Yesterday was not a good day.
The morning started out cold and rainy, and I had to drag out the scarf and heavy coat again after thinking they were done for the season. Definitely the first time I’ve ever had to wear four layers in April. To go from the beautiful sunny weather we had last week to the cold was almost worse than having never had the good weather at all!
I had all my most boring classes, didn’t have time for lunch, and was generally in a bad mood for the entire afternoon. I even missed my connector bus after dinner at the yucky school cafeteria and had to walk a few miles home in the rain.
I got home ready to crash, but I had to stay up to try to figure out travel plans for the entire month of May, which quickly became way too overwhelming to do in one night. I suddenly just wanted to scrap it all and pay someone (my dad, my host family, another exchange student, a random vagabond off the street) to do it for me. I’ve clearly lost my ability to work under pressure from being in this always-relaxed country; I was close to tears all night.
I should consider myself lucky, though. If I have one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day during my entire study abroad experience, I think I’ll consider it a successful trip. And thus we move on to the positive.
I got a good night’s rest, which made it a little easier to wake up this morning and realize that the world would continue even if I didn’t find the world’s cheapest train ticket to Barcelona.
A new French friend invited me to lunch at her apartment and I enjoyed some delicious pizza and a few hours of conversation en français. Talking with people my own age is always a great learning experience-it’s so much easier to catch slang words and more modern ways of saying things. Sometimes I think my family unnecessarily simplifies conversations for my benefit.
The postman told me I had a “very understandable” accent and that I spoke well: definitely the way to make any Study Abroad kid’s day. Life Tip: If you ever speak to a foreigner who is the least bit coherent, please be nice and tell them that you think they’re great. It’s the best encouragement any language learner can receive, and will only make them try harder to impress you.
Best of all, I received an Easter package from my mom full of lovely, fattening presents. Sometimes, chocolate really does make everything better.
All in all, it’s been a tough week. For the first time since I got to France, I’ve been a little stressed, and it’s definitely thrown off my groove. It’s nothing I can’t handle, and nothing I haven’t dealt with before, but it’s just not something I’m used to in this environment. But hey-things will get better very soon, and then I’ll be able to enjoy the rest of my travels through Europe!