C'est ma vie - Oui

My two weeks in France

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

—St. Augustine

Day 10 & 11: History & packing

Hello there, 

Yesterday was basically all boredom. I woke up at about 09:30 am, and we went out of bed around 11:20 am. We had breakfast [outside! it’s finally sunny and warm again!] and than we basically worked on history the entire day… with some little breaks of course since I got distracted quite easily. You could certainly state that the Arab conflict wouldn’t really be the subject of my choice…

However, I managed to do quite some work, at I don’t remember what time we started preparing dinner. We ate crêpes again and they were delicious! In the evening I went for a jog again, although the circumstances weren’t very nice this time. Because of the temperature of today, it was quite stuffy in the evening so I walked a bit more than usual. After an hour of being outside, I went back and watched some series on my laptop. Before I did that, I managed to rip the curtain, with its bar and all off the door, when trying to close it. Apparently the curtain was stuck between my hand and the doorknob, so I pulled the curtain down while pushing the doorknob, go me! We’re going to try and fix it today, since it’s just a matter of pushing it back, I can’t do it on my own though, I tried yesterday already. 

After that most certainly exciting day, we went out of bed today at about 12:00 am and had breakfast. However, since it is kind of our last full day here, we decided to make a special breakfast. We bought an extra package of crêpe mix, and we made crêpes again this morning (:

After breakfast I took a shower, and we’re basically just packing all day and tonight were having a barbecue together with Ype, Ingrid and their two sons. They invited us about two days ago which was really nice of them. I really like Jitske’s uncle and aunt, they checked in every once in a while to see if everything was going okay and even gave us our 2 euro’s back from the washing machine because they didn’t want us to pay for it!

We have to get up at 06:30 am tomorrow which is really early since we basically had breakfast at noon almost every day. We’re packing the last few things tomorrow and we’ll have to fly back unfortunately ): I had a really great time around here and I will miss the weather and jogging along the beach, but of course I’m looking forward to seeing my family and friends again! I already have plans for the whole weekend! I’ll be unpacking and watching series together with my sister tomorrow evening, on Saturday I will be working on history, meeting with one of my best friends Iris, and babysitting in the evening together with my sister. Oh and don’t forget packing again since Jitske and I are leaving again Sunday at 07:30 to be co-guiding the exchange to Whitstable, England! I’m looking forward to it and I hope it  will be as much fun as it was two weeks ago. 

After the exchange I will be catching up with Luisa and watching movies, I really missed her as well! I hope you all enjoyed reading my blog and maybe I will update it tomorrow about how the flight went etc. (:

Love, and take care

Rineke

Day 9: Chilling

Hello lovely readers, 

I woke up at exactly 09:02 am after waking up to the vibration of my mobile phone. It seems that I already have work to do Saturday evening when I’m back at home, I received a text message from a mother of my lovely kids that I babysit. After receiving the text message I wasn’t able to fall asleep anymore, so I just listened to music on my iPod, checked Tumblr, Facebook and my email to kill time since Jitske was still asleep. Turned out she actually was already awake an hour later, but neither of us noticed each one of us being awake.

Eventually I turned around, and we went out of bed to eat breakfast. After our usual breakfast, this time with actual baguette though, I went to the bathroom to shower. Yes, again for about an hour, my hands were all wrinkly from the water and I was feeling kinda tired so I sat down while blow drying my hair. After breakfast, I grabbed my laptop with the intention of doing some history at the bed, but we basically ended up watching Youtube video’s the entire time and listening to music. I’m really sorry mister Smits, but I just can’t do history while being in France. I will have to finish it this Friday evening, and Saturday evening since I’m meeting with my friend Iris on Saturday as well. Okay, I just decided I have to do some history tomorrow, since it’s an important assignment and I will never be able to finish it this weekend. Yay, I’m looking forward to it.

Okay, so after our useless and lazy, but very nice day, we started cooking dinner, again pasta since we don’t have as many possibilities as we have at home. This time it was better since we actually had minced meat and we finished most of it [last time we threw away half of it that was left]. We ate desert on bed and kind of repeated what we did the rest of the day. Later on we ate some strawberries with sugar which were delicious!

It’s is 00:26 right now, and we’ll probably watch some movies next, and we’ll see what time we’ll go to sleep this time!

Good night & sleep tight!

Rineke

Day 8: Royan

Hi there, 

Yesterday we woke up at 09:00 am after the alarm went off, probably stayed in bed for half an hour more, got ready and headed to the Centre Ville to do some grocery shopping since we didn’t have breakfast. We bought enough for the rest of our time that we will be spending here. We had to go to the bigger supermarket when we were back from Royan though, because they didn’t have everything in the little one. Back at the apartment we had breakfast and packed our stuff. Unfortunately when I checked the times of the bus at 10:38, it turned out the bus just left at the exact time so we had to wait for another hour so we could take the bus. When the bus arrived I asked in my best french: “Vous avez en Royan?” just to be sure we didn’t end up somewhere completely different. It was the right bus, so we bought a ticket.

Though, during the bus ride, we thought it was a not so well chosen time since the shops are all closed during lunch time, and we basically had to wait an three hours there for the shops to open. However, the restaurants were open so we ate a crêpe and drank something and than just kinda walked to the beach and back, and along mostly closed shops. When the shops finally opened at 15:00, we went inside some shops. Unfortunately the shops weren’t nice, or too expensive which was kind of a pity since we were totally prepared on spending money! We did buy matching sunglasses though. Afterwards, we tried to find stamps, which gave me the chance of practicing my french a little again. On our ways some guys started to ask their ways to I don’t know what, so I just said: “Je ne parle pas français”. In some shops this happened as well, and almost everybody asked where we were from, luckily from first form french lessons, I was able to say: “Je suis hollandaise”  ^^ and I could answer some more of their questions. 

When we decided it was enough, we sat down at the sidewalk, and the bus came, it was the wrong one and the bus lady wasn’t very nice when I asked whether she was going to Saint Palais, she answered very cranky that we had to be at the other side of the road. Before I actually asked anything, she looked at me very critically and said something in french about the fact we shouldn’t sit on the sidewalk. Apparently the sidewalks are a big deal around here, the sidewalks don’t really look that way though. 

When we caught the right bus, there was a much nicer lady and we were in a bus with mostly peers, so we figured they were heading back from school. There was only one seat left, so Jitske and I shared it. It probably isn’t a french custom for girls to sit on each others laps without anything special going on, since we got some pretty weird looks. We were the last ones to get out together with a boy with a huge backpack!

We drank something when we were back and went to the supermarket with our fabulous bike, this time we took another road though, which was a bit easier. At the supermarket we got our last things and we even got some toys which was some kind of deal going on at the supermarket. When we went back some french teenagers were doing that not so original cough word/sentence thing like you see in movies and series at us. You know what I mean? You like cough very fake’ish and while you cough you say a word or a sentence. However it was in french so we didn’t understand any of it. If you are gonna insult me, you might as well do it in the language I understand, so I just decided to say in dutch that I couldn’t understand them to make my point. However they decided to do the fake cough thing again which didn’t really make sense to me, I still wonder what they were saying though. After the cough incident, we had to go down a steep hill, which was kind of funny since it resulted in us yelling and screaming 

Okay, so when back, it was time to cook so we made a bit more fancy dinner this time. We made some chicken, along with some rice and vegetables. Along with the main food I guess you could call it, we had some salad with baby tomatoes and croutons. We accidentally skipped desert though.

After dinner we started fooling around with the make-up that we brought, yes beautiful bright red lips and exaggerated eyeliner included. We made some very pretty pictures afterwards, they are too nice to be shown on here though (I’m serious, we’re very charming…) Finally we just laid on the bed and chilled for a bit.

We probably went to sleep at about 00:00, which is actually kind of on time if you compare it to the rest of the evenings.

I’m going to write about to day right after this, but I figured it would be a bit of a long read if I added it to this one!

Enjoy the last 17 minutes of this day! [it’s 23:43]

Rineke

The photo’s are a bit blurry and shaky because they were made with my iPod, but these are from jogging again! (: 

The photo’s are a bit blurry and shaky because they were made with my iPod, but these are from jogging again! (: 

Day 7: Suckish WiFi

Hi there,

Soooo, after I woke up and noticed that both Jitske and I had fallen asleep during watching “When Harry Tries To Marry”, I shut off my laptop, and put out the lights and we went to sleep [this was around 01:15 am], however I chatted with some friends until 02:00 am [shame on me], and couldn’t fall asleep until 03:30 am. So I was pretty tired when I woke up at 08:00 am for the first time during WISWEX, and for some reason I couldn’t fall back to sleep which resulted in me just lying in my bed until 12:00 am. It was the beginning of this “wonderful” day.

As you all know from my last blog, Jitske and I had to work on our history assignment today. However, [of course] when Jitske and I were actually doing something useful for school, fate has it’s ways to ruin it for us. WiFi went out and it was an internet search assignment! :O 

I decided to play temple run on my iPod until it worked again but it still wasn’t working after an hour of temple run, useless clicking, disabling and enabling of the internet and disconnecting and connecting with the WiFi. I decided it was enough of the waiting and I… sat on the bed for probably another half an hour. Afterwards I decided to check out the bus times at the bus stop because my dear friend Iris had the brilliant idea that we could go to McDonalds since eating there was cheap and we had the lack of food [remember?]. However, we discussed this idea when the WiFi was still working so we couldn’t finish figuring out the exact plan. When at the bus stop though, it turned out that the bus with the most flexible times wasn’t in service at Sunday and we missed the right time bus already which meant that if we took the next bus, we couldn’t take one back. Unfortunately, this meant we were stuck with two cups of soup for dinner and no desert. 

Back at the apartment, Jitske went outside to do some social studies I believe and I did an extremely productive nap! When I got out of bed again, it was almost 19:00 so I heated up the soup which was actually nice soup and we ate our soup with half a slice of bread with some Rondelé on it. The WiFi was back on so I was finally back in the online socialization and chatted with some friends.

I decided to go for a jog again since it had been two days since I jogged and I wanted to keep up the good work. Since I am a girl, I went to the bathroom to shave my legs, and I managed to wound my ankles symmetrically and it wouldn’t stop bleeding! Luckily Jitske was being a good friend and went upstairs to get two plasters for me. I actually tried to be creative and make some myself by putting two pieces of toilet paper [since this was the only thing I could put on there] and some sticking tape. However the sticking tape that I brought was nowhere to be found so I had to put the not so creative normal plasters on there. It looked kinda stupid though, but oh well, it didn’t stop me from going jogging. 

During the jog, my kind off awkward tan line [it looks like I’m wearing some longer shorts -.-] was shown since I was wearing short shorts, because those were the only sports clothes I brought. I think some random guys riding on BMX’s noticed it because they stared at me while I was running past them. For some reason, every guy of our age and older seems to have a BMX around here, it seems to be a trend or something. Although bikes are a trend around here, they don’t seem to be familiar with someone riding at the back of the bike since everyone stares at us when we are driving past with our not so fancy bike.

It was beautiful to jog again as always, but since it was around 21:00 the sun was setting which looked stunning! Another advantage of jogging at this time a day is that there’s nobody in my way so I could run without stopping. 

I was back after an hour of being outside, and Jitske had poured herself some wine, so I grabbed a glass and drank some too. Ype got us another bottle of wine since were not old enough to buy it in France, but are in the Netherlands, he bought some for us. At the same time we are guinea pigs though, because they are trying out nice products that are fairly cheap to give to their guests. This also means we get to try out deserts though, like the chocolate fondant a few days ago. Last night we ate some delicious Crème Brûlée, it honoustly was really good! I might try and make it myself when I’m at home.

Were both just finishing our blogs and then were off to sleep, no movies today!

Good night and sleep tight! 

love, Rineke

OMG

Having no food for tomorrow and not going to the store means no breakfast for Monday as well :O

Day 6: Epic fail

Hello dear person, 

Today we were planning on going shopping in Bordeaux-St-Jean so we set the alarm clock at 08:30 am. When it buzzed at 08:30 however, we managed to fall asleep and wake up again at 09:30 which made us miss the bus to Royan where we were suppose to take the train. So we figured we’d take it easy since we already missed the bus and have breakfast. After breakfast we went upstairs to ask Ype if he could drive us to the train station. Luckily he could but he had to finish baking waffles which we didn’t mind at all since we got to eat one (: However, we would’ve checked the train times but we couldn’t find them anywhere on the internet so Ype dropped us off and we were on our own again. We tried to buy tickets but the machine said the first train to Bordeaux-St-Jean was leaving at 15:49 and was arriving at 18:10, not an option. We decided to ask the lady behind the counter just to be sure. I tried to think of normal French sentences to ask when the first train to Bordeaux-St-Jean was leaving but I decided to ask “Vous parlez anglais?”,  the lady said no but started pointing in the direction of her colleague and said to me that she spoke a little English. We waited for the other lady to be done with her customers and asked when the first train was leaving. Turned out it was actually leaving at 15:49 which sucked because Ype already left and we didn’t have any phone number, it rained outside and there was no bus in sight to take us back.

So we tried to find some shelter from the rain which eventually was in front of  a pet shop, so we basically just sat there… and waited… To make time go faster, we started filming ourselves singing songs, quite embarrassing since all sorts of people walked by and, I don’t blame them, we’re looking at us strangely. However one man didn’t seem to notice that we were filming ourselves while singing and asked whether we wanted him to make a picture of us. I don’t really understand how you could miss the fact that we were singing loudly and falsely, oh well. I tried to remember the bus times that I saw the night before to figure out when we could take one back to Saint Palais Sur Mer. When I figured out the right time, Jitske and I started running to the bus stops to see at which one we had to wait for the bus, somehow the right bus line wasn’t present in any of them, so we decided to wait for the alternative although we weren’t at which stop we had to get out. Eventually the bus arrived and we got in and luckily it stopped very close to our apartment. Unfortunately during the bus ride, a woman was chewing who knows what very disturbingly, we tried to take our eyes of the woman but somehow it kept grabbing my attention, yucky. 

Finally home after our epic failing trip to Bordeaux-St-Jean, we discovered we didn’t buy enough food for both breakfast and dinner tomorrow and we only had some soup for tonight and that gross mashed potato powder, however we didn’t feel like going out in the rain anymore so we are on ration right now. So tomorrow for breakfast we will be delighted with two mini slices of bread and one bigger one which will be divided [thank god we still have jam and rondelé!]. If we want to snack we probably can’t but there is the big amount of one chocolate bar left! For dinner we will have today’s soup which we decided to save and if we get hungry tonight, we will eat the delicious mashed potato. I’m already excited for tomorrow’s food. Right now while writing our blogs were eating [actually expired yesterday] chocolate deserts in order to have something down our stomach. Don’t worry, they were still looking, tasting and smelling fine when we ate them. At noon we ate some Easter eggs that we’re still here and that’s about all the food that is left. 

When we changed into some comfy clothes, we decided to look up the timetable of the trains for Monday so we hopefully can go shopping, however it seems we are probably travelling more than we are able to shop, and there’s a chance it will be very expensive to travel, we’re not sure whether we are going or not. 

After the wonderful discovery of the train times, we decided to touch up our translations because it wasn’t one ongoing story. We finished the translations and we actually were planning on doing some history homework since our lovely teacher  didn’t agree with us that it was unfair having to hand it in the Tuesday after WISWEX when we are in England guiding the exchange which I talked about earlier and missing some lessons working on it guiding the exchange in the Netherlands. However we planned on doing it tomorrow earlier and we kinda felt like we earned watching movies since it was raining and the actual planning was ruined by the stupid trains.

We couldn’t resist the temptation of watching movies so we watched “The Wedding Planner” and some modern version of a Christmas Carol called “Christmas Cupid”, I enjoyed both of them (:

After finishing our blogs were probably going to watch movies again all night, I don’t know whether we will have enough for the rest of the week though so we might have to download some more. 

Enjoy your evening! And remember to smile ^^

Rineke

Day 5: Translating all the way

Hello my dear friends, 

After a romantic nightly walk along the beach with Jitske which was rudely interrupted by two frogs jumping in our ways, and us subsequently running away screaming because we were scared. You have to understand though, we weren’t afraid for just that one little frog at the beginning, we just got a little jumpy, and when we saw a second one, we were afraid that there were only more to come. This resulted in us getting scared of every black thing that was on the path so we ran away. I know, very mature of us. Oh well… After our little nightly adventure and two movies we decided it was time to go to bed.

Today we slept in big time! We woke up at about 11:10 am, afterwards we probably laid in bed for about 40 more minutes. Than I went to take a shower and Jitske fell asleep again. I really like showering and always seem to forget the time when I’m in my little bubble of warm rain. Yummy. After my probably forty to fifty minutes of shower, it took probably another half hour to blow dry my hair, put some body lotion and do my makeup. 

Jitske was waiting for me at our little table so we could have breakfast. Turns out we actually had, well I don’t know whether you could call it breakfast anymore,  at 1:10 pm or something like that. We don’t really keep track of time around here, and time flies when you wake up and it’s almost noon already. We had “breakfast” and started translating the hiking and cycling page of Ype’s website again and actually got  some more work to do! We translated three route descriptions which was actually harder to translate then I thought it would be, the Dutch ways of telling somebody to go a certain way are not quite the same in English so I had to dig up my English traffic vocabulary from my last year of elementary school.

We decided to take a break from translating and cycle to the supermarket with our oh so beautiful and well working bicycle. Every time we had to go uphill, the person on the back of the bike had to get off and walk, also with all the groceries loaded in to our cycle bags, it wasn’t too much fun cycling uphills.

When we were back we finished translating and when we were done it was already time to cook dinner, this time it was some yucky mashed potato, which was initially some powdery stuff too which you had to add some water and milk in order for it to become edible. It sounds gross, and it was. Jitske told me the Dutch mashed potato packages are much better although I’m not entirely convinced after this dinner. Along with the mashed potato, we had some bacon, courgette and paprika of which we now know isn’t the greatest combination. Overall a not so nice dinner this time. 

After dinner, we put the laundry in to the washing machine which worked surprisingly at once. Since almost always things go wrong at first, I do not really expect these things to happen anymore, so to me it felt like a little miracle.

While the washing machine was cleaning our towels and what not, I did some catching up on mathematics and Jitske worked on social studies. After an hour of school work we decided we had done enough and decided to watch a movie. We watched a movie called “Taken”, which was quite a good movie. Ironically about two girls of about the same age of Jitske and me, going to France for a vacation and getting kidnapped and put in to prostitution. I instantly felt a lot less safe when getting the laundry out of the little shed outside of the apartment. However, Jitske and I are of course wise enough, not to share a taxi with some random guy at the apartment and trusting him with our adres for some party later in the evening (:

After the movie, we actually wanted to watch another one. However, since we have to wake up at 08:30 am tomorrow morning to catch the bus to Royan, and in Royan the train in Bordeaux to go shopping. It doesn’t seem like the best thing to right now since it’s basically already “tomorrow” [it’s 0:33 am]. So we thought we would update our blogs and go to sleep.

So, good night and sleep tight again!

Love, Rineke