This past fortnight has been one of those “il faut profiter du fait d’etre étudiant Erasmus” (you need to make the most of being an Erasmus student) periods. Swiftly followed by a harsh bump back to reality in the form of exam revision – I have one exam on Monday 7th May, 2 exams on the 9th, and 2 on the 10th, all for completely disparate subjects and a mix of oral and written formats – hence the belated blogging update.
(as ever, click to embiggen)
First off, the church wedding of Mr and Mrs Fogle, otherwise known as Ethan and Jessye… once we got there (bus service let us down) the ceremony was lovely, Jessye’s dress gorgeous and very ‘her’ with the dangling hearts, and the international aperatif (finger-buffet) afterwards excellent. As my first church wedding, it’s set a high standard.
Then spent Easter Sunday with some English and American people from church getting a bit of grief for my accent and pronunciation of sword and suit, but having some nice ice-cream and tea (separately). Quick survey: who here would traditionally roll eggs down a hill for Easter?
Toot-sweet, off to Paris on the TGV where I caught up with the family and caused much confusion by speaking French to the hotel receptionnist. Parisians! (Or as Mr Leiper, high school French teacher, would have us say: “Parisites!” Got to love a Mr Leiper joke…).
While there, arranged for the lovely Ellen to come spend the night and receive some top tips for Strasbourg tourism, which she did and it was great. Thankfully the weather was much more obliging than it had been for my previous Glasgow university visitors, so she had a nice stroll up to the European Institutions on the Thursday before Navs and then we had a [insert synonym for lovely, I don’t want to overuse] morning on the Friday seeing Petite France and the Cathedral before meeting Cara for lunch, where I’m happy to say I completely converted Ellen to the wonder that is Alsacian wine. As a side-note, my family appeared to be under the impression that I’ve turned into a bit of an alcoholic or “wino”… they were the ones ordering wine with every Parisian meal. Just sayin’. But for the avoidance of any doubt, following the wine route I do enjoy a nice glass (or two on special occasions) of Pinot Gris or Gerwurztraminer, but am definitely not at the stage of sneaking my bottles out under cover of darkness.
Anyway, after a trip round the Alsacien Museum with Ellen and Cara, it was back to dear Paul Appell to grab my stuff, and off to Achern on the Deutsche-Bahn to visit Andrew’s warehouse (Anna got to play with the forklift truck!) and prepare for hitting the German clubbing scene. We’d belatedly found out that it was 16+ night in the club on the industrial estate (cue girls looking 12 wearing little but make-up) but still reckoned our chances were better there than in the swingers’ club next door. Some interesting music choices were going on; upsettingly given we were the only ones giving it yaldi on his secondary dancefloor, the DJ refused to play either Nena or Rihanna. He did shower us with foam which he appeared to believe made up for this deficiency…
After spending the night on the office floor, Saturday afternoon was a general “sorting life out” few hours, uploading facebook photos, downloading lecture notes, etc, etc.
Then Sunday dawned bright and drizzly and it was off to Europa Park on the 7h45 bus. Germany’s biggest theme park, it was a bit too wannabe Disney and not quite bold enough in its own right for me – I love a good rollercoaster and there were a couple, but it would have been better if they’d concentrated on beefing them up rather than fitting things up with your general M&Ds type rides. Still, the drizzlieness of the day meant that comparatively few had ventured forth, and the only queue of more than 10 minutes was 20 for Europe’s only Wooden roller-coaster. Maybe I was just prejudiced because the Union Jack bit of the park was named England.
Since getting home on Sunday, it’s been mostly revision time. So much more difficult in French, who’d’a thunk it?!