Tag Archives: hostel

two ghettos and a palace

4 Feb

The day has finally comeeeee!! I’m moving into fucking Versailles! Ok, not really, but almost!

Today I picked up the key to my new place (to anyone and everyone who has my address, it is staying the same so don’t worry about having the wrong one!) and it is fucking brilliant…oops haha some of that British/Irish slang is wearing off on me. But seriously. idk how to explain the splendor that I am about to live in any way except by using the word brilliant.

Here is a little history of my nomadic journey through the Résidences Universitaires of Rennes:

1. Sunday August 30th, 2009: Arrived in France, took the train to Rennes, and stayed in a hostel.

2. Monday, August 31st, 2009: My coordinator François picked me up and took me to my first dorm.  It was called Maine I, but it was quickly dubbed “the ghetto” due to the sketchy-ass parking lots where intimidating men would hang out. To make its less than ideal location seem even worse, when you opened the door to ghetto number 1, it was like entering a 1960’s time warp.  Thanks in part to an allergy to mold, I fled this building’s mauve walls and sketchy parking lots on…

3. Monday, November 2nd: The day that I moved from Maine I to Alsace.  Alsace is right next to the University and in a much less sketchy area. It’s right next to the metro as well so I didn’t have to worry about being late as often.  The complex is composed of many buildings- all of which are new or remodeled, except the one in which I was placed. This room was infinitely better, and actually rather spacious compared to my previous accommodations, however I still shared three disgusting toilets (in the US these toilets, which are a trillion times better than what I had in ghetto number 1, would not even be considered real toilets) four showers with 30+ people.  Even worse were the kitchen facilities, which consisted of two hot plates and a microwave, none of which worked regularly. The absolute worst part about ghetto number two, however, was the refrigerator. I shared this mini-fridge, sans freezer, mind you, with 8 filthy people.  There were constantly packages of raw chicken and other indistinguishable forms of meat that had been opened and left exposed to the rest of the items in the fridge, some of which were large cans (tins, to all you British/Irish) that appeared to have been opened with a pair of scissors, or teeth, judging by the jagged edges I had to navigate around while trying to put my milk away. In all honesty, I might even miss ghetto number 2.  When I recieved the notice saying that I would be have to be relocated by January 10th, I didn’t want to move because I had just begun to get settled in my new environment. But on…

By Lucia Holm

4. Thursday February 4th, 2010 (today!): I received the key to my new room so that I can begin to move out. And I can honestly say, now that I’ve seen the freshly remodeled Palace I’m about to move into, fuck that! I’m in heaven!  I’ll add video later (I wish I had some photographic evidence of ghetto number 1, but sadly I do not.) so you can see the gorgeousness of my new place, but in the meantime, here are the perks: ridiculous amounts of storage, colorful!, tables in the communal kitchens, new appliances, MY OWN TOILET, SINK, SHOWER, AND MINI-FRIDGE WITH FREEZER IN MY ROOM, and likely a better internet connection because instead of crappy wireless I’ll be plugged in via ethernet cord.  I’m still shocked and overwhelmed and excited and…!

This is the beginning of a very beautiful four months.  I can feel it!

Anyone in Rennes feel like getting a celebratory drink ce soir?! Wish me luck with the move

xxo bisous

p.s. I postponed my trip to Paris until tomorrow

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I’m Leaving On A Jet Plane…

30 Aug

toy_plane_map

Actually, that is a little bit misleading– I’ve already left on my jet plane!

I’m currently sitting in a lovely little “auberge de jeunesse” & exhausted to the nth degree.  It took me many hours and several legs of my journey to get here…I wont say “it was worth it!” yet since I’m still friendless in a foreign country, although I will say that I adore the architecture of the region and that I like how it feels like a real city.  I say that because there aren’t touristy vendors anywhere and I feel like very few tourists come here.  Loves it!

Anyway, I was dying to blog (I do realize how nerdy that sounds) pretty much the entire last 24 hours but couldn’t.  There wasn’t any wireless and too much to have to do and pay attention to.

I’m sure I’ve already forgotten a bunch of interesting stuff due to over-stimulation, but here are some highlights/interesting aspects of my journey that I do remember:

1.  I made a friend!  Her name is Michelle and she is studying in Lyon, FR.  We met at the gate and talked for probably an hour and a half (if not two!) before we boarded the plane.  After we found our bags, went through customs and all that, we stuck together to get to the TGV train station.  This proved rather difficult for the first time, so I was glad I had a partner, but actually it was fairly easy in retrospect.  Just confusing.  The French freakin love their acronyms.  Just sayin.  If you try to get from CDG Airport to the CDG TGV Station, you will see what I mean.  Anyway meeting Michelle was definitely a highlight.  We exchanged info and all that so we can stay in touch :)

2.  Thank God I had an aisle seat, because I was in row 35 out of 41 (I wanted to upgrade with my frequent flier miles but however DU paid for it, prevented this from happening), but it was probably the smallest airplane seat I’ve ever been in and that includes those mini regional planes that totally suck.  Ok, that was a little bit exaggerated, but literally, my knees were flush against the seat in front of me.  Equally sucky, was the fact that I was sitting next to an incredibly chatty older Chinese woman.  She actually was very pleasant, but she talked a lot- she even told me how she was menopausal, TMI- and when I told her I was going to sleep she, like, wouldn’t let me && the worst part was that her freakin pillow was IN my seat.  She was basically leaning on me for the entire flight.  These things seriously always happen to me.  Whyyyyyy?

3.  I have discovered that the French people I have been in contact with are almost entirely pleasant.  I think the reason they are misunderstood is because they either stick to themselves and do not acknowledge your presence or they are super helpful.  There was only one person I’ve encountered so far who

black&white_luggagewasn’t very nice, but he was far from mean.  And I’ve met many really friendly people.  I probably could have managed getting my luggage (two massive 50lb bags plus a big purse and backpack = awkward) into the train, but this man, a father of a nearby baby, started helping me.  I was completely appreciative.  Anyway, all I’m trying to say is that the French get a bad wrap.  Give them a chance.

4. I arrived at the hostel via taxi from the train station and after checking in, I went to my room, made my bed, took of my shoes and fell asleep.  I think I was out for three or four hours but it was blessed sleep.  I know that you aren’t supposed to nap when you travel internationally so your body will adjust to local time, but fuck that.  This was the equivalent of a sleep-emergency.  A sleemergency.

5.  My temporary hostel roommate (we’re in bunk beds, presh!) came in while I was sleeping and it was hella awkward because when I woke up we just didn’t talk.  Idk if she is French or European or where she is from but I hate functioning in a super mini space that I have to share with someone who doesn’t talk.  Hmm, maybe I’ll squeeze a word out of her yet.  I’ll keep you updated!

Update:  ok, I got her to talk!  She is from Scotland and is pretty nice.  I’ll let you know how this progresses lol

I’ve gotta go scrounge for some dinner, peace.

(sorry this post was so long!)

xxo

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