Monday, 4 November 2013

Les vacances de Toussaint

I had such noble intentions for this reading week/holiday, I really did: Read Corydon, get further into Loin de Médine, start analyzing the text for the commentary which I should be writing soon for littérature d'idées, learn some Chinese characters... But no, after an all-day hike on the Friday before the holidays I decided it was time to sleep, eat, and climb out of bed at the last possible moment. It was pretty warm and sunny for the majority of the week.

Did I do anything productive? Aside from sleeping, which was much needed after so much time being everything and doing everything, I met a girl who has agreed to be my Chinese tandem partner. We spent an afternoon together chatting and walking around the park at the foot of la bastille. I also got through a large chunk of game of thrones with a friend who had avoided the hype up until recently. On Wednesday I finally engaged in some more exercise, trying out the via ferrata in Chartreuse with a few couchsurfers. Not as scary as expected and worth any vertigo for the amazing views and close contact with the waterfall.

The next day I left Grenoble with a few friends from halls for a trip down to Provence, starting off in Avignon, heading to Aix-en-Provence, and finally Marseille. The first night was spent couchsurfing in a student dig 5km outside of Aix-en-Provence, where we ended up in an unexpected house party fuelled with alcohol, Hungarian soup (there was a Hungarian guest) and cake. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep, lying out on mattresses in the party zone. The next day we explored Aix-en-Provence, buying olives, window shopping, soaking up the Provencal café culture and singing in the street, before heading to our new pad in the centre. The generosity of some people knows no boundaries apparently, as a stranger from couchsurfing had left us his key for the weekend, trusting us to stay there without him. It was a tight squeeze but worked for cooking pasta, showering in the kitchen and getting some much needed sleep, after a sing song, bad cider and good wine. It didn't take long to get to Marseille, and we were rewarded with 22 degrees celcius in November and a beautiful sunny sky, perfect for walking around the port and up to Notre Dame de la Garde.

Back to Grenoble, the temperature is starting to drop, currently we have 9 degrees celcius and drizzle. Back to courses and looming deadlines after a brief flashback to summer.

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