Thursday, 18 October 2012

In the Land of Love

jeudi le 18th octobre, 2012; 22:22
Location: Ma chambre, Vourles Lyon France
Pourquoi: Parce que mon amie m'a dit que j'ai été une source d'inspiration. 

In case you have no idea what I just wrote in the above sentence, the reason I'm writing this post is "Because my friend said I was an inspiration" Hey Kelli K, I hope I don't let you down!

Now let's see, I've been in France two weeks and one day. And I've only written one post about my adventure so far - fail. But I have an excuse! You see, I'm now writing for two different blogs - this lovely one you're reading and one for my scholarship exchange program. These things take time. Okay, that's a poor excuse but I'm on a roll tonight as I just submitted a post to my co-ordinator at Greenheart Travel. When I figure out how to link the two posts, I'll let you know.

En ce moment, I have been adapting to life with the best French host family that a Canucker could have outside Quebec. But where do I start? Let me just see where I left off in my last post....oh yes! Dreaming about boys, brie and all things French!

Hmmm, let's start with boys - I know some of you inquisitive readers have commented on one of my Facebook status'. Um, yes, there is a boy. A 'dashing young buck' as one of my friends called it, haha. And if you have been following my antics for a while, you know how I tend to be cryptic. That ain't gonna change. However, keep Love bottled up and it will explode. 

So in the meantime, my favourite natural element has spoken for me. The sky knows about us:

I didn't make this up, seriously. I recently woke up late one morning and the cloud gods teased me with this through my bedroom window. So did I find love in the Land of Love? Ironically no! Cupid has played a rather mean trick on me by spearing his bow into my back just before I left Canadaland. Yep, He's across the pond, 6 hours behind me. ):

That's all I'm gonna feed you about the complicated beatings of my heart. But perhaps you might know there's a skip in my step, a flutter in my heart and a warm feeling in my, um loins! Okay, I need to tell you about other cultural things happenin' here in France. 

Like FROMAGE!

Sometimes, I think I've died and gone to cheese heaven. And it's only been two weeks! If you're from Canada, you understand how this heavenly substance can be expensive. Even more so when it's 'locally' made, say from Salt Spring Island...

Well, let me tell you something that'll make you green with envy. There is a local fruit market just around the corner from my home in Vourles where every night at 18:00, local fresh cheese of all kinds, especially the chèvre kind is sold at €1 each. Tax included!

This is what we usually buy. I'm salivating right now knowing there is some in the fridge downstairs...

There is a container in the fridge dedicated to all things cheese. Brie, camembert, Bleu, chèvre. Sometimes, I'm jealous of the container. Can you tell I love cheese?

No? Well, let me show you something that happened today. As I wandered the streets of Lyon this afternoon, it was noontime and I was starting to feel peckish. I decided a jaunt to a supermarché would have the answer to my belly's craving. So inside, I picked up a fresh baguette €0,39, some delicious Soignon chèvre for €1,57 and a tomate for €0,32.

I sauntered out of the shop with the baguette under my arm (how French!!) and walked towards the Pont de Guillotière to sit by the river Rhône and put my project into action.

Here are the ingredients you need to make yourself a tasty lil lunch, Lyon style:

A Sandwich is Born:

And eaten!

As if this simple pleasure wasn't enough, the warm October breeze blew through my hair, Federico Aubele was playing on my iPhone and a handsome cyclist whizzed by behind me accidentally dropping his bike light. I stopped eating, jumped up on the step and picked up the light, walked over and handed it back to him. Bemused, he grinned a big 'merci beaucoup' as I replied 'de rien' and went back to my seat. I looked over to find him somewhat enchanted by me. It was no big deal but, aww how sweet. Don't worry Dashing Young Buck, my heart belongs to you!

To end a pleasant autumn day, I went into the Lyon Métro headed for Stade de Gerland to meet up with my host mum, Sylvie. Entering the station, I bumped into the only friend I have in Lyon, Virginie, a pint sized Vietnamese expat that I had befriended on my Easyjet flight two weeks ago. Cheek kisses ensued as we delighted in seeing each other again and made tentative plans for next week.

Well, Kelli K, I hope this was a little bit of inspiration for ya! Make your plans and travel, travel, travel!! And for the rest of you reading this, lemme know what you think, I love feedback.


Friday, 5 October 2012

Boys, Brie and All Things French


vendredi 5th octobre, 2012; 11:47
Location: La maison Dimouchy, Vourles, Lyon France
Why: Summer synopsis and the next adventure.

D'accord, this has been the longest I've gone without a post since I started writing. It's time to let you amazing readers know what I've been up to. I'll start with a summer synopsis.

If you read my last post, you'll know that this nomadic spirit went and got herself a fine lil scholarship in a far away land called France. Uh-huh, I'm still pinching myself as I write this not only on my snazzy new MBP but in a beautiful home in a French village, population 3115 + 1 (ha!) I think I'm officially the only foreigner here.

Right, so after doing a triple back flip from the scholarship news, I figured I'd better get me a job to support my upcoming adventure. A friend hooked me up with a part time gig working à la boulangerie. Btw, I'll be throwing in French words and sentences now as I practice this baguette-loving language. So...have google translate at the ready; just in case. (:

For the past couple of months, I've been happily working at a local boulangerie called Brick Street Bakery. I can still smell the sweet aromas of the pastries freshly baked and delivered from the head office and that perfect almond croissant still lingers on my tongue.

And of course, no new experience is complete without me scratching it out on paper:

I wish I knew how to transfer photos from my iPhone to my MacBook so I can show you the rest of this cute little bakery. Any help out there? Something to do with iCloud? Ida know....luckily I drew this picture and snapped it the 'old' fashioned way - my digicam (:

In between stuffing my face with lemon tarts, baguettes and brownies, the second best thing since sliced bread happened - my 2nd nephew was born! Tristan Tyler at only 5lbs 3oz, was just a delicate Chinese/German/Croatian morsel in my arms. I am a proud 'Diy Yee' (big auntie from Dad's side). Or as the best thing since sliced bread (my 1st nephew Meikai) likes to call me "Eeen Diy Yee"

The best slices of mixed Chinese bread this side of the world:

Do you know what makes Meikai the BEST thing ever? Here is an example:

At the park swings. I give him a giant 'underdog' push.
Meikai: Weeeee, ooh my nuts are tingling!
Me: Weeeee, ooh my nuts are tingling too!

Absolute BEST.

Anywhoo, one of the main reasons I came back to Canada earlier than planned was to get my French Visa when I decided I wanted to stay longer than the 90 day visa-free option. To spare you the tedious details of this process, let's just say that I had been holding my breath for the past two months. After many road blocks with the French Consulate, OHIP, BC Health and mini panic attacks this past summer, that navy blue book with my mug shot at the front arrived in the mail one day before my flight. One freakin' day. Yeah.

Blood, sweat, tears and one crucial fax, just for this sticker:

So after a big sigh and as a single tear trickled down my face, I packed my trusty rucksack for another adventure across the pond.

But not before one last boy shenanigan! I don't know how I manage to get myself into these delicious little situations but this one was a bit complicated. It all happened so quickly literally days before I stepped onto the tarmac that my mind is still whirling around it all. To spare loved ones involved, I won't go into details except that it is safe to say we are star-crossed....friends? **le sigh**

Well that's all I'm going to say about that.


D'accord, after two flights and a six hour time difference (see below pic)...


I am at la maison Dimouchy, my French host family for the next 3 months. Immediately I am smitten with this family of four. Today is Juliette's 15th birthday party and next week will be a repeat as Alice turns 8. Oh man, I think 8 year old Meikai's got competition as I am already madly in love with these two darlings.

And I'm madly in love with the house. The spacious living room is flooded with sunlight everyday:

And this is where I dream about boys, brie and all things French:

As I get over my jet lag, I'll likely be wide awake again tonight at 02:00. And I'll likely be creeping some friend on facebook (you know you all do it too!) But I think I'll go for a run tomorrow in the country hillside. Oh, don't be jealous, just come and join me instead!