A city of culture and colour, history and Heather.

It’s only been a few days since I’ve left The Land Down Under, and yet, I’ve learned a lot about myself: 

 A) I’m easily fascinated. This became especially obvious when I was on the plane-the people sitting next to me thought it was hilarious when I became excited about the wrapped packets of cutlery. My French family were also bemused by my reaction towards the Italian sweets they brought home. 

B) My French is terrible. So far, out of every rapid conversation I’ve paid attention to, I’ve only understood one word per sentence. I hope to increase that number to three words by the end of my stay here. 

C) The little things are what make the differences in cultures most apparent. For example:
– my French family doesnโ€™t own a microwave , nor an oven. This is making my quest for a cup of tea very difficult.
– the bathrooms here have pink toilet paper (although, apparently, white paper can also be used).
– “doughnuts,” are labelled “doony’s,” in France. There’s no need for the change, however-everyone just calls them “doughnuts,” anyway.
– French people never have eggs for breakfast. That’s just plain weird to me!
– Although this is well-known, it still freaked me out when I saw it in action for the first time: they drive on the right (wrong) side of the road. 

D) I love it here. 

 I haven’t really had much of a chance to do much due to jetlag and a lack of clean clothing (see: second part of the poorly-presented, ridiculously long video linked below) so for the past few days, I’ve spent most of my time getting to know the family I’m staying with. They’re absolutely lovely, but the two girls’ proficiency with the English language is rather daunting. They’re both so good that I don’t know what I can teach them! 

 I’ve been eating well, because mealtimes and food in general are really important in France. My French dad, Marc, is a fantastic chef, and loves to experiment with his cooking. I know for certain that I am not going to starve here. 

 On Sunday, I went for a short walk with my French mum, Sylvie, and the family’s lovely dog, Pinup. The suburb where I live is incredibly beautiful, especially in springtime. The town explodes with colour: buildings are painted with vivid shades of red, orange, and yellow; vibrant flowers peek out from every walled garden; and the land is carpeted in lush greenery not found in a drought-stricken country like my home. When walking through the town centre, I felt like I was on a movie set due to the 18th century buildings and cobblestone paths. It’s incredible to be living in a place so rich with history. On Friday, I plan on going for another walk and checking out the bakery-as a lover of bread, eating an authentic French baguette is a priority for me.

Monday was spent celebrating Easter, which is known as Pรขques in France. They don’t have the Easter Bunny here; instead, French children believe that chocolates are delivered by flying bells. I hunted for bonbons in the garden with the two girls (and learned that Easter chocolates aren’t just shaped like the traditional chickens and rabbits, but also cows, fish, ducks and bells) before enjoying a beautiful lunch with the family. Oh dear, it looks like my blog has already become food-oriented! 

 Tomorrow, I plan on taking the bus and subway into the heart of Lyon and exploring the grand city. It should be an interesting adventure.

Until next time,
Heather. 

 I made a few (abominable-quality) videos to document my journey of approximately 16,800 kilometres from Sydney to Lyon. If you’re willing to watch over sixteen minutes of me blabbering about nothing in particular, here are the links:
Part one: http://youtu.be/KLiILF-X0tQ
Part two: http://youtu.be/F-EcQ7kAEDs
 

Below is the poor-quality photograph of Iran from 40,000 feet, taken through a window on my phone. During those rare moments when I could see land below, my nose remained permanently glued to the glass! 

  

Featured photo is of the Maison Forte, a beautiful 18th century building that is now used as a tourism centre and music school.

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27 thoughts on “A city of culture and colour, history and Heather.

  1. Hahaha. What’re you doing during the time you’re in France? (just coz maybe I can duck over for a day ๐Ÿ˜› ) I love the blog sooo much. And, it’s so weird because I don’t remember you having an Aussie accent, but it sounds so strong to me now. XD I can’t wait to hear my first bogan accent at the Sydney airport… hehe x Lots of love, Heather!!

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    1. I’m staying with a family and teaching their two girls English! It’s a bit weird-I have to sit down and prepare lesson plans and things-but really rewarding, and I have stacks of free time ๐Ÿ™‚ ooh yes, and I can show you around Lyon! Maybe I can do the same for Germany ๐Ÿ˜€ omg you are so sweet :’) thank you! It even sounds really strong to me now-I can’t imagine what it’ll be like after six months in Europe…LOTS OF LOVE, RONJA โค

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      1. Wow, that sounds amazing!!! Do you have weekends free?? I’m living in Bonn at the moment, which is alright and you’re welcome to visit, but I’ll be in Berlin sometime late June – that’s where it’s all at. I’d love to show you around โค โค haha (only if you want ๐Ÿ˜› )

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  2. Heather!!! I’ve saved this link and I’m reading everything you post and also the videos are funny!

    When you come back we will have nothing to talk about because I will already know everything from reading your amazing blog!!!

    Miss you! ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxox

    A.K.O

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your accent makes me so happy, I can’t. Also super jealous of the French food because now all I can thinking about is baguettes (thanks a lot). I’m so excited for you, though, and I can’t wait to read about more of your adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Awwww you are the sweetest omg and my accent is disgusting, what are you even on about haha
      THE BAGUETTES ARE AMAZING FRENCH BAKERIES ARE JUST SO GREAT WOW (sorrynotsorry)
      Thank you!! I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post on here, but I’ll try and keep you updated c:

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  4. Now since you did all those silly thinks with booking your flight to close to gether I will know to book my flight a day a part and leave early to catch them. But that is if I go oversea in the future.
    Thanks heather and I will follow you until you come back home.
    P.S I loved your videos they told me a lot about want not to do and how much fun you are having in that few days.
    Miss you and love

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shhhh, not silly, just misinformed. My travel agent told me that it would be ok, and that I wouldn’t have to do anything-turns out, he was wrong. It’s ok, though-booking ahead won’t affect you, anyway, because you don’t have issues with food! The leaving early thing wasn’t just our problem, it was everyone’s-THAT was the trouble. Everyone wanted to leave for the 6am flight at the same time, and, as you can imagine, 300 people can’t get through one terminal very quickly. Definitely a good idea to get there three or even two-and-a-half hours before, instead of two like that suggest on the ticket.
      You will go overseas, Teags! It’s fun-you have to ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks, you lovely person! I’m so glad you liked that rambling mess-honestly, I had no idea what I was doing haha
      Miss you too! Send my love to the whole family ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. I was going to comment just now but then my internet died and then I proceeded to reading for like the next few hours (re-reading, for that matter, the chaos walking trilogy is my favourite dystopian series of all time; it made me cry so hard i was even crying the next day at school #embarrassing) (sorry gonna stop tangent-ing)

    but woahhhhhhhhh, heather your french family seems so nice! I’ve honestly seen French people as always being this incredibly kind, compassionate group of people. And nothing much has really changed that.

    AND HOW ARE THERE NO OVENS AT LEAST?! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ is it a custom or something there? just today i toasted food so many times for breakfast (i mean, frozen food is the best)

    Also, the featured pic is taken so nicely! Is france really green/full of greenery? Because that’s what I’ve always imagined it as. The french architecture is so archaic it’s so beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ Is the house you’re staying in the typical single, fenced-off kind?

    Finally I’m really curious to know how the girls you’re supposed to be teaching english to are doing? Any progress?? And is their english really THAT good? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ #billingualism How is the school system there like?

    Please eat some baguettes for me :v xx stay safe yo!

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    1. also that plane ride at dubai seemed crazy omg hahaha, can see you got off to an eventful start! i would honestly just curl into a ball and roll around if i were in your position bc who needs adults responsibilities D:

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      1. I felt like doing it omg it was crazy and I am so proud for actually getting through it all when all I wanted to do was sleep and get to freaking France already hahaha

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    2. Haha that’s ok-you can be as tangential as you like :L I’ll have to read it!
      My family is lovely-they like to travel, and are going to take me to heaps of places! They’ve been really accommodating and helpful so far; they’ve given me maps and lifts to the city, for example, and have coped with my irritating food allergy very well! Honestly, they’re all really lovely c:
      There are ovens, just no microwaves or kettles! I miss my peppermint tea :/ but I found a Starbucks at l’Hรดtel de Ville, so everything is ok!
      France is soooo green. I don’t think I’ve seen a single blade of yellow grass here yet! You’ll see what I mean when I upload the pictures of le Parc de la Tรชte d’Or ๐Ÿ™‚ honestly, it’s incredible! And it is actually so old and gorgeous-I love it! It is, indeed-it’s a big house, with a huge garden and swimming pool, and has an electric gate. It’s brightly coloured, like the all houses in the south of France! Have you been? You seem to know a lot ๐Ÿ˜›
      At first, it was a bit of a shock, because they’re both really good and expected proper lessons, but I’m getting the hang of it. The eldest is fantastic at speaking and listening, but has trouble with writing, and the youngest could improve with pronunciation, reading and writing. You wouldn’t believe it, Claire-to help the youngest practice her writing, we wrote 1D fanfiction together hahahaha
      I HAVE EATEN SO MANY BAGUETTES YES I get them whenever I eat out and just French bread is so amazing omg
      Thanks my dear! Xx

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      1. no, i’ve literally never been to any european countries it actually saddens me!!
        and at least u’ve got starbucks lol, i was talking about starbucks here and people were giving me weird looks. i was like GUYS U ARE MISSING OUT ON SO MUCH

        and writing 1d fanfics? AHAHAHAAH IT ALWAYS HELPS IMPROVE YOUR LANGUAGE PROFICIENTCY (i have firsthand experience and i can’t deny that) (and even if i’m not that into 1d…)

        FRENCH AND ITALIAN FOOD ASDKLHFKDGHL;, THEY.ARE.THE.BEST. (lasagnnneee)

        and the eldest has troubs at writing? i see they picked the right person to stay with them then ๐Ÿ˜‰ *winksssssssss*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s an incredible experience-you must go at least once in your life! The history is unbelievable.
        Omg we don’t have starbucks in Canberra so whenever we see one it is so exciting. I admit, I got pretty hyped about seeing it, which is hilarious considering I had just seen something so beautiful as the Basilique de Fourviere hahahahah I am seriously looking forward to that chai lattรฉ tho omg
        HAHAHA MY FIRST EVER FANFIC-IT WAS LEGENDARY! I only suggested it because she likes (obsesses over) 1D and wasn’t motivated to do the lesson, and it ended up being a good way to practice!
        Wait…YOU WROTE FANFIC!?!?!
        Soooo good. I am so ready to eat authentic brioche hahaha
        Awwwww, you are sweet, but nah haha

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      3. right back at you, buddy โค have ton of fun okay? i promise to check wordpress more so i don't miss your updates xD also pls pls pls stay safe yeh? and most importantly HAVE FUN HAVE FUN HAVE FUN
        gon go sleep now, it's like 2am and i've got some bedtime reading to get done c:
        NIGHT! or afternoon, or morning, or whatever time zone you're in bc i have no idea!

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      4. You are too lovely omg
        And yes!!! I will ๐Ÿ˜€ I will hopefully update before I go skiing ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you very much, lovely person!
        It’s night (but the sun’s still out) so good night!!!!

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  6. Hello Heather!

    Love your blog. You’re doing a great job. Very funny and informative. It was good to chat with you the other day too. Enjoy the snow!!

    Luv ya! With beer bells!

    Teta

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TETA!! Thank you so much-when I get back from the Alps and can access internet for longer than 30 minutes, I’ll check out yours! It was fantastic to chat with you too-we should do it more often. Love you lots!
      Heather c:

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  7. Hi Love, I am enjoying reading about your travels, I am at tetas today we are having a mother daughter day. You seem to be having a great time. The snow photo brings back memories of when Dida used to take us there. Love Ya your Baba XO

    Liked by 1 person

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