I’ve got one week of my semester abroad behind me, and I could not have asked for a better one! I arrived in Frankfurt around 7am, and my German mom and two friends from school were there to pick me up. Jenni and Tabea made a welcome sign for me with Hoops and YoYo that we all love so much! Over my week in Germany, I got to catch up with old friends, visit Frankfurt, and see what has changed in the two years I’ve been gone. Honestly, not that much has changed. A few people are away at school, and a few shops have closed and been replaced with new ones, but overall Neuenhain looks pretty much exactly as it did when I left. After not eating much meat in about a year, my stomach had to adjust to eating lots of beef and pork again. And Martina was nice enough to make me the Kessler favorite- Schnitzel.
Yesterday the real part of my semester in Europe started- I moved to France! After getting up at 4am to take an ICE train from Frankfurt, caught two metro lines in Paris to switch train stations, and then got on a TGV train, I finally arrived in Aix-en-Provence and was greeted at the train station by my new host mother. Her name is Patricia and has been very warm and welcoming so far. She has a 16 year old son, Alexander. He’s all about music and is in a band, but I haven’t gotten to talk to him much because he has been sick. I’m sharing a room with a fellow American student, Jenna. We’ve both gotten unpacked, and there seems to be plenty of space for all our stuff. I’ll post pictures soon!
Last night, Patricia had some friends over for dinner. I managed to follow the conversation pretty well, but speaking is realllllly hard at the moment since I’m thinking in German. Hopefully after a day or two my brain will catch up! Patricia’s boyfriend, Pierre, was at dinner as well last night. He’s very nice and friendly, but I was amused at how closely he fit my stereotype of French people. He had on a blue and white striped shirt, he was very animated at dinner, speaking with his hands and gesturing, he can put away a lot of food, and kept the wine flowing all night. After the meal, he sat leaned back in his chair, smoking a cigarette and discussing politics.
Today it’s overcast and rainy, but Jenna and I are headed out soon to take a look around and by some necessities like shampoo. She has a slight advantage because she and her family did a European tour last week, so she’s already been in Aix for a day or two and kind of has a feel for everything. There’s an open house at the university tonight, so I’ll get my first peek at the school and maybe have an idea of what to expect tomorrow!