For the past six mornings I’ve been waking up sad. Today is our last full day in Strasbourg. It’s bittersweet because I know that, realistically, I will probably never come here again. Never say never though. A year ago I had just started my first semester of college after graduating high school 12 years before, and now I just completed a study abroad program in Strasbourg, France. I had never heard of Strasbourg until this program. I feel like it’s my own special secret gem. There’s a fluffy old man who I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more times with his shirt off than on, always standing out on his balcony, or looking out of his big french windows, I will miss him so much. This past week we had a 15 page paper due, as well as a series of essays for our final, but we did manage to have a lot of fun. Basel was great last week, except on the way back, our bus never came! A series of Flixbus’ came but not ours. One of the bus’ was going to Strasbourg but it wasn’t our route because our names had to be on the passenger list because we were crossing the border. This really nice and helpful guy who was traveling on our route talked to the bus driver for awhile and helped translate from french to english and german to everyone who was waiting and we were able to get our names on the list so we could take that bus back to Strasbourg. What a relief! I was so impressed by this helpful man I sat next to him on the ride back. He lives in Zurich and was only visiting Strasbourg for the weekend for a wedding. I got to practice my french with him a little bit, and he was nice enough to not make feel like a total idiot, which I’m sure I sounded like.
Wow Iphone pictures are shitty. I took the best walk this weekend, the more I roam around here the more I realize how close everything is and how beautiful everything is. One of the BEST way to get to know a place is by walking around. We also went to a random carnival and got our asses kicked by some next level rides I was not expecting.
Our farewell dinner is in a couple of hours. I did my last load of laundry that I’ll probably do for the next 2 and a half weeks (pee yewww!). Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be waving a white hankerchief out of the window on the Flixbus (if it actually comes) sobbing and whispering au revoir français! Merci beaucoup, À plus tard.
Well, not that close yet. Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Did i mention i took French last semester? The struggle was real you guys. Luckily reading it is easier, so I’m okay at restaurants and the grocery store but if someone dares to ask me a question, I cowardly mutter “un peu français” and go hide under a bridge where i belong. I never hear people speaking English here in Strasbourg and its oddly refreshing. Last weekend we all went to Paris and I heard more English than french, because of all the tourists and it was kind of off putting. People here can speak English a little but every menu, street sign, label, is in french so its good practice for me. We are roasting here, its been over 90 degrees this week, still a break from Austin, which is probably in the 3 digits by now. There is even comfort in knowing I won’t encounter a flying roach. I keep thinking about this one episode of I Love Lucy, ( I want that sentence to be on the program at my funeral by the way, ahem) where shes in France and goes to this restaurant and gets escargot and she doesn’t know what to do with the little tongs so she just puts them on her nose, she also asks the waiter for ketchup. I get my life from that show still. That scene sums up most of our groups behavior in Strasbourg. Tonight was Fête de la Musique. I’m used to hearing live music, but all the music here was so diverse. Literally every 5 feet there’d be someone playing African music, then Brazilian, Indian, salsa dancers, techno. More than what I expected which has been the theme of this experience.
There’s a bus, much like Mega and Boltbus that’s really cheap, so me and one of closest friends here are going to Basel (which I keep mispronouncing as basil) tomorrow. Its in Switzerland, on the border of France and Germany. Tomorrow will be a nice break after spending most of the day in the library writing a 15 paper due in a few days….Basel!
So it’s been a little over a month now since I’ve been back from my trip. Everyday life has been good to me lately, but I still find it a lot easier to adjust to wanderlust life, than work and school life. A week after I got back to Austin I started community college, there’s a campus two blocks down the street from me, so I’m not even going to pretend that if it wasn’t so incredibly convenient I may not have been so eager to go. So far it’s been good, but still a doozy. I soon realized that I didn’t schedule myself a day off. There isn’t a day that I’m not at work or school, or both. Staying busy and productive is what I wished for, and you know how that saying goes. If all it was was just going to class it wouldn’t seem as daunting, but it’s the amount work that has to be done outside of class that is so surprising. Homework, sigh, there is SO.MUCH.OF.IT. To someone straight out of high school it’s probably no big deal, but to someone who has been out of school for 12 years, and also hated school since the third grade, it’s a fucking lot of shit to do. Managing my time has been a challenge, I have to be so strategic or else I may not have time to wipe my ass. I’m playing a mean game of tetris with my life these days. And why doesn’t anybody tell you that in college, even community college, nothing is explained to you?! It’s like “here ya go, figure it out. Oh and by the way, it has to be submitted online”. Wtf is this online shit?! Am I that ancient? Ahem, back in my day the only assignments we did online were English papers, now every class has assignments online. Annoying. Triple annoying when you’re computer is unreliable. As much as I sigh, and will continue to sigh with frustration, I feel really good about this experience. You probably can’t tell, but my grammar is getting better, and although I’m spent most days, I feel f’n great because I’m being stretched. When I say I hated school before, I mean I loathed it deeply. I didn’t even want to go to my own high school graduation because I thought school was the biggest waste of time. Now I realize that it’s not just specifically what I’m learning, its me learning how to learn and focus, so I can be productive and write best selling novels that will be in Oprahs Book Club (is that still a thing?)and say badass quotes in interviews like J.K. Rowling and go on a never ending book tour.SIGH. I do feel kind of smart now because I got 100% on my math quiz last week! #firsttimeforeverything.