Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pulling a Strasbourg!!

Sometimes, you just decide to Pull a Strasbourg!

And sometimes, it's the best decision you ever make.

Even if I had to wake up at 4:45 am to catch a train, and hide from creepers on the metro.



It was freaking early!!

But I was super giddy. We all were. We just kept saying, "Guys, we are pulling a Strasbourg!" I don't know why, but it was such a good moment. It could have been because this was our first trip by ourselves. No BYU director. No Host Mom. We were responsible for getting there ourselves, and it was a rush of excitement and fear. 

But we made it safe, and had such a great day! 



The cutest bakeries. I wanted it all. I guess, I should say the most tempting bakeries. 


All the sudden...BAM!!! 


Strasbourg Cathedral.

I really loved this Cathedral. It all started this summer when I was watching Zero Hour with my family and they went here to figure out this mystery. Inside there is a famous clock, where the apostles switch every hour with time. 

Anyways, It was really cool, the ceilings weren't as high, and it was darker lighting. There were candle chandeliers hanging down all along the center. The stain glass windows were actually at eye level, in the most beautiful rainbow colors. I lit a candle here as well, it's becoming tradition. 


Look! The famous clock!! Horrible lighting though...sorry!



Man, I have a church obsession...like for reals! 


There were little markets all over the streets. 



And cute little stores full of heart Christmas ornaments and classic boxes from the old days. With French music playing all through out. Too good, just too good. 

In Paris, all I have heard is American Music. So it felt like I was actually in France in this town with cobblestone walkways, french music, and little markets through the streets. 



And then we made it to the River, and walked along it taking many bridge photos.

Just a forewarning...





I warned you. The River was really a cool and central part of town. 



Gotta enjoy the sandwichs here. They beat Subway by MILES!!


Funny picture...but hey...I'm eating a Caramel Eclair!!! Oh man, DELICIOUS!


Okay, I have to admit, we were seriously considering hoping over into Germany. The border was 15 minutes away...we could have taken a bus. We could have walked. We could have went to Kehl, Germany. 

But then we thought...we could get sent home for breaking the rules. 

We could get sent to Kehl, for not doing the right thing. Oh, Kehl!

And then, we decided...to just make Kehl jokes for the rest of the day instead...




I took this picture because "Coucou" is my favorite thing French people say. I wish you could hear what it sounds like.


This bridge was in the part of town called La Petite France. It was the older part of town with little houses. We got on top of this bridge and it overlooked the rest of the city. 










Sometimes, looking at these pretty things like no big deal, I feel ungrateful. Like really, is this my life? Am I really just jumping from city to city looking at AWESOMENESS

I never understood why Kings in the old days used to take over town after town. But now I know why. They felt like a conqueror. And after walking around the whole town from 10am to 7pm...I came out feeling like a conqueror! 


Classic couple. 


Seriously, even the dogs appreciating the beauty!


I just wanted to end with "Happy Sunday Everyone" in the dress my host mom gave me! 




Friday, September 27, 2013

One Month Down

Well, I made it a month in PARIS!!

Also, I made it through 80 hours of French class.


In this chair...80 hours in this chair!

But most importantly I made mistakes, I made friends, and I made AWESOME POSSUM MEMORIES!

To finish off my last day of class, we watched a black and white film from the 1950's. Ask me how much I understood. I dare ya!

I understood that there were three old men drinking lots and sleeping in barns often. Oh, and I understood the grunts for sure. Grunting is a universal language. Yep, that's what I call progress.

And then, we pulled out some jelly crepes, cookies, and juice. We all just went around and talked about our lives after this experience.

These are some pics:





 

And ofcourse, my self-timer class photos!





And over the month, we had lots of students come and go. But we are the ones that stuck around. 

These are my two friends, Anges and Marcia. 


Anges is the one of the left. She is from Korea and on a mission here for the Catholic church. She will be living here for 5 more years I believe. She was always so sweet and tried her best! 

Marcia is the one of the right. She is going to the Congo for 6 years on a mission for the Catholic church as well. She is from Chili, and wants to help kids in poverty. 

Both of these women are very admirable. Seriously, they gave up their whole lives for a purpose they completely believe in.

And for the Finale...

MY Professor, Bahia



She is such a sweet lady with loads of energy. She teaches kids every day from 9 to 8 at night. I don't know how she has the patience. Right before this picture was taken, she called me, "Hawaii."

Great ending to this story!

At least I tried to learn the language, and at the end of the day...I'm happy with that!


The BYU crew in my class!



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pause

PAUSE..

HOLD THE PHONE...

Because it's not everyday that a girl gets to play tennis....

Wait...I mean that it's not every day that a girl gets to play tennis in Paris...

Oh man, I forgot something...

It's not everyday that a girl gets to play tennis in Paris on CLAY COURTS.



On my way there, I have never felt so under dressed. I mean, just picture me in my normal sport attire. Blue tennis shorts, black T-shirt, and red beat up running shoes. Then, picture me standing next to beautiful French women in the latest fashion, making it look easy. Oh, and they are wearing high heels.

In the U.S, I'm sure the courts would be in some nice area, in some super crazy club house, that you have to pay an arm and a leg to use. It was crazy to just go out to this little town in the North East of Paris, and walk upon these clay courts. I mean, really in the middle of a random park, in a random area.

I went with my Professor, and seriously, it was so FREAKIN AWESOME to walk on, what felt like holy ground.





Not going to lie, it is hard. The ground is so slippery! I would try to hit the ball, but my feet were still going...and when I would run up to the net, I couldn't stop. It took loads of muscle! Which I haven't used in ages, so it was a kick in the butt. But, it was so fun to try and learn from the court. Like which way was best, how to keep steady and actually hit a good ball.

And...how do I say this?

I mean, I never feel like the cool girl. In a group of people, I am not like, "Oh ya, I am the cool girl that everyone wants to be." But in that moment, playing tennis here, I felt COOL! Call me self righteous, but it's true. It could arguably be the first time that I felt cool.

And when you finally get in the groove, it just feels good. I forgot how good it felt to play sports.

Also, I forgot that I always hit my thigh when I make a mistake. Or, I forgot that when I get really tired I start making the awkward grunting noise that people always make fun of.

But hey, today I realized that I never reward myself when I do something good. And again, call me self righteous, but everyone needs to celebrate their success sometimes. Because if we don't, we will only remember all the times we failed.

Today, on the court, I kept picturing my dad on the other side. I realized how much time and energy he put into teaching me, but mostly supporting me. I could hear his voice giving me pointers on how to play a better game. I am so grateful that I know how to play tennis. It's hard to explain, but when everything around you is foreign and unknown, it feels good to know something.  And I know tennis, because of my dad. Because of all the times he took me out to the tennis courts, and never let me quit. And even though, I would make myself sick worrying about my upcoming tennis match, he never let me quit. I am so grateful, but mostly lucky, because without him, I would have never learned to face the game.  And I wouldn't be who I am today.

On the magnificent clay courts, I was just having all these intense thoughts, which helped me play better I think, actually.

Or sometimes, I have intense thoughts, when my Host Mom gives me artichoke for dinner. What the..HUGE!! I have never seen one, but sheesh, its a freaking dinosaur egg with petals. It took forever eating layer after layer. And to think, the saying is "layers of an onion." No, no, no. It should be layers of an artichoke, because I can testify that there are ten times more.




Or sometimes, I have intense thoughts, while taking my French Final. The kind where you are switching between praying for help and cursing the questions.

Or sometimes, I have intense thoughts, when I am in a hot metro, sweaty, and smelling up the area around me. Some people might feel embarrassed, but you need to understand something.

There is always a crazy person on the Metro.

And today, I got the honor of being that crazy person.