Bonjour à tous le monde!
Happy mid mod to everyone at csw! It feels strange knowing our trip is half over, it feels much more urgent to take in everything in the city because our time feels like it is getting shorter and shorter. As of last wednesday I have two Italian students staying at my home stay with me, which followed the departure of two other girls from London. It’s nice to have a “sibling” in the house with me, so I’ve been feeling happy to be where I am. I have had some really nice conversations with my host mom about how she loves to share and care for students that would like to stay with her. Her mantra is “J’aime partager”, meaning she loves to share, which I appreciate and find inspiring. I think I’ve found with almost everyone here that they love to share with people who come to visit, whether that means sharing culture, helping learn better French, or just offering caring words when people in the group are feeling sad about being away from home. We have been having lots of fun as a group, like yesterday in an activity called patonk, which is the french version of bocce. You start by throwing a teeny ball, then you have to roll bigger balls as close as you can to the teeny ball, and basically the team who gets most balls closest wins. Super fun! I think we are all feeling sad about our departure coming sooner, but happy at the same time to be back amongst our families and friends.
Et Bonjour Encore
Today was probably the most lazy day of the trip for me so far, I didn’t even leave the house! This was partly because of the horrendous rain and wind that invaded Montpellier, rendering the normal routine of exploring the city not an option. However, this is not to say I had a bad day, a slow and somewhat boring one no doubt, but it allowed me to come to a realization. To be unashamedly lazy is to be at home. For the most part of the trip, I have felt rather rushed. Paris was an exciting and at times overwhelming mad dash of sights and sounds and colors and people. The pace did slow when we came down to Montpellier, but even then I definitely felt a pressure to do as much as possible, because, after all, we only have so much time here. Today, trapped indoors by nasty weather, was at one end very different but also very familiar. I’ve spent a lot of time with my host family obviously, but there was always something to be done or something we had scheduled for the day. But today, with my host sister home on school break and my host brother home all the time between high school and college, and my host mother having the day off from work, we were all in this apartment together, with nothing to do. And that’s exactly what we did, nothing. We talked, me and my host sister played Wii, we ate, we read, we watched tv, but all in all, it felt so normal. And honestly, I love it. I feel like I’m not even a guest, I feel like I live here. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t need to ask to go in the fridge, where I know how to set the table and I do it without being asked and without the whole “oh you’re a guest you don’t have to work” routine. I feel like a sort of member of the family. My host sister and I love to rag on each others Mario Galaxy skills and my host brother and I are always giving each other music recommendations. At the dinner table, we have great conversations that just are natural and it feels great. We talk about school, day to day stuff, work, politics, movies, whatever!
Another familiarity I really value is alone time. I need a lot of time to just recharge on my own and my family members do to. Just like at my house, we don’t spend all of our time at home together, just because we don’t feel like we have to. I love the freedom to just lay around all day, writing journal entries, painting with my handy new set of watercolors, exploring the new world of French netflix (even if it does lack Chopped >:I) and writing this lil blog post. My host brother spends a lot of time in his room jamming out on his guitars (he’s very fond of the opening riffs from Wipeout and Misirlou) while my host sister spends a lot of time playing sims and watching a lot (A LOT) of Big Bang Theory. I just feel very at home here, the fact that it’s only been two weeks amazes me. Everything just feels so normal, and that can be a big relief when you’re 5,800 kilometres from home.
This is That Boii Matt, signing off