is such a symbol of France and like it sounds really cheesy I guess but it was magical. Even with all of those people badgering us to by their little Eiffel Tower keychains every other step. And there were all the same key chains. How do those guys make money I don’t even know.

I am/was so thankful that my host mom made it possible for me to visit Paris like this, just the two of us. We ate delicious crepes and I bought books (lol yeah I bought stuff I could easily buy in Saint Cyr eheh well I’m going back next week so it’s allll good!) and we had fun host mom/host daughter times and yeah. Good times.

Well, this Friday all of the rotary exchange students of district 1730 are meeting at the port of Toulon at 5:30 and we’re taking an overnight cruise ship to Corsica for the weekend! It’s like a big rotary district conference so chances are there will be some fairly dull times with old French men BUT THAT’S OKAY WE’LL MAKE IT FUN OURSELVES TRUST ME. And then on wednesday night we head to Paris via an overnight train to start off Eurotooooouuurrrr!!!! So psssyyccheeeddd!!! We’re going through France and Germany and Italy and Switzerland and omgomgomg I’m gonna see Venice and yesyesyesyesssss also there are going to be A TON of exchange students from ALL OVER THE WORLD that I get to meet and befriend and hang out with and even Jessica, the girl who was on the plane with me from Philly is gonna be there toooo! We’re gonna have so much fuuuuun! And I’ll probs/def have lots to talk about and lots of pictures (speaking of which I still have pictures but god am I lazy putting them all up on facebook is a PAIN) so look forward to that! Well, Lost is all loaded and ready to go now/has been for awhile ahaha so I’m gonna wrap this up. I hope everything is going well wherever the heck you’re reading this from! Bye everybody!!!!

Posted by: katelyninfrance | March 10, 2010

Greekin’ it up!

Uhhh please ignore that awful title. I’m having trouble coming up with slightly good post titles and jsut kinda put down whatever the hell passes through my mind in the first 30 or so seconds that the add new post page is up. So uh anyways yeah, yesterday I got back from a week in Greece with mah class! It was supa fun. And now I’mma go into detail I think because well yup I am. 😀

So! Wednesday the 3rd I woke up at 4 AM because we had to drive to the airport in Marseille to be there at 5:30 AM and DEAR GOD WAS I EXHAUSTED.  When we got there my host mom was all- see you in a week! and I was all- buhwhabye? and Yuriy was all- KAYEET-LEEN and I was all- how do you have so much energy this early in the morning srsly. Well we went through security and blah blah and then we got on the plane headed to Munich, Germany. I sat next to a French boy named Frederick and we talked a bit which was cool and stuff. Then our plane kinda landed late so we all sprinted in the Munich airport to catch our connecting flight to Athens! After we landed in Athens I was all- GREEEEEECCEEEE and Estée was all- GREEEECCEEEEE and we were all- GREEEEEECCEEEEEEEE!!!!!! That evening after awkwardly taking the overly crowded bus and metro with our suitcases to our hotel and posing said suitcases in said hotel, we went a bit into old Athens-ish area and went shopping! I bought an awesome bag that decided to go BREAK on me the other day. Hopefully I’ll be able to fix it. A=I mean seriously it was 20 euros man come on. D:

The next day we got up at 5 AM (lovin’ these early mornings guys srsly) and got on a big-ass boat to Santorini! It was an 8 hour ride but it was cool because well we could walk places and eat and stuff since it was a boat and not an airplane and stuff. Still was long though. Anyways we got to Santorini and took a bus up the mountain (scary as HELL let me tell you) and got to the Blue Sky Villas hotel. I roomed with Carina with our non-existent heater (it literally worked THE MORNING we left). In Santorini we took a boat ride to the volcano and walked around a lot and took pictures. Also after said boat ride, I rode a donkey up the mountain side! Okay so actually it wasn’t a donkey because I’m too tall so it was technically a mule but GUYS I RODE A MULE UP THE GREEK MOUNTAINSIDE LIKE IN THE MOVIES AND STUFF. They had dingly bell costumes and it was soooo beautiful with all of the Greek buildings and the ocean was such a clear crystallin blue-green it was like a dream. So worth the 5 euros. 

In Santorini there were also A TON of dogs that were just kinda hanging out. Some of them were strays but a lot of them had collars with names, so I’m under the impression that the residents of Santorini just kinda let their dogs hang out during the day like some people do with cats. Anyways, there was one dog who was a redish-orange color and thus I named him Ginger. Ginger seemed to show up ALL OVER THE PLACE. We’d be walking and he’d be there and I’d be like- GINGER and he’d follow us around and he was so cute and so friendly. Towards the end of our stay he even followed us to the hotel and slept outside so when I’d open the door in the morning he’d be there all- HI THERE. And I kiiiinda sort of let him into the room also. And then on the last morning he just kinda waltzed into the hotel and lied down in the lobby while we were eating breakfast. I LOVE THIS DOG GUYS. HE WAS GREAT. A lot of the others were all- GODDAMMIT THIS DOG WHY IS HE STILL HERE WHAT IS HE DOING but I was all- YAY GINGER YAAAAAY all the time ahaha. Such a sweatheart. ❤

And the final paragraph on Santorini- we went clubbing the night before we left. Guys seriously. This was a SCHOOL trip. And the TEACHERS took us clubbing. And to go clubbing you have to be 18 years old, which many of us weren’t. But we went anyways. YES. It was toooooooons of fun! I wore a vest thing I bought for 5 euros (I also bought two dresses for 5 euros each there was this awesome cheap store there it was great) and we all danced together and there were some creepin’ Greek boys but it was okay because the teachers were dancing too and ooommmgggg fun stuff ahaha. Although at the end of the night we all smelled like cigarette smoke because if there is one thing about Europe it is that EVERYONE SMOKES ALL THE TIME. Ah well it was a good time anyways!

We headed back to Athens and did all the necessary tourist stuff, like we saw the Parthenon and all of the old ruins and the ancient city of “whoops-can’t-remember-the-name-lolol” and went into a museum and stuff. It was so beautiful, I took toooons of pictures! Also the weather in the beginning of the day was weird all hell. Seriously guys it was yellow out. Yellow. We were like in another world or something. I was all uneasy and like- whaaaat is this and stuff. But it was kinda cool at the same time I guess! We ate lunch at some Greek restaurant and there was this waiter who was pretty cute and he was all- *sets table with plates* and I was all- why thank you! and he was all- so where are you from and I was all- well I’m from the states but the rest of everyone is from France and he was all- actually my English is pretty bad and I was all- NO PROBS! And then later he gave us an extra plate of fries (if there was one thing that we ate in Greece it was french fries. All. The. Time.) saying that it was a gift for me and all the Frenchies were all- OOOHHHHH KAAATTEEELLLYYYYNNNN and I was like- ohh geez and then when he came back he asked me what my name was and told me his (it was like Sergio or something I don’t even know guys Greek names lolol) and the two girls at the table next to us who are rather silly and crazy were all- OH HEY DO YOU WANT THE NUMBER OF KATELYN and he was all- wait what? and they were all- PHONE NUMBER and then they made me write my cell number on a piece of napkin and I gave it to him and he was all- Thank you very much! and I was all- what in the world has this situation escalated to and then we went shopping. That was an interesting day. And if you’re curious no he hasn’t called me. I’m kiiiinda not expecting him to just being honest here ahaha.

The last day I got up at 4 AM AGAIN to catch a plane to Munich with only 6 other kids and two teachers. You see, the majority of the group got to take a plane at 1 PM, but us unlucky folk had to take one at like 6 SOMETHING IN THE MORNING. AUGH. I slept a lot that day. As in yesterday that day. Then a teacher gave me a ride home because my parents are in Switzerland and aren’t getting back until tomorrow (good timing right) and I got home like- DEAR GOD TIRED and today I just kinda slept because OH MAN TIRED. All in all though Greece was really fun! We ate like freaking kings although it was always the same sort of traditional Greek foods but daaaamn were they good. And the olives! Ohhhh the olives! Athens was a bit sketchy city-wise but I still enjoyed it, even if a lot of my French classmates were complaining a lot, ahaha. 

Well, I think that was a pretty good/thorough description of my week in Greece! Tomorrow I’m heading back to school because I kinda slept today lolol. We don’t have music so I’m done at 4 tomorrow which is SUH-WEET. Then like all of the teachers are striking on Friday so I either only have one hour of class from 9-10 or not at all even which is SUH-WEETER. And then I have a fairly normal monday and tuesday I head off to PARIS with my host mom! Sooooo psyched! Gotta be careful not to spend too much money ahaha. So I’ve got a ton of pictures I need to add on Facebook from Greece and London and Switzerland and stuff that I will get to one day. One day! Which day will that be? WHO KNOWS! Uh yeah anyways, I’m gonna go get dressed now since we’re heading to Le Castlellet today and I also gotta catch up on Lost and all and maaaaybe do that music paper eventually so I’m gonna go now. Thanks for reading guys, and make sure to cooommeennttt!!! 😀

Posted by: katelyninfrance | February 18, 2010

Vacances is almost ovvvveeerrrrr!!!!

I’m actually rather sad that this one is almost over, which I’m taking as a good sign! With the first one, I just got so damn bored and miserable I was like- DAMMIT SCHOOL JUST COME BACK AND GIVE ME SOMETHING TO DO. With the second one I felt like I wanted to go back to school to see my friends/acquaintances which is cool and all but slightly strange when considering the whole teenage frame of mind of NO SCHOOL YEAH BITCHES. So now I’m actually feeling like a genuine French teenager- sad to go back to school after such a fun vacation! Well, I guess I’ll give you all an overview of what I’ve done these past two weeks!

Well, on Friday the not last Friday but the Friday before (too lazy to go check what day that was lolol) I got up normally for school and whatnot. And then I walked to the bus stop all normal and stuff, and there were some other kids there and so I waited with them. And waited. And waited some more. In the rain. After walking for 10 minutes in the rain. And it was cold rain too. Eventually it was like 15 minutes before class started and we were all- oh shit apparently Mr. Bus Driver decided not to work today okay good call and the other kids started leaving and I sent a text to my host mom like- uhhhh the bus isn’t here but it’s tooootes not my fault srsly but she didn’t respond and then I was alone and like- …guess I’ll walk back up that god damn hill. So I started walking up, still in the rain, still cold, and now exhausted thanks to endless waiting and freaking ridiculous uphill climbing geez srsly. My host mom was driving on the road when I was almost at the house and she pulled over all- whaat and I was all- uh yeah my bus didn’t come? Also I sent you a text and she was all- oh I didn’t hear my phone ring lolol but actually I have a meeting at 9 anyways so I wouldn’t have been able/am not able to now drive you to school anyways and I can’t drive you the rest of the way back guess you’re staying home today sorrybai. So after ages of excruciating climbing I finally made it to the house. I hobbled into my room, kicked off my boots and other drenched clothing and toppled into my bed. Dear god. Deeeaaarrrr god.

Uhhh anyways so I slept a bit that day and then at around 3-ish we all piled into the car for a supa fun 6 and a half hour car ride to Switzerland! Except we got stuck in traffic and literally stood still for over an hour! Yaaaaayyyy! Nah but we did make it there eventually. We slept the night in Neuchatel, which is where my host parents own an apartment and actually where my two host sister’s were born as my host mom used to work at the hospital just across the street. The next day we piled into the car again and drove to Champoussin, perhaps the most magical little ski station nestled high in the swiss alps. My host sisters and I all took snowboarding lessons together as they have done a bunch of skiing and I have done absolutely nothing so we’d be at about the same level-ish. Our teacher’s name was Nicolas, and he was a rather attractive 22 year old swiss guy who was pretty dang hilarious. Despite all the falling, cold snow, freezing extremities, and did I mention falling, it was really fun! I actually starting getting pretty comfortable with the snowboard, and I did 7 virages (turns in english I guess?) in a row without falling! Yeeesssss!!! My host mom was rather pleased with my progress. And I’m def planning on continuing once back in the states. The thing that kinda sucked tho was at the end of one day, I was at the bottom of the slopes and feeling good about my skillz so I was all- oh hey, let’s try one last virage before we head back to the chalet but since it was at the bottom of the slope and it had been snowing there was a lot of unpacked snow, and my snowboard collected said snow in a pile at the front and stopped moving, sending me toppling backwards hard onto the small of my back in the downhill direction. Ow. Ow ow ow. I got driven back by some guy on a snowmobile which was kind of cool but actually pretty embarrassing. And my back still hurts, although not as much as before, so once we get back to France we’re probs gonna go to a doctor and see if I like broke my spine or something. I sure hope not. Ow. 

Other Swiss escapades involved being invited to this party thing on the second floor of some restaurant. You see Champoussin has a bunch of Dutch people for some reason. Lots of them vacation there, and as a result lots of employees are also Dutch. This party was pretty much a- OMG YAY THE NETHERLANDS LOVIN’ ME SOME DUTCH party and all the Swiss/French/other peeps were all- well then. This is awkward. Nonetheless I managed to enjoy myself with my host sisters. They were being all shy and stuff and I was like- NOPE LET’S DANCE and well it didn’t work out too well because alllll of the music was weird Dutch music that all the Dutch people were singing along to but not us, so yeah. But Nicolas was there and we all talked a bit and got all make-upy and stuff so it was still pretty cool. 

So these Dutch people. As you all know, I am rather tall. And thus being in southern France puts me at a bit of a disadvantage as most of the French are well, rather short. The Dutch however, are not. Score one for Katelyn. Also lots of the Dutch employees were male. And cute. And tall. Score two for Katelyn. And said employees couldn’t speak too much French, and thus spoke in English, a language in which I am rather comfortable in. Score three for Katelyn. Uh yeah so there was this one crepe-maker who was blonde and tall and dear god were the crepes good and I talked with him a bit. I also talked with blonde barman. And there was a piano in the lobby so I played a bit of piano and sang and talked with cute Dutch boys and man it was fun. Right before we left I got up the courage to ask the crepe-maker if I could take a picture of him, in which he replied yes. And thus if you were to go to my facebook profile, you would see me and said crepe-maker as my profile picture. Aaannddd HE asked ME for my name so he could look for me on facebook. As in he could probs come and read this too lolol no big deal ahaha. Anyways Champoussin was a good time and I was rather sad to leave!

We went back to Neuchatel and hung out for a couple days. My host sisters and I saw the movie I Love You, Phillip Morris in French and ate at a crepe restaurant (did I mention I love crepes/have consumed about a million these past two weeks) on valentine’s day while my host parents went and ate at a fancy lovey-dovey restaurant and stuff. Then on tuesday we left for Geneva to catch a plane to Londoooooonnnnnn!!!!! Ommggggg London! I was so so so so so excited to go and have this opportunity to travel! Yaaaayyy! London was a party. Tuesday it rained like no other but yesterday (wednesday lol) it was really nice out. We saw tons of stuff like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and did I mention they speak ENGLISH there as in I was the one who knew stuff and who my family relied on and oh god did it feel good! I actually helped out one of the stewards in the plane by talking with a French passenger because his French wasn’t that good. Oh man dude feeling like I actually know this language feels so great. Too bad I feel as if I don’t most of the time. Dammit French. 😦

So while in London we saw those guards with the big furry hats that stand still and say nothing. And of course, being me, it has always been my dream to mess with them. So I did. And my host sister filmed it. Do enjoy. I rather did.

So I’m not sure what else to talk about… I mean there is cute Argentinian boy who sat behind us on the plane to London- KATELYN THAT IS ENOUGH WITH THE BOYS STOP THANKS. Ahaha, uh, well, today we’re going to my host mom’s parent’s house in France for the night and tomorrow we’re driving the rest of the way back home to Saint Cyr. Saturday I might be doing something in Nice with my third host family, we’ll see how that goes. And I have like 289475465409 papers to write in French so uh I should probs get on that sometime soon as well. Eheh. Oh man but I do NOT want to do my homework big surprise there amirite. Well I’ll get it done eventually/somehow! Like I said before we’re back to school on Monday. Then I have a week and a half and my class heads off to Greece. I’m pretty psyched, not gonna lie. I’ll be sure to upload my pictures from Switzerland and London sometime eventually, and take and upload pictures of Greece also! I hope everyone is keeping warm, I can’t believe that the year I leave Havertown decides to get completely engulfed by snow. Thanks, guys. Well, see you guys later! 😀

Posted by: katelyninfrance | January 27, 2010

HEY GUYS LOOK I’M UPDATING MY BLOG FOR REALZ NOW OMGOMGOMG

Well hello there blog readers! How is life? Er anyways yesterday was my 5 MONTH ANNIVERSARY HOW TIME FLIES. I can’t even begin to fathom how 5 whole months have passed on by just like POOF HEY WE’RE GONE LOLOL. And I feel like the rest of the time is gonna go by really quickly too, maybe even faster becaaauusseeeeeeee:

KATELYN’S SCHEDULE FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR!

February 6th- leave for Switzerland, go skiing for a week in the Swiss alps. Be jealous.
February 14th ish- spend two days in London.
March 3rd-10- week in Greece with mah class
March 17th-18th- two days in Paris with my host mama!
March 26th-28th- weekend in Corsica with Rotary
April 1st-12th- crazy bus trip all over Europe with rotary
Sometime in May- parents visit, a week in Norway
Mid-june ish- back to H-town!

Guys no seriously it’s like BAM BAM BAM TRIPS GO OMG TRAVELING HEY HOME WHAT. So basically I have a week and a half of regular school left before things get ca-razy. I don’t know how I feel about time, but I’m very excited to have the opportunity to visit all these cool places! Basically my life’s dream is to visit the entire world, so I’m certainly accomplishing a bit of it this year. Yay.

So like right about now I’m trying to figure out my return date and jesus christ is it hard. :/ Originally I was planning to get home in time for graduation but like I don’t even know anymore. Everyone I’ve been talking to on this exchange student forum is all- OMG STAY AS LONG AS YOU CAN SRSLY UR GONNA WANT TO and then of course my friends at home are like- KATELYN COME BACK and like I DON’T KNOW. I mean I’m sure I’m going to miss France whenever I leave, but would it be better to stay a couple extra weeks? There’s apparently a big beach party after exams which end the 23rd of June and geez man whaaaat this is difficult. Some people are talking about how much it sucks to be a rebound (one who has come back from exchange) and how you mourn for your home country and all that she-bang and while I’m sure that’s true and all I kinda feel like maybe/hopefully it won’t be too terrible like they’re saying? For one thing I’m not going back to high school as most of them did, so I don’t have to deal with that- MAN I AM SO OVER HIGH SCHOOL deal because well I’ll be going off to college and that should be exciting. And I dunno maybe it’s just that I have like the best friends/family anyone could ever have ever. Hmm. You see I like the idea of rounding off my exchange year full circle with graduation. In my head I’ll have really enjoyed the year and be sad to leave but at the same time ready for the next chapter in my life. But geez I can’t predict my emotions 4 and a half months in the future. Auuugghhh.

Speaking of college (I wasn’t really but I’m gonna go on to this topic anyways) I took the SAT subject tests in math and french last saturday and met a Turkish boy and some other boy who I don’t actually know where he’s from but he spoke English without an accent so I’m assuming he’s not a native French speaker also you know the Turkish boy spoke without an accent too which was pretty cool did I mention I want to go to Turkey. That was a good sentence. Anyways, now I have to wait till the 11th of February for my results which I hope are half-decent. We’ll see. As for everything else, I AM DONE. I HAVE APPLIED. And now I have to wait! Auugh! Waiting! Well at least it’s off my mind kind of sort of not really. Yup.

Uhhh so what to talk about? It’s been awhile. Yet again. Lolol. Er, uh France is still French? WOW OKAY SUBJECT FINDING GO. Uh the other day I went to a classical music concert in Marseille which was awesome. Did I mention I miss singing? Because dear god I do. I mean I still sing, and I’m trying to force myself to practice vocal exercises and stuff so I don’t end up like- LOL CRAP when I go to college next year but it’s not the same without an actual choir, you know? What I have been doing a good amount of though is playing the piano. And during free hours at school sometimes I’ll go to the music room and Guillaume will play piano and I’ll sing and people will be like- wowie you sing gud- and that’s really really really fun. I wish I could play piano like Guillaume! Ooonneee daaaayyyy!

School is pretty cool in general. But uh walking to my bus stop and back every day is NOT. 10 minutes there, and then 15 minutes back because it’s freaking UPHILL on the way back. That being said it’s probably a good thing to be getting some exercise outside of gym class. Actually when I’m feeling all- BAH WALKING DAMMIT LIFE I’ll use that as an incentive/excuse/not finding the right word lolol. So like one Wednesday when I was walking up the hill of doom I of course was rather hungry as we finish at noon and thus I had not eaten and well you know not eating+physical activity=uhp sucks a lot. So I started cheering myself on by chanting in my head military style. It started off with “you can do it!” or something similar and then morphed into “sexy legs!” (like I’d be getting them and stuff ahaha why am I writing this what a freak xD) and then turned into “FOOD. LUNCH.” So uh that’s a random little fact/piece of information about the life of Katelyn in France. …I guess.

So interesting conversation with my English teacher the other day. The rest of the class was taking a test which involved writing 300 words in English about like racism or something and well yeah I finished in about .09984 seconds so I started studying my handy “the most common mistakes in French” book and she came over and we started chatting a bit. It was actually reaaallly interesting. You see, my English teacher is actually English, as in from England, but she’s lived in France for awhile now and thus in fluent in both languages. I was all- WHY DOES THIS LANGUAGE HAVE RIDICULOUSLY STUPID RULES THAT NOT EVEN THE NATIVE SPEAKERS CAN MASTER and she went on and explained the historical historicality of the language. Apparently French was the language of the elite, as in even in England parliament would speak French. The language of the people would vary- English in England duh, but in France they had different languages such as Basque and other regional tongues. But French was purposefully made difficult so that the high class would be the ones to speak it. It has only been since the 19th century or so that the French language became the national language of France and everyone started speaking it, so it hasn’t gotten too much of a chance to evolve. And furthermore, there is a board of French master people who decide what is really French and what is isn’t, as in what is correct or not. For example, in English if 99% of the people say something in one way, it is taken as correct and the language evolves with the people. But in French,  if 99% of the people say something in one way, it is still considered wrong. And thus the language retains it’s confusing grammar rules and exceptions and conjugations and accords even if the majority of the French people themselves make mistakes. The language does not evolve, at least not as quickly as other languages do. I found this all rather fascinating, like it makes so much sense! French is totally under-rated as being “not that hard” or whatever, and while yes, I suppose it isn’t much more difficult than other languages to speak colloquially, if you want to get it right, it is daaamn hard. Like with writing. Writing is a freaking whooole other language. Anyways uh I hope that little insight into the French language was as interesting for all you as it was for me but PROBS NOT LOL.

So. Uh. Life. Going. Yup. Tomorrow the Spanish teacher won’t be there because she’s in Spain with some other Spanish class and normally when the teacher isn’t there we just don’t have class and can go home because France has never heard of substitute teachers but since this is planned in advance we have to go but all we’re doing is working on our detective mystery story thing with that Mexican guy who is here for some reason AKA it’ll be pretty much nothing/fun. I think I’ll bring my video camera and stuff. Should be a party. 

Yeah this blog post seems kinda lame considering it’s been over a month ahaha. Well I changed host families, and now I have two host sisters, one who is 13 and slightly insane/hilarious, and one who is 15. And we have a cat but I don’t think any cat could live up to Nala so yeah. We eat daaaaamn well here which is pretty fly. And altogether I’m happy with my new host family. At the beginning it was pretty hard, I went through a mourning phase with my old family and it was like- AUGH WHY OMG NO but it’s gotten better and I spent the night at their house this past weekend and it was really fun and like I feel blessed to have such a close relationship with them. And this family is offering me different experiences such as a close sisterly relationship and various trips so I think I’m rather lucky host family wise eheh. And my next host family is pretty cool too which is awesome. Uh this is coming out allll wrong ahaha so much for being a writer lolol. I think I’mma end this before it gets too awful and maybe study some French stuff. Yup, sounds good. Weeeelllll, that’s all for now guys! Feel free to leave a comment (no srsly do it) and stuff! Loooove you!

Posted by: katelyninfrance | December 24, 2009

*Blows mountains of dust off blog*

Uhhhhhhh hey guys. So it’s been some time. Lots of time. I was totes gonna update before and even started to write something but was then all like- NAH and didn’t ahaha. Well, I’m taking this lack of updating as a good sign- now I am really integrated into my new life and stuff so I guess I feel the itching urge to update my blog has lessened? Idk. 

Okay so wheeeere to start?! Well, first off, you guys might have noticed the title change. You see, I’ve known for awhile that my previous title, Allons-y au France, was grammatically incorrect, but was just too lazy to really do anything about it. However, one day my French friend Sarah told me that she visited my blog which is linked in my facebook and all and she was like- uhhhhh yeah that’s preeetty wrong just sayin’, and I was like- uhhhhhh yeah probs time to do something about that huh. So I did. And now we are grammatically correct and happy. Yaaay!

Well, life here has been life I guess. We’re on break now so it’s a bit different but yeah I’ve really gotten used to the whole school deal here I think. In fact as weird as this sounds and as much as younger me would punch older me in the face if she heard this, I’ve found that I actually kind of like school to the point where I’m kinda “meh” about break ahaha. Weird, right? I think it’s because I see people at school, and even if the classes themselves can be as boring as anything, I have opportunities to talk with others and bond with my friends and stuff. I’ve also found that now that I’m getting more comfortable here, I can let myself be crazy omgwhatlol Katelyn more often and well I seem to make more friends that way! xD Basically I love my class more and more and slowly am coming out of my shell. Also I love my host family. I’m changing after break which is kinda sad to be quite honest. I mean don’t get me wrong, my second host family is awesome and they’re taking me to Switzerland to go skiing in the Alps so yeah, it’s just that I’ve gotten comfortable here in this beautiful house in the middle of nowhereland, St Cyr and it seems like such a big deed to get re-situated in another house. Luckily I have spent some time with my second host family and my younger host sister is pretty darn hilarious, so I mean yeah it’ll work out and all. But auuuugh I’mma miss joking around with my host dad soooooo much guys srsly.

Well, I guess I’ll just keep writing about stuff that’s been going on here in my traditional- lol who needs an actual order of events and correct grammar lol style. You see, here in nowhereland, St Cyr you have to drive to get the mail because all the mail boxes are at the front of our not-really-a-road road, so when you have a package, they leave a slip that basically says- lol you gotta go to the post office and wait in an obnoxious line to get ur package sucks u live in a forest lolol. So I received one of these said slips the other day, and was naturally pretty darn excited. After the bus dropped me off at the end of the school the next day I walked across the street from my bus stop to the post office, waited in said line, and dun dun da duuuuuuunnnn! A PACKAGE FOR KATTEELLYYYNNNN YAAAAYYYY! I then stood outside waiting for my host dad to come pick me up clutching said package and smiling like a doofus. When I got home, I opened my package and DEAR GOD GUYS I LOVE MY FAMILY THEY SERIOUSLY WRAPPED ME GIFTS FOR NOT ONLY MY BIRTHDAY AND CHRISTMAS BUT EACH NIGHT OF HANNUKAH AND LABELLED THEM LIKE- HEY OPEN ME THE THIRD NIGHT ALSO I GOT A THANKSGIVING SHIRT WITH THE HOTTEST TURKEY PRETTY MUCH EVER ON IT THAT I WORE TO SCHOOL THE NEXT DAY AND MANON WAS PRETTY MUCH DYING WITH LAUGHTER BUT DON’T WORRY IT’S A COOL SHIRT TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. So Hannukah was cool because every night I had a gift waiting for me and I lit the candles most nights (seriously unless someone smokes there are like no lighters and good timing my host sister decided to quit smoking right at Hannukah) and sung the blessings and all.

My birthday was interesting too I guess ahaha. It was on a wednesday, and as you should all know, wednesdays are only from 9 to 12. Annndd this wednesday my history teacher decided to not be there and well France apparently hasn’t heard of the idea of substitute teachers so we only had class from 9 to 10. Yuriy and Benjamin sang me happy birthday in like 2903587347953 different languages which was pretty cool. And after school I spent a bit of time with Romain and Cassandre and Benjamin and Rebecca and Emma while waiting for the bus/my mom who never came so yeah it was the bus. Then later that day I hung out in Toulon with Eli and bought two DS games (did I mention I bought a bright green DS lite? It’s pretty fly) and he bought a santa hat and I bought reindeer antlers. I wore said antlers to school the next day and basically everyone I knew/even those I didn’t waved/said hi/laughed/gave me the thumbs up/looked at me strangely including my history teacher. It was good stuff. That afternoon there was no music class because it was the badly organized Christmas concert! At the urging of my host dad I signed up to sing, and the plan was that I’d be singing in a bit of a band-type set-up with Romain on the bass, Ingrid on the guitar, and Théo on the drums, but due to band drama and I don’t even know what else, that kinda fell through ahaha. So instead I played the piano and sang Samson. Also I was first. Guys seriously it was so badly organized I walked into the room like five minutes before it was supposed to start all- so wait am I actually playing and the guy was all- yeah we can probs squeeze you in also I suck at organizing stuff and I was like- okay so when and he was like- right now go lol and I was like- waitwhat. So uh that was pretty nerve-wracking. But my class/various other people who probably only know me as “that American girl” cheered for me and Sarah taped it along with a little- OMG I AM NERVOUS rant just beforehand. Seriously I have soooo many awesome movies that I want to share with you guys but for some reason my mac isn’t recognizing the .mp4 files as video files and it’s like- uh they’re .mp4 files OF COURSE they’re video files srsly macbook? So we’ll see how that works out. Wait with bated breath cuz these are some HOT MOVIES LET ME TELL YOU.

For those of you who are my friends on facebook, I’m sure you have noticed that I spent my weekend in Switzerland with my second host family. GUYS. SWITZERLAND. I LEFT THE COUNTRY. OMG. As the rest of my break is filled with zero plans pretty much, I was veeerrryyy happy to have been given the opportunity to travel, even if it was just for a day or two! There was a lot of snow and it was cold, but it really reminded me of home because it doesn’t snow here, so that was nice! I also saw Avatar in 3-d. GO SEE AVATAR. IT WAS SO GOOD. REALLY GUYS GO SEE IT. IN FRENCH ACTUALLY. NOT ENGLISH. I spent a bit of the next day in Geneva which is the capital of Switzerland and it pretty much gorgeous/has the most jewelry stores I think I’ve seen in my life. Also the chocolate. Ohhhhh the chocolate. ❤ My (current) host mom and I spent the night in a hotel in the French town of Bonne just a bit over the border. We had like THE BEST MEAL EVER. IT WAS SO GOOD. And so French! Really the restaurant industry and cuisine is such an art here, it’s rather fascinating! My host mom educated me a bit in the art of French food while we ate delicious warm bread and rows and rows of cheese and seafood and chicken and chocolate and the best red wine evvvaaarrr. Oh being 18 is nice! Ahaha, nah don’t worry I’m a perfect angel here I swear. 😀 Anyways, the next day we hung out in the town of Annecy which is beautiful and built around a lake, kind of like Geneva. It’s really interesting because you have the old part of Annecy, and by old I mean middle ages old, so there are cobbled roads and stone archways and colorful buildings. We also bought some cheese for christmas from the market. I love French markets, I really do. And I took a lot of pictures, so once I’m not lazy I’ll upload them to facebook. Buuuut I’m pretty lazy so that might take awhile just being honest here.

Well tonight is christmas eve, and from what I’ve gathered we will be opening presents tonight rather than tomorrow. And apparently I’m getting presents too? Maybe? Oh hey that reminds me, my host family got me birthday gifts- an amazing shirt from the brand Little Marcel that is baaaasically the coolest thing ever I looooove it, and a video game for my DS. I swear to god I play too many video games but they’re all in French so that’s okay, right? RIGHT?! Anyways, my host mom’s father and his wife are over for christmas, and they’re pretty much the coolest old French people ever, so it’s nice to have them over. Today it’s raining so I’ll probs be spending it inside, but that’s okay because I’ve gotten work done on MY LAST COLLEGE APPLICATION THANK GOD and well I’ve updated this blog, so that’s a good thing! Plus I’m sure I’ll play some video games and read in French and maaaayybbeee probs not work on grammar stuff. Gotta find me that Bescherelle.

I guess that’s it for now, hope its sufficient after all of those difficult weeks without an obnoxious blog post courtesy of Katelyn. Wishing you all a great holiday season! Looooove yoooouuu!!!

SUPA EDITTTT! 
Okay so for the holidays I wrote a song for my host family because I am a good/poor exchange daughter. So uh I thought I’d share it with all of you. Please let me know what you think!

 Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël! by Moi

Posted by: katelyninfrance | November 17, 2009

It has been quite awhile!

So I guess the fact that I haven’t posted in a bit is a good thing maybe, because it could mean that I’m getting adjusted into my French life and stuff? Idk. But Eli’s comment that directly copied mine (lolhilariousreally) sort of kinda reminded me that I should probs update. So here I am, updating.

Geez, where to begin! Uhhh… so school has started again. I’ve gotten back into the swing of it and it’s certainly nice to be interacting with other people now ahaha. I really really super love my class. Like no one is bitchy, you have the people that more friendly with certain people than with others and the like, but as far as I can tell, we don’t have any total pepsticks/hoes/etc. here which is a rather nice change really. They are all really quite nice, and I feel like I am really becoming part of the class. Like I’m fairly obviously the foreigner, but me being the foreigner is sort of a piece of the class cultural puzzle, if you will. I honestly have some better words/descriptions I’d like to sue but LOL I can’t remember them thank you English for leaving me. Anyways, I hang out with Manon mostly, but I’ve also been talking quite a bit with Romain and Benjamin and sometimes Yuriy and Emma and Sarah. Then I’m on general good terms with the others and there are a couple that it’s sort of like a friendly acquaintance but yeah. Uh I find it much easier/more fun to make friends with guys, which is kinda weird but idk. I think it’s because I can be all flirty and stuff, and when I first meet someone well it’s pretty nerve-wracking, so if they’re a cute guy it kinda calms me down a bit? Ohhhh wow this is coming out so wrong I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Anyway the point is that of the people in my class that are also in my town, I’m definitely the closest with those of the male persuasion. I’d like to find myself a group of girls to hang out with tho, maybe with Manon and Claire and Jessica? It’s sort of funny because I’m seeing everyone as like potential friends/acquaintances so today while on the bus I was like- okay so if I’m more friendly with Fanny then maybe we can hang out and I can try talking with that random person I sort of met the other day and next I can do this blahblahblah. It’s like a strategic game kinda thing, sorta weird, huh? If any of you have played the Persona games I swear to god when I’m talking with someone or when I’m trying to cheer myself up when being bored I’m like- IT’S OKAY YOU’RE RAISING YOUR SOCIAL LINKS IT’S NOT A WASTE OF TIME LOL. Am I a freak? Maaaayyybbeeee.

So my host dad has some mysterious job of mystery that I think involves selling suntan lotion. Still haven’t figured that one out yet. Anyways, he spends a week on the beautiful amazing omgwoa island of Corsica every month, and this is his week for November. Needless to say, I am a bit jealous. I was all like- HEY SO YOU COULD UH BRING ME YOU KNOW and he was all- ahaha Cat-leen isa so funny, ahaha NOPE. No but seriously I don’t even think he works while he’s there because he updates his facebook status via cellphone like 5 times a day with some amazingly entertaining/relaxing/aughwhydidn’tyoutakeme activity/meal/yeah. In fact I’m gonna go be a creeper and translate some of them for you riiiggghttt noowww! Creepin’ Katelyn AWAAAAAYYYY!!!! 

Nah actually I changed my mind lol subject change go! 

So it’s been awhile since  my last poetry dump and since it’s been awhile since my last post in general, I figured I’d make this a supa special long post of awesome with lots of poetry and OH YOU DON’T WANT POETRY AHAH SUCKS DOING IT ANYWAY (no seriously I hope you enjoy my poetry I really do love writing it.)

So this one I wrote today in French class while noticing that my French teacher’s bangs looked an awful lot like two rainbows meeting together/the McDonald’s M. (You know, like his bangs are shorter than the rest of his hair since they’re bangs and all, and for some reason he apparently gells them into awkward round semi-circles framing his forehead. Weird I know). Lol I totally mentioned to Manon how his hair looked kind of like the McDonald’s M and started singing the “bah bah bah baaah baaaaahhhh” song in the commercial and well we lost it there ahaha. Anyway okay poem go (this is read in a sing-song voice just so ya know):

Arc-en-ciel, arc-en-ciel
Vos cheveux sont deux
Arcs-en-ciel,
Si je coupe vos
Arcs-en-ciel,
Serez-vous plus cool?
Maintenant vos
Arcs-en-ciel,
Regardent moi au-
Dessus des yeux,
Ô vos affreux
Arcs-en-ciel
Laissez-moi tranquille!

English time! (not nearly as cool sounding tho seriously in French it has a rhythm and yeah)

Rainbows, rainbows
Your hair is two
Rainbows,
If I cut your
Rainbows,
Will you be cooler? 
Now your
Rainbows,
Watch me
Below your eyes,
Oh, your awful
Rainbows
Leave me alone! 

And another!

Ma chère grammaire française,
Je vous déteste. 
Vraiment.
Vous êtes trop difficile pour moi.
“Si il y un lion qui mange
Deux poulets au soleil chaque
Jeudi il faut wu’on utilise le
Plus-que-parfait avec le
Pronom personnel “y” et
L’adjectif relatif “lesquels” mais
ATTENTION si le lion aime bien
Poeter les jupes rouges mais
Pas les chaussures bleus on doit-”
BLAH BLAH BLAH.

And in English!

My dear French grammar,
I hate you.
Truly.
You are too difficult for me.
“If there is a lion who eats
Two chickens in the sun every  
Thursday you have to use the
Personal pronoun “y” et
The relative adjective “lesquels” but
WARNING if the lion really likes
To wear red skirts but
Not blue shoes one must-”
BLAH BLAH BLAH.

The next one was originally in French but apparently there is no word for fickle in French and well that word is necessary so it’s just in English for now I guess, even though the words are pretty simple considering. 

Today is Eli’s birthday.
He is 18 years old.
I am going to be 18 years old,
Too, 
In December.
Time, what has happened? 
Why do you run and jump
Like a rabbit who escapes
From an enemy? 
I am not a fox,
Nor a wolf,
But you deceive me,
A fickle mistress
You, a dragging snail
Me, an uncertain land
The world.

Morrreeee.

Cette monde
Est si grande
Mais aussi si petite.
J’ai l’argent.
J’ai l’aeroport.
Je peux aller là, ou là,
Peut-être là, si je veux.
Mais il y a une bulle
Qui me suive, toujours.
Elle frappe les autres.
“Salut, je m’appelle Kate-”
SMACK!
“Escusez moi, mais j’ai-” 
WHACK!
“Aidez-moi! J’ai peur de-”
CRACK!
Cette bulle, cette bulle américaine,
Elle est moi, et je suis elle.
Une américaine, juste une américaine.

Eeeeeennggliiisssshhh!!!

This world
Is so big
But also so small.
I have the money.
I have the airport.
I could go there, or there,
Maybe there, if I want.
But there is a bubble
Who follows me, always.
It hits the others.
“Hi, my name is Kate-”
SMACK!
“Excuse me, but I have-”
WHACK!
“Help me! I’m scared of-”
CRACK!
This bubble, this American bubble,
It is me, and I am it. 
An American, just an American.

Even more?!

I would like to write a poem
That is so difficult
So confusing
So utterly American that
When I read it aloud they’ll
Sit fish-eyed and gaping for air
They’ll scramble for their
Dictionaries, flip flip turn turn
Sawdust flying from the pages
And they will mindlessly copy
A novel of English, of analyzations,
Craning their necks over their
Partner’s shoulders, biting their
Lips until crimson oxygen sustains them.
I will wear the colorful pullovers.
I will part my hair in the center,
Flip out the edges,
Blonde. It will be me,
Me the native, me the
Air-breather, and them, they
Will be the étrangers.

OMG THE POEMS
Quelle heure est-il?
Il faut que j’attend encore?
Euuugh…
J’ai envie de dormir. 
Il faut que j’attend encore?
Auuugh… 
Je suis m’ennui, je ne comprend rien.
Il faut que j’attend encore?
Uuuugh…
Tick, tock, clip, clop
J’attend j’atten j’attend
Pour toute ma vie j’attend
Tick, tock, clip, clop
Ça me moque
Tu, dois, rester, là!
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Tick, tock, clip, clop
Je voudrais tuer toutes
Les horlorges dans la monde.

Innglusshh?

What time is it?
I have to wait more?
Euuugh…
I feel like sleeping.
I have to wait more?
Auuugh…
I am bored, I understand nothing.
I have to wait more?
Uuuugh…
Tick, tock, clip, clop 
I’m waiting I’m waiting I’m waiting
For my whole life I’m waiting 
Tick, tock, clip, clop 
It mocks me
You, must, stay, there!
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Tick, tock, clip, clop 
I would like to kill
All the clocks in the world.

AND THE LAASST ONEEEE! hey stop cheering

The words
Do not flow anymore
Like a river.
Each day in France is like a pebble.
One pebble, two pebbles,
There is not much difference.
The water flows over them,
Onward.
But in time,
The pebbles clump together,
Numerous, forming a dam.
And before you know it,
The river overflows,
Spilling onto the banks,
Words flying,
Sentences unconstructed,
Verb conjugations,
Spelling,
Punctuation,
Spread in wide puddles.
Mix in with French and I am
Lost.
But then
The river irrigates itself
Into two different
Rivers, flowing strong and
Filled with frogs, and fish, and
Microorganisms. 
Two rivers of language splitting at a fork.
The fork that is me.

Wwwwooowwww guys that was a crap load of poetry I hope I didn’t bore you too much! It’s 11:30 now and I believe I’m accompanying my host brother to his airplane piloting lessons tomorrow (should be interesting) so I’mma head to bed. Please leave a comment if you can! Goooodddniiggghttt!!!

Posted by: katelyninfrance | November 4, 2009

Last day of Fall break

So as depressing as that title sounds, I am actually relieved (or trying to be ahaha) to actually uh see people again and not be a lonely hermit living in the filth that is my house. Naaaaaah my house is gorgeous srsly. But yeah lonely. Today sucked/is in the process of sucking. Yesterday sucked. Monday sucked a bit less. You see where this is going.

So I’m operating under the excuse that getting out of the house and having a semblance of a schedule will make me feel better. I’m hoping this is true. Ya.

So following my normal “screw the rules of writing, I’m an exchange student” mentality, I will commence to tell you a story of what happened just 20 or so minutes ago and then go on to tell you how I spent my Halloween/maybe a few other random days of break idk yet we’ll see what happens. SO TODAY I was like- uh wow today sucks LET’S GO TALK TO MY HOST MOM and she was like- yeah working BUT i will show you where we have like a ton of random books if that’ll help at all. So we went up the ladder stairs (no seriously it’s a ladder guys) and drew back the curtains of some shelving space and voila random books! She showed me some she has in English, but they’re all about marketing (which is her job so she studied them yeah) and it was like- uhhhhhh I don’t think I’m bored enough to read 400 page books on marketing even if it is in my native tongue thanks. So being the coy little person I am, I pulled a “hhhheeeeeyyyyy so I think you told me that Gianni had a bunch of mangas and like CAN I READ THEM OMG I’M A FREAK?!?!?!” so she started looking through the miscellaneous boxes of Gianni’s stuff. She took out a little whicker box/basket thing and was about to put it back but I was like- WAIT NO I THINK I SEE SOMETHING EXCITING and sure enough, I opened it up to find dum dum da duuuuummmmmmm!!!! Two gameboy colors and gameboy advance sp! The jjoooyyyy!!!! She was all- lol Katelyn and her video games and proceeded to take out a PSP case. I froze, eyes wide, mouth hanging open, then took a deep breath to sing the first couple bars of that “praise the lord in holy songs of joy” song we sang freshman year in chorus and guys, I HATED that song so this was a big deal. And ttheeennnn she opened the case and it was empty. Aw. She said it might be in one of the similar boxes stashed in my room, so I dashed down the ladder and tore apart my room. I didn’t find the PSP, but I did however find enough legos to build a small village. So I guess if I decide to regress to a 10 year old boy I’ll be covered when it comes to leisure time activities. Despite not finding the PSP and seeing two of those little gameboy game slot covers that DS lite’s have which triggered an- OMG MAYBE THERE IS A DS HERE SINCE GIANNI PROBS ONLY TOOK ONE- reaction in me and yet coming up fruitless on this search as well, I’m rather pleased with the gameboys. THEY HAVE ZELDA THE MINISH CAP GUYS. ZELDA THE MINISH CAP. Now I just need to uh find that charger ahaha.

So Haalllooweeeennn! (uh wow I just realized that I’ve started every paragraph so far with “so” there goes my word variety writing skills) This Halloween was the 4 year anniversary of Belmont. How has it been so much time I don’t even?! See, France is lame in the fact that Halloween is a holiday for little children only, so rather than spending a sad and lonely Halloween alone, I texted Eli, the other American who I seem to mention all the time, and we had a paaarrtttaaayyy! Kind of. No really, it was awesome! I took the train to Les Arcs where he lives and we bought a ton of candy, wore random masks his parents in Missouri sent him, and watched such classic Halloween films as The Orphan and The Emperor’s New Groove before passing out in his room at 5 AM. And damn his mom is a good cook! Seriously. Anyway, before said movie-watching and collapsing we hung a bit in Draguinan which has a fairly frequent bus to and from Les Arcs. There was a St Dennis fair style carnival deal and despite the fact that it had absolutely nothing vaguely Halloween related, it made me happy to know that at least some of France cares. Sort of. So we saw this one ride that sort of reminds me of that ride with the rock music, you know that carnival one where it pretty much just spins in circles but there’s hawt music so it’s all good? Uh yeah I really forget the name of the ride and lol don’t feel like describing it/it would seem my descriptive skills are a bit handicapped these days so sorry about that. We went on this ride. This ride def wouldn’t have passed safety inspections in the US guys, seriously. It got so fast that you swung pretty much parallel to the ground and it was like- HOLY SHIT GONNA DIE OMG. It was good stuff. There are some really awkward pictures on facebook of me in mid-ride if you care to take a look. But really don’t feel bad if you don’t because they’re REALLY awkward.

Other things…. uhhhh I have a history paper due on Monday on the working class of France during the mid to late 1800s. And you know what’s funny about this, other than the fact that I know nothing about the working class of France during the mid to late 1800s? IT’S ALL IN FRENCH. LOL. So uh we’ll see how that goes this weekend. I’ve been soorttaaa putting it off and all until now. Eh. Exchange student, ’nuff said.

I went to Toulon with Eli and bus friend last wednesday. That was fun, except for the part where Eli and I got on a bus that went in the complete opposite direction of where we were supposed to meet bus friend and ended up with a bunch of really awkward- LOL sorry we’re coming eeevveennttuaaallyyy texts from me to him. And awkward- uhhhh where are you? phone calls in which I responded- there’s like a sign here that says McDonald’s but when you go in it’s definitely a little office or something TALK ABOUT AWKWARD AMIRITE. Ahaha, but we ended up meeting up eventually and I ended up eating McDonald’s for the second day in a row and also bought a little pen with a french navy man’s head on it because Toulon is a pretty navy-infused city. Uh I just re-read the phrase “french navy man’s head” and realize how totally creepin’ it sounds, but am leaving it just for laughs really.

Well, that’s about it for now. I feel like the writing in this post is especially terrible, so I hope you guys forgive me for that. I’m sure when I re-read this after I’m in college and all I’ll be pretty ashamed but hey I’m getting stuff out there and it’s fun and blahblah whatever! So you guys should uh comment on this because I only got one comment on my last post (ilu anna) and that’s a little sad. Well, off to play the piano! Byyeeee guyyysss!!!

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