Sunday, February 10, 2013


No, I did not suddenly voyage out of France to China or anything.
But I guess you could say I came pretty close.

"Are you going to La Roche sur Yon on Saturday?"
This weekend of the 9th to 10th of February was the weekend of the Chinese New Year! One of the Taiwanese girls in the district, Grace, had a party in her house in La Roche sur Yon. Along with her French friends, there were several other exchange students as well. I love my Asian buddies...

David (Taiwan) and me on the bus
Grace and me
Gio (my Indonesian twin) and me
Barbie (Taiwan) and me
It goes without saying that any opportunity to see other inbounds is gladly taken; however, that wasn't the only reason this party was spectacular.
One thing I will bring up about myself is that, while I thoroughly enjoy eating food from all over the world and tasting new dishes (the French call this kind of person a gourmand), Asian food will always reign supreme in my book. Don't even make me choose between Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Indian, Thai, Filipino, etc. food. Anything hailing from that region of the world is scrumptious.
So of course, when I heard that Grace would be cooking Chinese food, I was ecstatic. I was also more than happy to wrap the dumplings in preparation for them to boil (seeing as that's as far as my culinary skills go).

Set on the food table were Taiwanese appetizers (I really liked the dried meat),

and, once it was ready, out came a large crock pot of curry, served with rice.

After most people were finished with the main dish, we had some homemade bubble tea!

Last Chinese New Year, we learned about the Chinese New Year in my Mandarin class. This time, I was able to bring up some of what I had learned last year with the Taiwanese kids. I have come to realize that, to me, one part of "living my exchange to the fullest" is being able to speak every language I am capable of speaking with people, and holding conversations (however short and simple they may be). Now that I pretty much have French down, I might as well attempt to keep up the Chinese I have learned.

Speaking of languages I am capable of speaking, I am making remarkable progress in German class. I take both LV3 (beginner's German) and LV2 (with classmates who are on their 4th year of German) at the high school, and at the beginning of the year, I understood nothing in LV2. The teacher spoke almost exclusively in German, and most of the time I didn't do anything in that class but write a few sentences (that had to do with whatever I was learning in German LV3), but SOMEHOW, I've gotten to the point where I can now keep up in both my German classes, and I've even done a speech in LV2 and gotten a good grade with it. I remember one instant where I had a classmate tell me, "Tu fais des progrès en allemand!" I don't know if you find it as mind-blowing as I do, but I had somebody tell me I was making progress in German, a language I just started learning, in French, a language I once had to learn in class. I'm not too proud of the way I phrased that sentence, but just know that I felt proud of myself after hearing that compliment.
And after receiving these test results. (In LV3, hahaha)

I named all those neutral, masculine, and feminine household items from memory!
Yes, those are preposition words translated from German to French 
Anyway, as of today, I have exactly 20 weeks left in France; the date is finalized, and I leave on Sunday, June 30, arriving in Portland at about 11:48 in the morning. My first full day in France was August 29 (noon August 28 was when I arrived), and my last full day will be June 29, which pretty much makes exactly ten months. I'm pretty satisfied with that fact, but it feels weird to have a "real" date of departure.

Rather than think about the 20 weeks I have left with my life in France, I will think instead of the 9 days I have until I see Paris again. Or maybe even the 6 days I have until I see the Château de Versailles (think: Marie Antoinette grandeur) for the first time, on a trip with one of my exchange student friends and her family! It is all coming up so quickly.

I can't wait.

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