notes from the road

First days in Nancy

Something true and something false.
A) The French eat snails, baguettes, rabbits and cheese.
B) The French are rude.
Well if you picked A to be true then you are correct. So far I have eaten all of those mentioned (the cheese being at a fondue restaurant which one the students at my work invited me to) as well as a pretty odd jelly with ham and egg in it. I really had to work hard to knock that one back.
B is the false one. I’m living at a youth hostel here now and sharing a room with a very friendly chap. He helps me with my French and we play chess and table tennis together. Also the dinner I just mentioned, I was invited to for two reasons. The lady’s daughter is in Australia (so she’s interested in Australians) and that she heard another teacher say that when she arrived she didn’t meet anyone for a long time and felt a bit lonely, so she thought make sure I didn‘t feel that way. Not only is this lady quite friendly like my youth hostel buddy, but just like him, I would have guessed her age to be about half of what it is. I was quite thrown off when she said that her daughter was my age. This goes for most of the people I am working with as well actually (particularly the French ones), they all look very slim, trim and young – which can be quite deceptive when guessing ages.
I’m enjoying being here so far, I’m living like a person who has a job. I even ate out – at Mcdonalds. It may sound odd, but I have been putting off little things like this for the last six months, saying to myself ‘whenever I do go next, I will go to absolute town on it’ so I did. And it was good. Tomorrow I will take my first class and check out a room in a house with eight other people living in it, mostly French students.

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