Beaucoup de vin, The Cock & Bull, randy French men...C'est Bordeaux!

Beaucoup de vin, The Cock & Bull, randy French men...C'est Bordeaux! by Alizée Vauquelin

This article was written by Katie Sawyer, published on 12th October 2011 and has been read 27716 times.

Sat in my tiny studio in the south-west of France, late on a Saturday evening, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t blogged for a while. So...here I am!      

I’ve officially been on my Year Abroad for over 2 weeks now – although it seems longer, but that could be to do with the sudden weather change – we’ve gone from topping up our tans, basking in 30°C by the pool (just casually dropping that in there; we have a pool…jealous?!) to piling on the layers and dodging the rain just to get to the supermarket – although I’ve heard the weather will be picking up again this weekend, fingers crossed!

Anyway, I’ll stop acting like a true Englishman obsessed with the weather and crack on. I’m sure you’re all desperate to know what I’ve been up to since jetting off to sunnier climes…

Now, as beautiful as Parentis is, it’s not exactly the liveliest of towns, which is why my housemate, Liz, and I travelled to Bordeaux one weekend for a rendez-vous with some other assistants. Naturally this involved sampling a fair amount of Bordeaux’s most famous export…VIN! Ok so we may have regretted it majorly when faced with a train journey back to Parentis the following morning, but that night, it did wonders for our language skills! We ended up in an English pub called The Cock & Bull, where we found a group of French men who were more than happy to let us try out our French.

Word of Warning though: The only English they don’t understand is “I have a boyfriend back home”… Unfortunately, the French male stereotype was well and truly lived up to that night.

Of course, I’m not just here to educate myself in the world of wine. I officially started school this week. I’m a teacher – how grown-up does that sound?! Obviously we must ignore the fact that I’m only 2 years older than some of my students, and that some of the boy’s tower over me – and I’m not exactly small! I entertained a class of 17-18 year olds on my first day, chatting to them about myself, answering their questions and asking some too. I’ve only properly taught one group of 9 17-18 year olds up to now, and it was extremely difficult, especially as the set work just wasn’t inspiring for anyone. However, I really enjoyed myself and cannot wait to teach some more – as cheesy as this sounds, I think I’ve found my calling! Haha! However, one thing I have learnt is to never ask a class of teenagers if they have any questions – the cheeky, randy boy will ask if you have a boyfriend, if he can have your number or, and this genuinely happened, if he can have your address to visit! I wouldn’t mind, but that last one seemed rather sincere…

All-in-all, life here is pretty good. I’m not saying that I don’t miss my home comforts, my family, my friends and, of course, my boyfriend – I miss them all so so much! But Skype is a Godsend and I’ve booked my tickets home for Christmas, which is just over 9 weeks away. I’m also expecting my gorgeous friend Abi to visit during my half-term, and the boyf is coming before Christmas. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that if you’re reading this whilst planning your own Year Abroad, it is going to be emotionally draining at times (especially watching England lose to France in the rugby…) – but I’ve only been here for 2 weeks, and so far I wouldn’t change a thing!

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