11 September 2008

The first weekend

From my journal:
22/08 Fri 13:26
I walked yesterday, and walked, and walked. It was fun. I got to call J for more than 2 minutes. Poor guy, I interrupted his lunch break.
I came back here to discover that the 'sheets' i found (after much work intensive searching) were actually the skin of a quilt. Damn. I have to go back to CarreFour (a walmart-esque store) anyways, but WTH. (btw, it took FOREVER to figure out where to buy sheets. I thought EuraLille was part of the trainstation, not a mall. oops)
Then I got sick. (i'll spare you the details) Not good. I finally got to bed and slept till 12:30. I still haven't had a restful, straight through night's sleep.
I finally rediscovered the guardian (i have since learned her name is Mme Masse) and now have a general idea of where to find her. Yay.
I definitely think Lille is astounding (and not as big as i feared). There are so many little roads, and big houses. All of it is so old and magnificent. Now if I could just find a good restaurant to try. (note: i'm rather timid, and a picky eater, so I was quite uncertain about my about going to a restaurant, alone, and in french, and finding something to eat).

22/08 Fri 22:24
At long last, the internet! I happened to hear voices after my shower this am.. er.. afternoon. (wow, there ARE other people in this place!) T'was Mme Masse showing another student around. So now I know where to find her, and I got the password for the internet this evening.
But no J till very late. I miss him!
I feel shitty as all hell though. My sleep pattern is all screwed up, and I was sick all of last night. I have yet to eat a real meal. I hate going out for food alone. And I went shopping, and bought the french version of frosted flakes... it tastes nothing like frosted flakes. Sigh. Tomorrow, I must try a café or something, and eat some real food. Hell, McD's would be better than junk food I've been eating...

23/08 Sat 11:26
I woke up at a decent hour today! Hurray! And I now know that other people live here- at meast two guys and two chicks. This is great, just knowing I'm not alone in this place, but I now feel a bit self conscious running around in my towel at shower time. Darn it, but i'm never satisfied. But then, who wants to meet their dorm mates for the first time, dressed in a towel and sporting awful bedhead?
I got to talk to J last night, it was wonderful. Now if we could just get our stupid cam & voice chat to work so I can hear and see him when we talk, instead of just typing.
Today I'm going to walk to school and the park and the Citadel. I'm also going to eat real food- before I die of malnutrition.

23/08 Sat 13:15
Le pain au chocolat... c'est absolutement magnifique! Je l'adore!
It sure is cold in Lille, no wonder people run around in heavy coats in august. Gotta be prepared for the random weather changes if you walk everywhere (which i love! walking everywhere that is, not the strange weather patterns)
I got up today, took a shower, braving meeting the new guys in a towel, and went to the patisserie, for said pain. I took it to the park to eat, but had to head home much too soon- not enough layers on.
I REALLY need to take pics! Everything is so gorgeous!

24/08 Sun 22:39
So I convinced mysemf to eat a real dinner last night. I wandered for a while, and even though I wasn't feeling too hot, I finally stopped at this place off La Grand Place. Poulet-Frites. It came with this awesome cream sauce (white gravy?). It was a quarter chicken, roasted. So good! And the salad was good too, with a dressing I can't describe, as I've never had one like it before. I kept the cool, heavy, retro coke bottle. I believe the waiter found that just a bit strange.
This morning I was up at 9! Yay me! I walked down to the Sunday market at Wazemmes. It was awesome, packed with cool stuff, like clothes, shoes, plants, a billion poulet roti stands, fruits and veggies. Good stuff. I bought a chicken and potatoes. I should be able to eat that for a couple days.
On the way to the market, I passed La Place de la Republique. It was amazing. Without a doubt the most beautiful place I've seen thus far. I love the museum des Beaux Arts, and the awesome fountain, and the writing for the Declaration on the ground. T'was awesome.
So then I went to the zoo. They had some coom animals. Lots of monkeys. No lions though. But the rhinos were cuddling, it was so cute. (btw, it was free! how cool is that)
The Citadel is so cool. I love it. It reminds me of Fort Niagara, only a bit modernized and still in use. I wish I could see inside. It'd be interesting to look into its history. (the walk around the outside of the citadel was awesome too!)
Then I visited Notre Dame de Treille. I was looking for this cool tower I see all the time, and got turned around, and ended up there. That church is astounding. The detail is amazing. And I must look into the symbomism of the right tympan. The bishops are standing on people, instead of pedastals... weird. And all the alcoves (?) were interesting. Lots of cool stuff and history there. I must go back for more pics.
I think J may have to drag me back to the States by my hair, I love this place so much! I could totally see myself living here. It's the perfect combination of big city amenities and small town charm. (note: Lille is a big city, the 4th largest in france, but the narrow streets, and proximity of all my needs, makes it feel so small)
I can't wait to share all this with J. We are definitely coming here to visit in December. I wanna show him EVERYTHING!!

A brief description of my residence:

Franciscaines de Lille is a grand old building, I am not sure but I think it was a monastery or something back in the day. The front door is huge and heavy, and just past the entry hall is a courtyard that the building encircles. One whole side of the building is a church, and the others (i think) are all dorm rooms. There are 3 floors, with a breakfast room downstairs, 2 showers per floor, and 1 or 2 bathrooms. It's very old and squaky, with lights that are on timers, which leaves you walking in the dark a lot. The rooms either look in on the couryard, or out on the street, etc. Mine looks in on the courtyard. There are lots of pigeons, and there are even gargoyles! It's an interesting building.


Marissa Christman said...

Hi Leeanna! This is marissa. It's weird that you're not in french class this semester. i've been reading your blog. wish i could go!

have fune

LeeAnna said...

Hey! I almost wish I was in french class- but only b/c I'm feeling overwhelmed by my first week of classes. France is great! you should totally go. I'll probly post some more tomorrow.