Oh mon dieu, France was the best experience I have ever had in my 21 years of life! Leaving for France was the hardest, but I was getting homesick and missed all my family, friends and Iggy, so I conquered Lyon and crushed it! I met some AMAZING people that will hopefully stay in my life. I want to write everythingg about it- without skipping any details. My plan is to go day by day so I don't miss any recipes, experiences, and everything in between!
May 4, 2012
5:00PM: Philly Airport
This was my first time travelling alone, and travelling to a different country. My travels have been very limited- the farthest west I've been is Pittsburgh and the farthest south would be Florida because I lived there. If anyone had met me now, they would be praying that they were not my roommate because I was an absolute disaster. So many things were running through my mind about my roommate, the other girls studying abroad, my language barrier, and of course- the availbility for food for a person with Celiac Disease. I had to prepare myself for the Celiac Disease days before I even travelled and was stressing already. Was I going to be able to honestly resist the amazing pastries, croissants, and juicy quenelles that were going to be right in front of my eyes?
When I got to the airport, I began my journey of my food challenge with this amazing soup! I chose Au Bon Pain because well, it had some french words in it and I felt like I might as well start to be european! Unfortunately, my food was sans bon pain but it still was amazing! I needed to bulk up on food for the 9 hour flight so I had this soup along with a fruit cup that I ate faster than I could take a picture of it!
May 5, 2012
24 hours later, we finally made it to our apartment in Lyon, France. The view was manifique! The hills in Lyon are amazing and from any view you can see all the hills with the beautiful scenery. Finally, my nerves were calmed and I could finally say that I FINALLY GOT OUT OF AMERICA!
My roommate, Anna and I decided to get some of the girls who came to town and get something to eat. On Sundays, many restaurants are closed because of cultural traditions. Even though I was starving and the only things that were open were american chains such as Subway and McDonalds, I didn't care because I found that so awesome. In America, we freak out if stores are closed! Just the other day my mom and I went to a grocery store and were FLABBERGASTED when we found out it closed earlier in the day! For America- our melting pot is so large, to be able to cancel a day for traditions would be nearly impossible. But in Lyon, the locals believe in Catholicism, politics and culture, especially the politics.
The very first day we were there was the election for the new president. It was between Sarcozzi and Francois Hollande. It was unbelievable how many people knew the goals and views of each candidate. The results were "SARCOZZI- BOO!" (thank goodness he lost!). I was actually surprised at their political knowledge- the one french person I was talking to knew more about American politics than I did! This is something I did not expect to experience on my first day of France, and I'm glad I did because it is so exhilarating and exciting and I was ready to begin my journey of learning!