Bienvenue à Montpellier
Welcome to my new home! (At least for the next three months). Now that it’s been two weeks, I’ve settled down, classes are going well and I’m getting assimilated (mostly) into the French culture and Language. I feel comfortable about getting around the beautiful city of Montpellier, with the occasional help from my GPS of course. However, I do admit that I’m still a bit apprehensive about ordering food in restaurants because twice now, I’ve gotten my food and it was not what I was expecting. The first time, I thought I ordered a simple salad but imagine my surprise when I saw mussels on my plate. I am not the biggest fan of see food, but last night my host family prepared black mussels and I enjoyed it. It could be because sea food is fresh here due to the proximity to the mediterranean sea but I’ve learned that I don’t hate sea food, as I’ve told almost anyone willing to listen. Such small discoveries about myself are part of what is exciting about studying abroad.
I’ve wanted to do this post but kept putting it off because each day I would discover something new about Montpellier that I wanted to capture. I’ve realized that it is impossible to capture it all at once and to share little by little over time. These pictures were taken this past Sunday when I went out for a morning walk around 8:30am. At this time, the city almost felt deserted because most stores were not yet open and people were yet to start their day. With the gothic buildings and cobalt stone side walks, it felt almost as though I had gone back in time. It was very tranquil, a huge contrast from the daily busy streets with pedestrians, cars and cyclists. Which is something I’m still trying to get used to. Sometimes it feels as though there is no designated place for cars and pedestrians; they all use the same road. My general goal now is to not get hit during my commutes. Just like any situation, there will often be a upside and downside to change. One thing I absolutely love about French culture is that they take time to socialize in person. Whether during dinner or taking a two hour lunch break to catch up with friends. With that however, most businesses are closed between noon and 2pm, which can be very inconveniencing coming from a the US, which seems to have everything open 24/7. But I’ve learned to work my schedule and errands around these hours.
As for my routine, I have majority of it down; with classes Monday through Thursday, the weekends are wide open for traveling and exploring other French cities. I am currently looking into joining activities outside of class so I can use my French in a non-formal manner. It will also give me the opportunity to make local friends and immerse myself into the culture. I hope these pictures give you a little insight as to what Montpellier is like.
Until next time!