Take me back to France days.

I woke up one morning and after checking my email as per usual, found myself jumping and screaming “I’m going to France! I’m going to France!”. Not only did I forget to watch the volume of my voice but I had also completely forgotten to wish my mother a happy birthday. I can’t recall the last time I had so much energy in the morning but that was the only normal way to react to this news, right?!

The days leading to the trip fast approached and before I knew it, it was time to pack up my luggage. Word of advice: Never leave packing to the last minute. Chances are that you’ll forget your favorite pair of socks and arrive at the airport with three extra kilograms.

We were greeted at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport with a Centennial College sign and a warm smile from a Groupe Sup de Co staff member. Just our luck, we landed during a train strike so we had to wait a few for the next train to La Rochelle. I was especially entertained at the station however by a phone-charger bike. It is exactly what it sounds like; a bike that you have to exercise on in order to charge your phone. Canada should really invest in these.

The train ride from Paris to La Rochelle was another four hours but the scenery was so remarkable I didn’t mind. Everyone was nervous about meeting their host families but I was overly excited. I have always loved meeting new people. If I was given the option to stay in a residence or with a host family, I would have picked a host family without a doubt.

My stay in home was nothing but amazing. I was paired up with a roommate whom I was extremely compatible with. I promised to keep this friendship with her beyond just the trip. My host mother treated me as if I were her own daughter. In fact, she even tucked me into bed with a good night kiss every night followed by a good morning wake up call.

Believe it or not, I even thoroughly enjoyed school. Our instructor, Sebastian is a soon to be comedian because he made me laugh uncontrollably every lesson. He made learning entertaining for all of us, even with the challenge of teaching sixteen individuals with different levels of French.

There’s no place that I would have preferred to go to for this global experience. I could not think of a better method to indulge in another culture than by attending a French school and living in the home of a French citizen. All of the students on the trip were fortunate to get along so well. We even decided on a meeting spot downtown during the trip so that we could explore the streets “as a family”.

Everything after stepping foot into the small town of La Rochelle was a blur. Not because I had wine with every meal but simply because the days flew by. I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to be selected for this unforgettable trip. I had the time of my life in this cute town I called home for two weeks. I cannot express with words how grateful I am for this opportunity but in short, thank you Centennial College!

Written by: Nickza Dalas

Here are some pictures from the trip:

  • Little present for host mom.

Little gift for my host mom.

  • Last day of school. Sebastian = the one in the middle.

Last day of school :( Sebastian = one in the middle.

  • Just being a tourist.

Just being a tourist.

  • My room for two weeks.

My room for two weeks.

Exploring La Rochelle

Hi everyone, I hope you all are doing great. If you remember in my last post  talked about La Rochelle and it beautiful architecture the awesome people here and the search of adapter. Well in this post I will be talking about La Rochelle, school, the experience till now and etc. In case you have not read my previous blog and wish to read it, I will be posting the link in the end of this blog.

Week 2

 I have to say La Rochelle is an amazing city, you should visit it at least once, it is small yet very beautiful. The has a really nice architecture, it is set in the mid 17th century to 18 century and I will be talking about that a lot in my many more posts. here is a photo for you.

Image

I know it is really pretty. Let me tell you about the school I am enrolled in, it is called Group Sup de co, and the people here are very friendly and helpful. I have to tell you that I am flattered with the hospitality in France, despite knowing English that well people try to help you in any way they can. Luckily people speak English in my school and, it is not that hard to communicate with them as I had thought. The system is a bit weird here, as the courses are not completed in a 4 month span but are wrapped up in about 2 weeks maximum and, sometimes my friend Sudikshya and I are in school from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (ya I know its brutal). Sudikshya an I are getting used it as we were jet lagged in the first two weeks but things are great now. We have a lot of fun, we go out for our coffee’s in the evening and a long walk to the beach some days and it just rejuvenates us.  I mean who needs to go to spa when they can enjoy sipping coffee and sitting on the beach and seeing the sunset.

Image

 

 

Some nights Sudikshya and I are sitting here until 1 am and no we are not affraid as people in this town are born to party and, unfortunately we live in the center of the city and we can just party from our house because of the music and shouting people, but no complaints. We both enjoy it as much as we hate it. Seems like people in this city follow this quote bellow very seriously.

“I’m gonna party, see how intoxicated I can get and how many rules I can flaunt. That’s my motto.” 
― H.G. BissingerFriday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

 The buses in La Rochelle are humongous, I am not lying. The bus fair is not that expensive it about euro 1.30 one way, but Sudikshya and I do not take bus often as our school is only 20-25 minutes walk and we are trying to be “healthy” these days. The bus service is called “Yelo” here and the sad part about travelling by bus is that you can not have coffee or tea in it. 

If you have been following posts in this blog and if you have read my friends blog “roti disaster” you would know about us two being south Asians and we love food. If you have not read her blog I will put the link in the end and you should definitely check that out, as she has talked in depth about our mission to make roti (Indian whole wheat flat bread). We both love Indian food as she is from Nepal and I am from India and we usually make Indian food and, if you have had Indian food you would know that roti (flat bread) is an important part of it. So in week two we both were dying to eat roti and we had bought the flour and  kneaded the dough and the vegetables were ready, the only thing that was missing was roti and we were so excited that finally we will have roti today. But guess what? We did not have the rolling pin to flatten the bread ( ya I know it sucks), its then when we saw the bottle that I had brought and we thought of flattening the dough and yes we finally had the roti’s and they were amazing (drools…).

A quote without which the blog will be unfinished is “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” 
― Virginia WoolfA Room of One’s Own

Thank you everyone for taking out your precious time and reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed it and hope that you will have a great day ahead. I would also like to say if you like this blog please read my friends blog and, do read our future blogs because we would love to share our journey and experience with you. 

-Akansha Singh

The city of La Rochelle a dream come true: https://theglobalexperienceblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/the-city-of-la-rochelle-a-dream-come-true/

Roti Disaster blog: https://theglobalexperienceblog.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/8576/

Dining in La Rochelle!

Dining out in La Rochelle is an experience in itself. In our third week, Akansha and me tried a bunch of restaurants, for the love of food (and also we were not so energetic to cook).

We were lucky to meet Simona, our Romanian friend who shared our love. She told us about this Italian restaurant, Ragazzi da Peppone and as she says, it was AMAZING!! The classic ambience, amazing food and the decor crossed our high expectations. The best thing I loved about this restaurant is cellar in the basement. You can have a little tour for yourself and choose a wine for the night.

Image

Another restaurant we tried was a creperie (I know, a restaurant only about crepes). I don’t know about you, but I only knew one version of crepes, with bananas, chocolate syrup and a dollop of cream. Well, actually up until now. There were so many varieties of crepes that I was confused which to pick. As crepe is staple to French cuisine, I wanted to try something authentic. I ordered this three cheese crepe, and was really excited. When it arrived to my table, the smell was Oh-so-good! My host told me that it is a special crepe, because of the cheese used to make it. But that first bite hit me right on my face. It was too cheesy for me. I really wanted to appreciate it. But, I ordered my version of crepe.

This one fine day, we went to this restaurant called Wallilabou Bay. First of all, a pirate was at the entrance to welcome us.

IMG-20140130-WA0007

But that was not the good part. Imagine having dinner in the deck of pirate ship, and not just any food. The food there is amazing. I will talk to you about that in my other blog. This restaurant is really famous for its barbecue chicken, pork and veal. Well it is called “épée du …..”. Also, we tried their pasta and pizza, which both were delicious. This reminds me of a French saying, “Oh! lala!!” 😉

Au revoir, madame et mousieur!

The city of La Rochelle- A dream come true!

A couple of months ago I had not even dreamt about being in France and today I am here sitting in my apartment in La Rochelle (France) and writing a blog. To be in the city of La Rochelle is a dream come true as its beauty lies in its simplicity and old architecture. It seems like this city will never grow old it looks so young that with everyday that passes by this city manages to grow more beautiful. The city is known for its two towers at the port.

The two towers at the port- Vieux Por

Image

The university I am enrolled in is called Sup De Co and its about 20 minutes walk and its not a bad walk as I walk with my friend and we explore the city in the mornings while walking to school. One day my friend and I  managed to get lost but a class mate of ours saved us, you can say that we got lucky. I have managed to make a few friends in the first week some of them are French and others are exchange student.

Here are some photos of the apartment

ImageImageImageImage

Isn’t the apartment beautiful… My apartment is in the middle of the city its also called city centre and everything is walking distance from my house be it a grocery store, a clothing store or the harbour. At nights sometimes me and my room mate just go and sit near the towers and just unwind ourselves. it gives us such inner peace and joy which is hard to explain in words.

Today I took a bus to the supermarket called Hyper U to get an adapter as the plug is not cylindrical and not flat, are you thinking how I survived with out my laptop for the whole week? The answer to that is, that some how I managed to survive as finding an adapter was not an easy task but luckily I found one today. The bus ride was for 1.30 euro’s and the bus service is called “yelo” and the buses are really pretty, they are much better than TTC.

Image

In the end I would like to say “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” by Mary Ritter Beard

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day ahead 🙂