A Travellerspoint blog

Adventures in the Nether-regions (of Europe)

It really pays off to make friends in other cities!

sunny 15 °C

In celebration of the end of classes, I decided to take advantage of an offer to visit some friends in The Hague. They were my roommates in my hostel in Prague, and they invited me to come up and visit them. As I have discovered, direct travel is rarely an option in budget travel; my 19 euro bus to Amsterdam left from Paris. So I just turned that into a quick stopover with my friend Mike, who I hadn’t seen since my weekend in Paris in October. (We both marveled at the fact that that was nearly seven months ago!)

The weather was absolutely beautiful when I arrived, so we spent a couple of hours sitting and catching up on the big place down the street from his apartment. The Place de la République, it has a reputation as the main demonstration site in Paris. In the direct aftermath of the attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices (also in the neighborhood), there were huge rallies there, and one can still see the evidence, left as a memorial. But apparently people are starting to wonder how long it will stay untouched:

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(I took the photo on the left in October, and the one on the right last weekend.)

The main motivation for extending my layover in Paris was the fact that I had not yet had the opportunity to visit the Musée d’Orsay, which specializes in art of the 19th and early 20th centuries. This is probably the period that holds the most interest for me, so I really needed to get there at least once! And I was not disappointed. The limited amount of time I have spent in Paris has been enough to convince me that I would not enjoy living there, but I would totally reconsider if I could work here! The museum, famously housed in a former train station, is just incredible. The space is very well adapted to museum display, and the building is as much a work of art as its super interesting contents.

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Their extensive Impressionist gallery was absolutely packed, presumably due to the high profile of the artists featured (Monet, Degas, Renoir, etc.). Though I love this period too, there were just too many people for it to be very enjoyable. But in comparison, practically every other hall was quite manageable. Luckily for me, there aren’t really swarms of people who want to see Odilon Redon’s work! And, of course, I also found some other cool stuff, too.

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After the museum, I had just enough time for a leisurely lunch, so I bought a sandwich (I’m really gonna miss these giant, super crusty baguette sandwiches…) at a boulangerie and crossed just to the other side of the river from the Orsay into the Jardin des Tuileries. It was so gorgeous outside, and there must have been two thousand people hanging in the park – it’s immense. Due to its fame, was well as its location just between the Louvre and the Orsay, I think a good amount of the people were tourists. But at the same time, one thing that I have observed here is the fact that French people, no matter how businessy, really know how to chill out and take lunch breaks seriously. So there was also a lot of what appeared to be business lunches/picnics or people just enjoying an hour or two in the sun out of the office.

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Shortly after lunch, I jumped on the bus for a 7-hour drive up to Amsterdam, followed by a short train ride to The Hague. My friends live in the charming little city of Voorburg, which butts right up against The Hague, but is recognized as its own city. It’s super nice – many of the important political people who work in The Hague live in quiet Voorburg, which really just feels like a suburb. It’s also the oldest city in the Netherlands – more than 2000 years old. Also, some people have the great fortune of living in windmills! How Dutch is that?!

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We did a bit of exploring in The Hague city center, as well, which was about a thirty minute walk away. The stereotype that there are three bikes per citizen is probably more accurate than not. They are everywhere, and I had more than one close call. That is not helped, however, by the fact that motorcycles are considered bikes, and therefore are often driven on sidewalks…

For my first dinner in the Netherlands, I had the wonderful pleasure of eating a Dutch specialty – kapsalon. The magical baby of poutine and a kebab sandwich, it is a dish of fries, covered with döner meat and gouda, popped in the oven to get nice and melty, and then topped with lettuce, tomato, carrots, and an amazing garlic sauce. It was so freaking good but so incredibly heavy – the only way I was able to finish it was the fact that I had barely eaten anything all day.

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I was also there – intentionally – over a holiday. April 27th is Koningsdag (King’s Day) to celebrate the birth of the current king, Willem-Alexander. It’s a huge national deal, and on King’s Night (King’s Day Eve) Den Haag has a big multi-stage music festival and a fair. So we all hung out, listened to some music, and walked around downtown, which was quite packed.

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On Monday, for the real holiday, we decked ourselves out in as much orange as we could (it’s the color of the Dutch royal family, and a King’s Day tradition) and hopped on the train to Amsterdam, the main base of the festivities. We had heard that the whole city would be packed, and it was true. As soon as we stepped off the train, we just became part of a swarm of orange that filled every street. The main streets were lined with booths selling food and merchandise, there was either live music or a giant speaker on almost every corner, and a good percentage of people were already drunk (it was about noon). So we just joined in.

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And found some interesting artwork along the way.

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But as far as appreciating the amazing and beautiful place that Amsterdam is, I probably picked the worst possible day to visit. Not only were there so many people that is wasn’t really possible to just stop and enjoy the view, the party pretty much destroyed the city for the day. We walked down streets where the stones were barely visible under the trash, the canals were littered with crap, and we passed more than one heap of beer cans and cups that was almost as tall as me. But luckily I was able to get a couple of clear shots; because it really is quite a stunning place, and I would love to see it on a better day!

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I’ve been doing so much solo traveling this year, which is fantastic for having 100% freedom with your itinerary. But I must say that there are some awesome benefits to sharing travel experiences with friends.

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Posted by NKammerer 11:09 Archived in Netherlands Tagged art canals paris amsterdam windmills party orange musee_d'orsay the_hague king's_day jardin_des_tuileries place_de_la_république voorburg kapsalon Comments (5)

Food, Finals, Farms, and Fun!!!

Old people are just as fun as college students!

sunny 18 °C

My blog posts are not getting fewer and farther between intentionally. I finally have the time to sit down and write because, as of yesterday, my semester is OVER! It hasn’t fully sunken in yet, but my French studies have come to an end. And I’d say it went out with a bang. Yesterday, I took an oral exam on Greek sculpture. (As in show up, draw a slip of paper with a subject written on it, prepare for ten minutes, and talk for ten minutes. I’ve never had to do anything like that before, but I guess it is a pretty good way to make sure that you have grasped a subject!) Luckily, it was only one-on-one with the professor, who is quite nice, if a bit demanding (I mean she assigns oral exams…). But I seriously kicked its butt! I pulled the best possible topic, and even though my presentation was nowhere near ten minutes, my professor appeared quite pleased. Then in the afternoon, I took a written exam on the various artistic representations of Moses and the burning bush. Yep.

And over the weekend, when I should have been studying for these last exams, I was busy with more social events. Firstly, remember that Romanian cooking activity I did at the assisted living facility in February? Well, I was invited to run the same activity with an American menu. After multiple brainstorming sessions with Eva, two of the least stereotypically American eaters managed to come up with a menu of pretty iconic (but not too obvious) and appetizing traditional recipes that fit our time, budget, and equipment constraints. We decided on Waldorf salad, potato salad, sloppy joes, and Muti’s famous recipe for banana bars with cream cheese frosting. As Eva said, it was pretty serious church-basement potluck material. On Friday morning, I met the ESN community sponsor, Michel, at the Farmer’s Market to do our grocery shopping. (Michel is a super interesting and awesome retired professor who has a striking physical resemblance to Pa and whose personality is very similar to Opa’s. So he’s pretty great.)

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Afterwards, we headed to the apartment complex to get cookin’. It was a bit complicated, trying to prioritize and direct all of the steps for all of the recipes, but we were able to divide and conquer, and still had some time for fun and chatting!

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We had to make a few changes – cream cheese is not available here (probably because bagels aren’t either), so we substituted for it with mascarpone. I turned out a bit looser, and didn’t have the same strong cheesy flavor, but it turned out just fine as far as frosting goes. Molasses isn’t easy to find either, and neither is Worchestershire sauce, so we skipped the former and substituted another liquid meat seasoning for the latter. That gave the sloppy joe sauce a slightly different – but by no means bad – flavor. After about two hours, it had all come together, and we were ready to tuck in!

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The salad was a big hit – the strange mix of veggies, fruit, nuts, and yogurt was very intriguing to everybody. But it was kinda awkward, because the Dijon mustard that we used for the potato salad was some super legit French stuff that is probably made in tiny batches by a stooped old man in a cellar whose family has done nothing but make artisan mustard for seven generations. This stuff was STRONG. So the potato salad basically became a burning mass of acid that most of the old ladies couldn’t handle. Except for this tiny little lady who was sitting next to me – she absolutely loved it. (There was a ton left over, because it was a big recipe, and she took a huge container of it home with her. It was pretty adorable.) And it was really pretty looking! And then there were the sloppy joes. Following the suggestion of one of the staff members, we cut the spiciness by about half to avoid any tummy problems. And sloppy joes aren’t even spicy to begin with – just a touch of chili powder and paprika. But pretty much every lady was practically having a hot flash during the main course. I guess it’s just because French food – and most western European food – is so incredibly un-spicy. But all the other international students agreed that it wasn’t spicy at all. Aside from the “spiciness” though, everyone was quite fascinated by the flavor created by all of the weird ingredients that go into BBQ sauce (you know – sugar, cloves, ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar, etc.).

But the banana bars! If any of the other strange combinations made people question the discretion of the American palate, a cake made of bananas and cheese really drove the point home. But it was a resounding success. Everyone loved it, and all of the copies of the recipe were taken afterwards. Thanks, Muti!

Then, on Saturday, I had the opportunity to participate in yet another awesome inter-generational activity. This one was a weekend trip in the Haut-Doubs. (I live in the Doubs department, and when you head south of Besançon, up into the more mountainy country, it becomes the “haut” or “high” Doubs.) There is a really cool initiative that got started a couple of years ago when one of the assisted living facilities in town opened. It moved into an existing building and because of safety codes and the existing elevator situation, elderly people could only occupy the first four of the seven stories. So someone had the idea to rent the upper three floors to college students, giving them a discount on their rent if they spent time doing social engagement with their older neighbors. So this trip consisted of fifteen seniors from various different facilities, four university students who live in the one shared building, and four staff members. There were a few extra spots, and because Michel apparently knows every single person in town, they were offered to ESN students. But because everyone is so busy with exams, I was the only one who signed up!

It ended up working out really well, though. Because I didn’t really know anyone (aside from a few of the seniors who I had met at the Olympiad) I got to meet a whole bunch of new people. And I made a really great new friend – one of the other students was an incredibly nice girls who is here doing her undergraduate degree, but is originally from Madagascar. So we spent much of the weekend together.

Our program started with a visit to the absinthe distillery in Pontarlier that I had already visited with ESN. But it was fun to go back and sample 50° alcohols at 10am! Always a great way to start the day, and particularly interesting with a group of spunky senior citizens!

The second stop was a little picnic in the mountains, next to a playground that was kind of cool, but mostly creepy. There were little people statues on all of the equipment…

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Next was a little visit to “La Maison de la Réserve”, a nearby nature reserve. We toured the center and listened to a presentation about some of the native species. Unfortunately, due to the limited mobility of some of the seniors, as well as some chilly temperatures, we couldn’t do any hiking, but it was fun to learn a bit about the local wildlife and appreciate the pretty scenery.

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The last stop was the village of Rochejean, population 549. Here, we checked into our hostel, Le Souleret, which is a joint venture with an educational farm, La Batailleuse, a kilometer up the road.

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The farm, which keeps goats, cows, chickens, and a smattering of other farmy animals, produces organic goat and cow dairy products, as well as runs programs to teach the practices of organic farming and food production. They have a little shop where they sell their products, ranging from chèvre to honey to yogurt to bread. They also have an on-site bakery that we got to tour. The oven, which is basically a brick-lined slit in the wall, produces 80 kilos of bread a day! All of which the baker apparently insists on kneading by hand…

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We arrived just in time to observe the milking of the goats. There were also several pens of adorable babies, who were unfortunately a bit too squirmy for my camera to capture well.

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Down at the hostel, they host anybody who is working/interning/vacationing at the farm. The best part was that they serve three meals a day, made with as many of their own ingredients as possible. Our dinner on Saturday night was a green salad and morbiflette, accompanied by copious amounts of fresh bread. (I think that morbiflette is my favorite Franc-Comtois dish – potatoes, onions, bacon, and lots and lots of morbier cheese.) And then for dessert, we had a magical homemade blueberry tart that turned all of our faces purple. Breakfast on Sunday was lots more bread, homemade orange jam, fresh butter, honey, and fruit. Then for lunch, we had salad, little pastries stuffed with chèvre, herbs, and a touch of apple (they were absolutely divine), and beans and rice (and one of the old cows from the farm…). Dessert was a little ramekin of fresh faisselle (kind of like a loose plain yogurt with tiny, tiny curds of cheese) topped with a confiture of green tomatoes. I tried the confiture just to be a sport, but it was so delicious that I almost ate as much of it as the faisselle!

But right before lunch, we took a little (and very slow) stroll about the village. It was a good chance to chat with some of the ladies, who had some really interesting stories. It was all quite picturesque – lots of rolling hills and smatterings of houses.

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Over the course of the weekend, I got the chance to chat with really cool people from three (maybe even four) generations. And I learned that I may need to take some time to live and work on a farm in tiny French village before I die.

Posted by NKammerer 15:26 Archived in France Tagged animals nature farm classes absinthe morbiflette pontarlier retirement_home intergenerational_activities finalsamerican_foodesn rochejean maison_de_la_réserve Comments (4)

This Semester is Going Way too Quickly!

I'm kicking these classes' asses! (I hope...)

rain 7 °C

Happy Easter weekend!!!

My classes are slowly ticking themselves off. The academic schedule is very different here; without getting into too many confusing details, not all classes last the same amount of weeks, depending upon the number of hours that it meets each week, or on how many sub-sections it is divided into. (My Methods and Techniques of Art History class is essentially three different courses, with three different professors. One is on the techniques of stained glass in the Middle Ages, one was on the differences between the representations of men and women on Greek ceramics, and yet another focuses on the iconography of the Old Testament.) The ceramics section is already done and over with, as well as my 19th century French Theatre class. I haven’t decided yet which system sucks less – having finals spread out over the semester to ensure that you are constantly studying, or having them all shoved into one week during which you wish you had never been born…

I had thought that the rainy season was in October/November when we had a few good weeks of rain on most days. But apparently not; this is the rainy season. So far, we have had a straight week of rain that lasts at least half of every day. The river is really high right now; the pathways along the water are completely underwater.

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(That little white blob is a duck...)

The stay-cation that I had planned for last weekend was a bit foiled by the weather, but I did manage to get into the Musée des Beaux-Arts, the big fine arts museum in town. It is, for all intents and purposes, closed for renovation until 2017, but they have opened a few of the front galleries for a short exposition of Cuban fliers from the ‘60s to today. It was interesting; some of them were political, promoting solidarity with Vietnam or post-revolutionary patriotism, and others were for contemporary arts festivals or social issues. I’m glad that I at least got to enter the building, because I walk by it practically every day and it just taunts me.

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(Photo taken on a much more pleasant day last semester...)

Last weekend, I also had the opportunity to participate in another community event with ESN. This one was the “Inter-Generational Olympiad” organized by the association of assisted-living facilities here in town. There are six different residences, and each one brought a team of 8-10 competitors, and there were eight ESN students divided among the teams, as well as a bunch of high school students who are active in their neighborhood community centers. So we just spent the whole day playing games. There was Dutch shuffleboard (I was awful), a little obstacle course, pin-the-country-on-the-world-map, song recognition (I was lost with all of the French oldies, but then I scored us extra points because I could say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” better than the lady with the answer sheet…), basketball, and Wii rafting (the lady I paired with was so enthusiastic that I couldn’t keep up and we pretty much just went in circles…). And then promptly at noon, we stopped for a four-course lunch. Because that’s just what you do. Our first course was a freshly made shrimp and spinach soup, followed by cold celery and/or salmon salads, then a choice between a piece of cheese or onion tart, and then chocolate mousse for dessert. After that, we were ready to continue, and we competed for a couple more hours. Then a lady busted out a barrel organ and everyone started singing old folk songs. Unfortunately, no one under 30 knew the words, so all of the younger people just sort of migrated to the back of the hall, where we got a chance to chat a bit. Then came the awards – my group, the residence Hortensias, won “Most Fair-Play Team”. What up?!

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Also, this week, I discovered the snack food that has been missing from my life – dried figs! Yes, my "old man" eating habits (that's Eva's name for it, because I love Grape Nuts, porridge, and baked goods with fruits and nuts) have reached a new height. I don’t recall seeing them in Omaha…maybe I just never really noticed them because they look so thoroughly unappetizing. But that is just a defense mechanism; they are incredible! So I’m spending this rainy weekend writing my VERY LAST presentation and eating figs. And preparing for the Easter egg hunt that will be taking place on campus on Monday…

Posted by NKammerer 07:04 Archived in France Comments (4)

A Two-Day Trek around Luxembourg and Lorraine

Just when Spring was getting into full swing in Besançon, I headed up North for a lovely brisk weekend to remind myself of what I was leaving behind!

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I spent this last weekend on an ESN trip that consisted of a power-visit to the city of Luxembourg on Saturday (we arrived at about 11am, then hit the road again at 5pm) and Metz, in the Lorraine region of France, on Sunday (we arrived on Saturday evening, and left on Sunday evening). This sort of visit is obviously not very conducive to the find-a-good-map-and-wander technique that I have been perfecting over the past few months – it’s a bit more like find-the-special-tourist-map-and-run-from-highlight-to-highlight. But it is fun to travel with friends, too. It’s nice to actually have people to talk to every once in a while…

In Luxembourg it was chilly and cloudy most of the day, which make for a few hazy photos. But the city was quite beautiful, and must be gorgeous in the summer. The city is sort of divided in half by a big valley, which is mostly park space and old neighborhoods.

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With four friends, I ran around to churches, the ducal palace, and ate a lunch which was perhaps indicative of the fact that we were in the second-richest country in the world – we ordered a carafe of tap water for the table (free in I think every restaurant I’ve eaten at), but here it was 8 euros! That’s more than what “fancy” carbonated water costs in France. Kinda crazy.

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After lunch, we ran into some others in our group who told us that we had to check out the old casemate fortress. We had actually seen it from afar – it’s sort of carved into the side of the valley. It was pretty cool, lots of maze-y stone cave spaces and some spiral staircases with incredibly tiny and uneven stone treads, which is always a nightmare with my giant feet.

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Then a few people in the group wanted to check out a quarter that had some cool modern development. It was kind of bizarre, because we had to hike through some woods to get there from the town center. We took a minor wrong turn and ended up wandering through the trees for a few minutes, but then we came across this gem of modern art, which served as our entrée into the development.

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It was strange; this seemingly isolated neighborhood was highly developed and very West Omaha-feeling. It’s hardly something that I have missed, but I saw my first 10-lane street in about seven months.

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We arrived in Metz around 7pm and were let loose to find dinner. We walked from the hostel to the centre-ville, and passed through a bunch of charming dark and narrow streets lined with shutters on the way. I was a bit disappointed when my group decided to eat at Subway. (In general, I have been quite successful in avoiding American and even large French companies. There are just so many small businesses here, and the quality and atmosphere is always heads and tails above anything from a chain. Like anywhere, really.) But it ended up being an interesting experience. It’s probably been about a year since I’ve eaten at an American Subway, so maybe some things have changed. But here I was able to order a veggie patty on my sandwich, and get a yummy Thai sauce. And here, they toast the bread automatically. For some criminal reason, they use the same bread as in the US, which is like a sad gluten marshmallow compared to anything that any self-respecting French boulangerie would sell. So my guess is that the auto-toast is an attempt to make our American pillow-bread more appealing to the French palate…

Anyways, Metz is home to about as many churches as cafés. So that was a good chunk of what we saw throughout the day on Sunday. There was a good variety of periods represented, and wide range in their states of conservation.

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Also, perhaps a reflection of the religious inclinations of the city, we walked down - literally - Hell Street. That would definitely provide for a fun address!

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The whole centre-ville was dominated by the enormous cathedral on a hill in the centre. We couldn’t not go inside, but it was Sunday morning, so there was a mass going on. As would make sense, the atmosphere of one of these cavernous and ornate buildings is entirely different when it is in use. Those gothic architects really struck a balance between wonder and oppression. Only about two-thirds of the nave was taken up with seats, and the back third was open for people to go in and out during the mass. But there were still a good two hundred people in attendance, and I would have been curious to know how many were Messiens and how many were tourists.

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In addition to churches, we checked out the deserted Sunday centre-ville, a part of the city’s old fortress, the Governor’s palace, and the new Centre Pompidou, Part 2.

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Besançon seems to be waking up after winter. There are all kinds of events going on everywhere. I also feel like I’m starting to discover a whole new side of the city, thanks to my artist conversation partner. On Friday, we went to a Hot Shops-style (art studio/gallery/showroom space in Omaha) collective, then a bar that specializes in absinthe and regionally-produced beer. I think I’m due for a stay-cation this weekend to just check out/revisit some of the museums and markets and things that I’ve started to take for granted!

Posted by NKammerer 03:10 Archived in France Tagged churches cathedral spring luxembourg metz centre-ville esn casemates pompidou_centre_metz Comments (4)

The flood of work has subsided...

... so bring on the real stuff!

sunny 15 °C

In the wake of my trip to Prague, I have kept incredibly busy, but much less glamorously. I spent most of my first week back working on my next two presentations, both of which are thankfully over now. The first, a relatively easy one, was for my “French Perfectionment” class of international students. The assignment was to give a 5-minute presentation comparing an aspect of our culture with France. People have compared Mexican public transport, Brazilian dance, Italian Christmas, German cars, Chinese weddings, and other topics. They’re quite fun to sit through! For mine, I chose to compare high school extra-curricular activities. My main resource was my friend Théo, who explained to me that school-sponsored sports do not exist here at all, and, though they exist in most schools, social and academic clubs are nowhere near as big of a deal as they are in the US. In general, there just isn’t any form of inter-school competition. And a side effect of that is that there are no mascots, which is something that I had sort of subconsciously noted when I started at the University, but had not quite put my finger on. In all, the presentation went really well; people seemed interested (it’s not only France that has a system like this, so the system I was presenting was new to some students as well) and I got a really good grade!

So that presentation was an ego-boost to prepare me for the next scary one, the “analysis of the representation of hoplite warriors on ancient Greek ceramics” one. I spent an inordinate amount of time preparing for it, but that meant that I was pretty comfortable with the subject. It all started really well (this one was also a lot less scary than the first research presentation I gave because the class is only about 10 students) but then it got awkward when I started to present one of my comparison vases. The professor stopped me and asked if I had, by any chance, read the program of other exposés for the semester. I had, but like a month and a half ago, when I signed up for my presentation date. Because the subject of the next girl’s presentation was that vase. So that was kind of bad; I just had to sort of gloss over my analysis so as not to steal her thunder. Oops. And I probably won’t know my grade on that one until I get my grade for the course.

Probably the most exciting thing that I have done in the past week – and it was pretty fun – was to participate in an ESN event called the “Cultural Market”. It was the culmination of a big series of activities aimed to get highschoolers interested in studying abroad while they are in college. The event consisted of 10 or 12 of the countries represented in the group cooking up a bunch of traditional foods, to be served at a huge event to which whole high school classes were invited, but it was open to the university and the public as well. The other two Americans here this semester, from Tennessee and Boston, and I had a table where we served a super starchy selection of chicken pot pie, garlic-spinach mashed potatoes, potato salad, and rocky road.

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I had been a little worried that people wouldn’t be very interested in our table, because American food has pretty effectively permeated global cuisine. But there was a constant line at our table, and all of the dishes were popular and seemed to widen some people’s perspectives of American food. And the rocky road was gone in about ten minutes…

A lot of students were really excited to test out a bit of their English with us (it’s mandatory here from middle school through high school, but for those who don’t really take an interest, it tends to be only slightly more effective than an American foreign language education). Though we were busy, I did get a chance to slip away and pile a plate with little bits of Syrian tabbouleh, Romanian stew, Italian spinachy pastry and chocolate balls, Greek semolina cake, Polish pierogis, Cyprian cheese, and Bolivian dumplings. A pretty successful night, I’d say.

Here’s an article from one of the local papers…it’s in French, but there is a slideshow with some good pictures at the top! http://www.estrepublicain.fr/loisirs/2015/03/13/besancon-erasmus-explique-aux-lyceens

My weekend got off to an interesting start when, yesterday, I woke up to find that a good portion of my floor was mysteriously wet. As my room is only 9 square meters, including the bathroom and closet, it didn’t take long to discover that the water was coming from the threshold between my bathroom and the rest of the room, as well as seeping up from between some of the floor tiles… So after I had exhausted my modest supply of dish towels trying to mop things up and packed my bag with a day’s worth of work, I went and reported my little flood to the woman at the front desk. Between my inability to explain the problem completely and succinctly, and the strange nature of the problem that I was trying to describe, I don’t think she really believed me. So she followed me to my room, and after a couple of “Ooh la las” and lots of head shaking, she said she’d report the problem to the maintenance man.

I just took the opportunity to take a nice springy walk downtown to spend the day working on park benches and in coffee shops. It turned out to be quite pleasant, as it was the first “Pedestrian Saturday” of the season. So practically every shop was wide open, there were multiple music groups playing in various locations, and it seemed like about a third of the city was out to just enjoy the day. It was all quite lovely and springy and I really wish I had thought to grab my camera!

Posted by NKammerer 12:09 Archived in France Tagged spring presentations esn art_history international_food dorm_flood Comments (4)

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