|Some more babble from Marianne (apparently a nickname for France).
Things are getting busy and days at Uni are long, but it’s good to be kept active. Commuting to Uni takes about an hour each way, consisting of a walk, metro ride and bus trip. The metro system here is excellent; just 2 lines that make an X shape across the city. Platforms are glass fronted and the trains are driverless. This all works very nicely until you are stuck underground in a broken down train, not able to understand the French overhead announcements (this happened to a friend, not me). In the bus we are crammed in body against body until there is no room left. You can just imagine what the odour from all the French armpits is like after a long day :).
My flat is in a 5 storey building with a few hundred rooms. It’s quite strange because I rarely see anyone else and haven’t even met my immediate neighbours. I know that there is a girl who lives next door (I saw her in passing once). However, the only thing I know about her is that in the evening she seems to flush her toilet every 10 minutes!! There is a lad who lives directly opposite, I've never met him but have heard him singing “Bon Anniversaire” is a loud and freakish manner. Actually, that’s one of the great things about not knowing your neighbours; it’s hard for them to complain, so I also sing away to myself!
My progress with French is very slow. I’m trying to just use only French in shops etc now. It’s surprising how quickly you get used to looking like an idiot/foreigner! I still make plenty of mistakes in many different ways… The other day, for an easy meal I decided to buy a can of what I thought was a special French bean soup… I opened the can to find pongy pink duck legs, in a white fatty liquid. Oops & urghhh!
French evening classes are interesting and enjoyable. They take place in an old building right in the centre square, at the top of the building in a long and narrow room, with an equally long and narrow teacher! To my mind, she is a typical French woman, well dressed and elegant; she does smile, but has a steely character you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of! For good work/trying hard the highest praise is “pas mal”.
Irene and Nancy will be coming to Toulouse this week and I will hopefully see them on Friday.