Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gelato in my hair and other precious things

Hello world!! I'm currently living the Italian life in the beautiful city of Venice. It's so incredibly lovely here. Unfortunately I only have my iPhone so blogging/emailing/anything really is difficult. Not to mention the spotty Internet... The weather has been.. How to say this..less than par. It's been raining pretty much non stop-except for a brief period of sunshine yesterday afternoon. Today the weather says 82 and sunny which is mildly comical because I'm looking out my window and it's cloudy and raining. Well... I'm spending time with my lovely mother in the mystical city of Venice- so no complaining :) were having a fabulous time and learning lots of useful Italian, drinking lots of prosecco, and admiring the canal, boats, courtyards and pretty much ever other "precious" and "charming" aspects of this city. According to mama everything and everyone is precious. I would agree for the most part. Sorry this is so short but I'm off to take advantage of this so called beautiful day and take a boat down the grand canal. Ciao ciao ciao :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How to consolidate your possessions-Suggestions appreciated

Good morning everyone! This is a very exciting and rather strange/sad week. It is officially my last week in Menton. I leave on Friday! is this possible? Remember my posts from when I first arrived about how everything was so different-well now it's normal-my new normal. But now i'm leaving-how is this real life? I will write more about my feelings on that later. 
Quick transition to the exciting part-MY MOM ARRIVES TOMORROW! She will officially be in Nice in exactly 32 hours! I am so excited to show her around my life in Menton and the South of France. And then we depart on Friday for a whirlwind Euro-tour. 
I will be flying back to the US of A in one month and two days. Which leads to the next problem...I am packing for a backpacking trip that is going to last 30 days...and I only have one backpack to pack it all in. Some of you may be wondering (like myself) how i'm going to do that. The answer is that I haven't decided and I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it (maybe in Venice-I hear there are lots of bridges there!). 
What my mother doesn't know is that as soon as she arrives she is going to be forced into helping me convert my room, closet, dresser, desk of 4 months into one large suitcase (that has an unknown destiny because my mom doesn't want me to bring it on our trip) and a small travelers backpack. I mean, I can't last one whole month without my belly dancing outfit and matching tambourine! Also-remember back to the end of February when I backpacked around Morocco for ONE WEEK? I vaguely remember writing that it was fun to live out of a back pack for a week-now quadruple that...rough. The challenge appears to be insurmountable-I hope I can disprove that theory. 
Another funny (?) thing is that I still have one more final. Am I worried/studying for it at all? No. Do I need to be? Unfortunately, yes. Because I actually have to PASS my classes-what a drag, right?
I spent most of the morning (and by that I mean the last two hours) trying to organize my room. It appears to be more chaotic than when I began-I think it might just be part of the process though. 
I have a pretty rough life, don't I? Okay, point taken-I really shouldn't be complaining. I hope everyone is enjoying beautiful Spring. It's already the middle of May-wow! Have a marvelous week-and remember to remind yourself to be grateful for everything you have-I know I am :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ahhhh….It’s finally springtime and life couldn’t be better. The sun is shining, people are laughing, gelato is being eaten, classes are over and my mom arrives in two weeks! I’m sitting on the terrace, drinking orange juice, looking down onto the busy streets of Menton’s summer crowd. Happiness is in the air!

The past few weeks have been busy trying to wrap up all of our class work, studying for language finals and preparation for our Arabesque show last weekend (which turned out great if I do say so!). The school year has finally wound down. We have 2 weeks off and then a week of finals.
It’s Saturday morning but honestly it could be any day and I would still be jittery with happiness and summertime exhilaration!
Yesterday after my Arabic final me and some other people got the best gelato in town and sat on the beach enjoying the sun, beach, and massive amounts of tourists. We giggled and ached for the family who had evidently been on the beach all day with their lobster-like bodies and the man (I wish this was singular) in the speedo who shouldn’t have been wearing one.  When the sun began to dip below the Basilica we picked up our stuff and headed home.
I returned to my room and cleaned a little bit before I made dinner. I was experimenting with the things in my cupboard so I threw together lentils, bell peppers, tomato and garlic and stuffed them in a hummus filled tortilla. It was absolutely delicious and I may or may not be addicted to this combination.
At about 9:45 we remembered that Carrefour (the grocery store) closed at ten and we needed (Yes, NEEDED) wine for the night so we ran-LITERALLY to the grocery store to get wine. I bought a cake and a bottle of grapefruit sauvignon. We collected Lauren’s “man friend” and walked down to the beach to meet up with some people. We reclined on the beach and laughed over ridiculous teachers, funny people, and the seaweed. We drank wine and ate cake. It was a perfect celebration.
This morning I woke up and went to this little grassy area next to the ocean where one of the girls in my villa had planned a little discussion on feminism. We sat on a blanket on the grass and about 15 people showed up with fruits, croissants, and juices.  We had an interesting discussion about women’s rights and what it means in different countries and to different people (including men!) Our Arabic professor from Egypt showed up and shared her familial background and how that inspired her to become what she is today (a pregnant, inspiring, intelligent, multi-lingual and dedicated woman). We heard about people’s own experiences in Tunisia, Mexico, Germany, Bosnia, and Wisconsin (cheers to repealing the equal pay act).
It was picturesque with a little picnic, the ocean, the mountains and the sun.

Now I’m off to embark on other adventures in order to take full advantage of this absolutely magnificent town on the French Riviera. Less than three weeks until I will have to bid an Au Revoir to my current home! Mixed feelings….
A plus!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vicki Cristina Barcelona…with more tourists

The night before we departed for Barcelona we watched the film “Vicki Cristina Barcelona”. We thought we had the plot figured out, and then we learned it was a Woody Allen film-and all of our expectations were shifted enormously. Anyways-it really set the bar high for a trip to Barcelona and we wanted our trip to turn out just like theirs (not). If you don’t get the joke- then go watch the movie J
Barcelona is known for its incredible architecture, beautiful location and the nightlife. And probably lots more things, but these are the important ones.

First order of business is discussing travel partners. Who you choose to travel with can make or break your trip. But more than that, you have to learn how to look past certain annoyances and go with the flow. The only way for a travel partner to “break” your trip is if you let it. Your attitude is everything and therefore the fate of your trip is in your own hands-which is the way I like it! This is just a general side note about traveling and is not directly related to my Barcelona trip. I have just been traveling with lots of different people and it is interesting to see their travel attitudes and how they deal with stress/strange situations.
I traveled with two girls for this trip-one from London and one from Holland.

Barcelona is incredible. It is everything people have made it out to be and more. It is the perfect combination of charming (from its ancient architectures), rustic (with its graffiti-ed walls), to industrious (in certain areas). The one thing I can say without a doubt that was my least favorite was the tourists. Granted, it was only in the super touristy areas where it was hard to even walk. In the neighborhood where we stayed it was rather quiet and at first we were wondering where all of the people were!

We got up super early on Friday morning to catch our flight from Nice to Paris which was, of course, delayed for 40 minutes. The flight attendants moved our seats to the front of the plane so we could make our connection. We landed in Paris at 12:40 and our flight was leaving at 12:55 (boarding at 12:25). We sprinted off the plane and ran recklessly through the airport-and ended up having to go through security because we got confused. I got patted down-and we still managed to make it on time! Although, we walked onto the plane and all of the passengers shot us death glares for being late. I sat next to a few girlfriends from New York going to Barcelona for vacation-so cute!

When we landed, we found our couch surfer, Ismail. He has lived his whole life in Istanbul but moved to Barcelona in October to get his masters in Information Technology.  He told us to buy a metro pass for 10 rides for 9 Euros. The card was perfect and lasted us the whole time! We used our 10th ride returning back to the airport on Monday. We met a German guy who didn’t know which metro card to get and spent 3 Euros on just one pass (so we got really lucky!).
We refreshed up at his house and drank some tea and then set out for a little evening stroll around the area.
Ismail’s flat is just a few blocks from the famous Sagrada Familia so we walked over there and peeked around the area. It is absolutely breathtaking. It is completely hand carved and has taken over a hundred years to finish (it’s still not done). It was about 7pm and it closed at 8pm so we didn’t think we had time for the tour. We got lost a few times, but eventually found our way back to the flat.

Ismail decided to take us to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. I had falafel and I practiced my Spanish (and learned a few Turkish phrases-but everyone laughed at my pronunciation). There were seashells in the toilet seat in the bathroom-so that was fun.
After dinner it was about midnight and we had had a long day so we returned to the flat. I offered to sleep on the couch and boy, do I regret it. I couldn’t sleep at all, I only had a little sheet and it was freezing!
The next morning we woke up and Ismail made us breakfast of little cheese rolls, cream cheese, bread, nutella, tea, honey, etc. It was really sweet of him. We got ready and set off to explore the city.
Unfortunately, the line to the Sagrada Familia was extremely long and we ended up waiting in line for an hour and then spending about an hour and a half inside. It is absolutely incredible. I could get lost staring at the architecture inspiration and stained glass. If you can look past the massive amounts of people sharing the same experience as you, you can imagine the history and culture that stood in the same place as you a hundred years ago.
We walked into the city and saw the Arc, many street performers and the zoo. The sun was out and we were getting pretty warm-so we stopped into a little Italian (I know) place for lunch. The waiters were Italian so I felt comfortable speaking to them in Spanish because it’s not their first language either J It was a nice ambiance and we felt refreshed enough to continue “tourist-ing”.

On the topic of language, I go through language phases like people (not me ;)) go through mood swings. Since I have been studying Spanish for more years than I care to mention, I feel like I should be able to enter any Spanish speaking country and properly communicate and get around. My first day in Barcelona, I was a wreck. In my defense, the accents and expressions of Spain-Spanish are MUCH different than the Mexican-Spanish that I was taught and am used to. I felt like I couldn’t even carry on a normal conversation and I would forget easy vocabulary words.
Luckily, after that first day I continued to get more and more comfortable speaking and asking for things.
I would never in a heartbeat trade my experience studying in France for anything else, but for a moment I could imagine studying in Spain. I would have become truly fluent in my Spanish (because even after 3 days of being there I was more comfortable).
But there are tradeoffs for everything and if I was in Spain I wouldn’t be learning Arabic and French and about the fascinating political history of the Middle East.
After lunch we walked deeper into the Gothic area and were greeted by ancient buildings, enchanting musicians, and TOURISTS on every corner.  We munched on gelato (obviously) and drank fresh fruit smoothies in the covered market.
When the sun started going down we made our way to another part of town where there is a fountain/light show on Friday and Saturday nights. They are held at a large fountain outside of an incredible castle. It was probably by favorite part of the trip. You could climb all the way to the top and just look out over the city and look down at the pretty fountains. The water show was to the beat of a bunch of Disney songs in Spanish-it was awesome! Ismail joined us for the light show and then we went to get tapas afterwards.

Tapas are officially the coolest idea ever. We went to a tapas bar and they just have little “tapas” or like finger food snacks and you can help yourself to as many as you want (or your wallet will allow you to have).  After I ate 4 we decided to go to a little classy bar in the center of town.

 It was a chill atmosphere and Ismail said there are normally more young people there but with the holiday there were a lot of older tourists. After that we went to another “younger” bar with cinema posters all over the walls and popcorn to snack on. Someone asked me if I was Argentinean-how chic! When we finally left it was about 1:40 (early for Barcelona) but Claire was tired so we all decided to head back to the flat.

On Sunday morning we slept in a little bit and then went to a little café and ate croissants and tea before walking up to Park Guell. Park Guell was designed by Gaudi and built at the beginning of the 20st century. It is also a World UNESCO site.  The park (although at the top of a steep, steep hill) is absolutely magnificent.  You can see the whole city from the top of the park. It is filled with wildflowers, grassy areas, and benches to sit and contemplate. That is if you can find a quiet place away from the tourists.

We sat overlooking Barcelona and eating yummy Pink Lady apples before snapping back into the real world and heading back down into town. We took the metro to Las Rambles and walked around the streets looking at two of Gaudi’s old buildings. We stopped to eat on a patio on the street. We people-watched and ate delicious food as the sun beat down overhead. It was a particularly warm day and it was heavenly to soak up the sun and enjoy a nice lunch.
After lunch we walked to the Port area-or as I like to call it, the Tourist area. Tourists were jammed into the Port area like sardines (very fitting, I know).  We lounged on the grassy hill for awhile and then walked around and found a little band playing so we stopped to listen to them for awhile. It was a mix between Latin and hip hop and a few people started salsa dancing. It was a little slice of heaven. After this we went to a gelato place-but not just any gelato place-my new favorite gelato place ever! They had so many delicious flavors, and I only chose 2 (what was I thinking?!) Tiramisu and Banana Split. Era muy delicioso!  Despues, fuemos a un supermercado to buy some drinks for dinner (we were going to cook at Ismail’s flat). It had been a long day so we returned to the flat for a little siesta.
After we woke up we made some snacks and got ready to go out.
We experienced Barcelona’s fun and exciting nightlife on Easter Sunday, nonetheless! It was a blast. I would write more details but my mother prefers that I leave anything alcohol related out of my blog posts. So yall can forever wonder how my final night out in Barcelona really was ;)  Adios amigos!

A cute parting thought-
There is something about seeing new sights, stumbling through foreign languages, and sleeping in funny-sized beds (or no beds at all) that has a way of refreshing your mind and harmonizing your soul.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Doing it big in the Cinque Terre-My weekend in heaven!

“The peoples of the Mediterranean began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt to cultivate the olive and the vine.” --- Thucydides, Greek Historian, 5th century BCE.
On Friday afternoon we left for a weekend trip to Cinque Terre, Italy. They are five little towns located right on the Mediterranean with breathtaking views, brilliant colors, lots of Americans and buckets of charm!

We ran into some of our friends who were heading to a high school reunion in Northern Italy and got to sit with them on the train. They taught us some useful phrases for the weekend- like “have pity on us, we’re tourists”. Little did we know, we wouldn’t need these phrases because there are more Americans in Cinque Terre than Italians (this is most likely false-but at the time it certainly felt like that).

Let me preface this blog entry by saying that Cinque Terre (all five of them) is probably my new favorite place on the planet (note: until further exploration). It is one of a kind beautiful. Traveling is exhausting when it is filled with History and Culture and museums, Cinque Terre is different. It is my kind of place where the only thing to really do is explore the natural beauty of our planet. Your senses are, of course, over stimulated, but in a good way. There is so much natural beauty that I think the longest we spent inside was on the train to and from the cities (I would say sleeping-but we didn’t do too much of that).

Anyways, we arrived in Monterosso (the northern most of the 5 cities) at around 11pm on Friday evening. After our initial screams and leaps of excitement and overwhelming beauty, we started to think about where we would stay that night. We walked along the beach and scoped out some nice places. We also walked past a really hip bar with tons of people. Our thoughts were to drop our bags somewhere so that we could go out too.  Because of this (and of course other things-like it not being safe-that’s for you, mom!) we decided to check into a hotel. We got an incredible deal on it and it had a lovely terrace and a HUGE bed! 

We went out at about midnight and tried to find this bar that was mentioned in my guide book. We think that because of the floods, the place may have shut down or been destroyed.
There was a really bad flood at the end of October that drastically damaged almost all of the five cities. We could see the town still trying to rebuild its image and community. It was very devastating to see that even after 5 months the damage is so severe.
So we walked back to the “hip” place and sat down at a table inside. We weren’t there for more than 5 minutes before we realized that we were definitely the only non-locals there. The bartender brought us a bottle of the house red wine and we cheered to arriving in such a beautiful location. The wine was a bit too dry for my taste-but it was a nice atmosphere and we were enjoying the people watching. It quickly hit us that this seemed like more of a private party than a bar-which is when we started drinking a little faster to avoid the awkward encounters about how we were in someone else’s party. We made several friends and danced the night away with Viola and her sister.

 At about 2am the owners started kicking us out (we didn’t even have to pay for our wine!). We made our way down the beach with some of our new friends and played on the rocks and listened to music until about 3am when we decided to head back to our hostel.
Before we went out Lauren and Claire decided we should get up at 6am to take full advantage of the day-I was crossing my fingers they would change their minds after our late night.
The next morning we didn’t end up waking up until about 9am and I was the one who had to cattle everyone out of bed (not!). We woke up feeling the effects of the night’s shenanigans, but quickly recovered thinking about the exciting day’s activities. We checked out of the hotel, grabbed some focaccia and hopped onto the next train to Riomaggiore (the southernmost city). Our plan was to use that as our home base and hike from there to the other cities.

We found a hostel in Rio and were able to bargain the price of our room down (thank you Morocco!). It was a really cute apartment style hostel with 6 beds, a kitchen, and a bathroom. We were getting situated when one of our roommates arrived. He is studying in Northern Italy but is originally from Pennsylvania! We told him our hiking plans and asked if he wanted to join. He was traveling along and was excited to have some companions-so he joined us!
This is when Claire realized she gave her passport as collateral at the hotel and never asked for it back. After a minor panic attack, we went to the office of the hostel and the guy called and asked them to hold it until we were able to make it back.
We grabbed some coffee and I sent a mass (3 people) email to the people who would be worried if I didn’t message them and then we set out onto our hike!
We started with the Via del l’amore trail which is the hike between Riomaggiore and Manarola. It is a beautiful path right on the side of a mountain overlooking the ocean. There are locks all over the sides of the trails representing people’s love and relationships.
This is the part where I felt so sad that Luke wasn’t with me L
But I was also so thankful that I had my friends to enjoy this magnificent trail with.
When we arrived in Manarola we got some gelato (of course) and walked around the town a little, we even saw some ducks!
We didn’t stop for long though because we still wanted to do the hike to the next town and it was already around 2pm.
The next leg of the hike between Manarola and Corniglia was absolutely my favorite hike. There were parts where all you could see was the ocean, the other towns perched on the cliffs and the terraces with grapes and olives surrounding you. There were wildflowers, pine trees, butterflies, and quaint little Italian houses nestled in the mountains.

It was a pretty difficult hike because first you have to climb up onto the mountain, and then it’s relatively flat until you descend into the town on the other side.  But it was 100 percent worth it! The weather was also perfect for us! We woke up and put on our bathing suits underneath our clothes (in hopes of being able to swim) but it was overcast all day. This happened to be in our favor because we were SWEATING on the hike. And occasionally there would be a cool breeze which supplied the cherry on the top of our amazing day!
When we FINALLY arrived in Corniglia we found a little restaurant overlooking the ocean and ordered a bottle of wine and a specialty of the region (pesto pasta). I wish I had a higher quality camera because I take FAR too many pictures of food that just don’t happen to look as appetizing in my photos as they do in real life.

 The meal was fantastic and after it we wondered the streets a little bit and bought a little box of olives. We walked down to the “beach” which was really just boulders. Lauren played with the stray cats and I ran away. Lauren and Claire took a nap and Harrison (in case this isn’t clear, Harrison is our friend from the hostel) and I enjoyed the beautiful beach and ate about 1000 olives each. After we realized that we weren’t going to be able to see the sunset because of the clouds, we started to head back to the train station.
Once back in Riomaggiore we were all exhausted so we rested and refreshed a little bit before heading to dinner.  We went to this adorable little place surrounded by windows (and many Americans).
I ordered the “norma” pizza with aubergine, mozzarella, and tomato sauce. And we ordered a bottle of the white house wine for the table. It was DELCICIOUS! I had such a great dinner and I was in such a good mood (the wine was definitely getting to my head-or maybe it was the fact that we were in such a beautiful place and I was surrounded by such beautiful people). We were all feeling super happy so we decided to order dessert! I ordered Tiramisu and it was seriously the most incredible thing ever! I forgot my camera so unfortunately you can’t see a picture of it (sorry) Not that is would look appetizing anyway.
After dinner we went to a little local bar and drank beer on the terrace (I actually didn’t drink any). It turned midnight when we were sitting on the terrace so we tried thinking of an April Fool’s joke to play on the other people at the bar but we could only think of violent things that would have negative repercussions-so we stopped trying.
We returned to the room and found that it would only be the 4 of us in our little apartment, so that was awesome! We sat around while they finished their beers and talked about important things like superheroes and whether we would use our powers for bad or good.
I looked in my guidebook and did a little planning for the next day and then we all crashed.
I laid in bed reflecting on my incredible 24 hours so far. I am so blessed <3
The next morning we woke up at about 8:30 and cleaned up and prepared for another exciting day in the Cinque Terre! Harrison had an 8 hour train trip home so he left early. Claire, Lauren and I walked up to the church to see when their services were and dropped our stuff off at the hostel office. They agreed to hold it for the day while we hiked around.
We went to the train station to see if we could catch a train to Vernazza and then do the hike from there to Monterosso. I think our good luck had to come to end somewhere. We were informed that there was a train strike from 9am-5pm. Our train back to Menton was scheduled for 5:08. But the thing with train strikes is that they are very sketchy and you never know when the trains will be arriving. We were contemplating taking the ferry when a train arrived! (YAY! Luck came back!). We rode the train to Vernazza and met a nice lady who told us that Vernazza was the town hit the hardest by the floods. We walked around the town a little bit and saw the rehabilitation process. The community had come together and painted murals on some of the doors to promote community and unity. It was really sweet.

 Their beaches and main rode were totally destroyed. We stopped in a little market and bought sandwiches and a bottle of wine to take on our hike and have a picnic.
The hike was HARD. The sun had come up and it was about noon when we started. It was straight up hill for about 35 minutes. The view overlooking the ocean made it much more bearable, and the fact that when people passed us they would laugh at us for carrying a bottle of wine around J If you haven’t already noticed we drank a lot of wine this weekend. But you know the saying “when in Rome”. I figure since Rome is in Italy it’s okay to just broaden the spectrum a little.
We made it to a little lookout spot and stopped to eat our lunches. The wine was light and a little sweet, the perfect combination for drinking on top of a mountain overlooking the Med. Sea.

As we continued down the trail I hiked in the back and pretended to fall down and start yelling. Lauren and Claire ran over and started to freak out.
Then I yelled “April fools!” I’m funny.
When we arrived in Monterosso, Claire went to the hotel to collect her passport and Lauren and I tried to get tickets. We didn’t have any luck and decided we would just take the ferry back at 4pm and collect our bags and get on the 5:08 train. We went to the beach with the rest of our wine and laid out on the warm sand. We went swimming in the sea and it was REALLY cold. We went all the way in and swam until our bodies turned numb. The waves were pretty big but it was so refreshing to float in the water and look up at the beautiful hillside village.

At about three thirty we went over to catch our 4pm ferry only to discover that the 4pm shuttle does not start until April 6th. So that’s not good. We were essentially stuck in Monterosso without our bags and with no train home. We ran back to the train station and there was a train leaving for La Spezia (one stop passed Rio) so we ran and jumped onto just in the nic of time!
Unfortunately, the next thing we know we are SPEEDING right by our stop. We got off at the next station and quickly found a train going the other way. It was getting really scary because the hostel office that was holding our stuff closed at 6 and it was about 5:30. The train took FOREVER to leave and we were all pretty stressed out.
When we finally made it to Rio I ran all the way up the hill to collect our bags while Lauren bought our tickets and figured out the train schedule. One was leaving at 6:08 so we literally ran ALL the way back to the train station to catch it on time.
Moral of the story: we ran a lot and stressed a lot, but we made it home to Menton at about midnight. The train ride was relatively uneventful. I slept a lot!
To sum up the weekend: we drank massive quantities of wine (some bad, some good), hiked for hours on end, soaked in the beauty of Western Italy, and lounged around the Mediterranean until we were forced to return to Menton ;)
Being back is excellent. But, I have lots to do before I leave for Barcelona on Thursday night!
Ciao ciao bella!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Owning your own memories

"Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it." – Cesare Pavese

This is so true and so lovely! You have to develop your own memories and experiences and paint pictures in your head that you can cling onto :)

Happy Thursday everyone :) This little giraffe is coming to brighten your day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring has finally sprung!

I have been waiting ALL semester for this. A huge deciding factor in my decision to study in Menton was the beach, the Med. Sea, and the sunshine. Unfortunately, the weather the past 2 months has been iffy at best and definitely NOT beach weather. But those days are behind us-it is OFFICIALLY bathing suit season in the south of France-HURRAY!
The past week has been stressful because I had two exposes to prepare and perform. But now that those are over I feel great!
Friday evening we had our Arabic tutorial at Chez Younnes (the house of our tutor). He gave us the recipe (in arabic) of how to make a Tagine. He got out all of the ingredients and tools we would need and then sat back and watched as all 10 of us tried to read and understand the directions and work together to make the Tagine. It turned out delicious! It was fun and we felt super accomplished because we only messed up one time-and it wasn’t even a big deal (just added the basil too early)! And we got to watch the muppits in arabic after!
Yesterday (Saturday) we were supposed to be at the school at 9:45am to film our lip-sync video. There is a big competition at the end of the year between all of the sciences-po campuses and one of the categories is lip sync. The thing is that you have to film the whole thing in one take and we were doing 3 songs and there were over 60 people there participating. Me and four other girls were assigned the role of crayons. I was the green one. It was funny. We all wore our colors and made little paper pointy hats. We rested in the garden with everyone for like 2 hours before we even started the rehearsals. This is when I realized that the weather is finally starting to get nice. We were SWEATING. It was sooo hot in the garden and our pants and long sleeves were not doing the trick.
Finally we started to film and it only took about 4 takes (with like 20 minutes in between each though)! I hope it turns out well-I’ll post it on here as soon as they get it all edited and done.
After that we were so grumpy and thirsty and hungry and hot so we came back to the Villa rather quickly. After eating we started to feel better and we decided to head down to the beach to hang out with everyone. We got our bathing suits on, put on sunscreen, and picked up some beer on our way over.
There were so many students there and everyone was just lounging on the beach, talking, reading and some were swimming (I’m unsure if it’s warm enough for this yet). It was quite lovely until the sun went down-then it was just cold.
I have to say-I really do miss the sandy beaches of California though, the rocks, although very lovely, are a little uncomfortable to lie on.
It was a calm weekend in Menton. Lots of sun, food, laughter and relaxation. AKA perfect J
PS. Barcelona in two weeks!