Tales Of An Irish Student In Lyon
“HOLA senorita!” I said cheerily to my new Spanish roomies. I was given a blank look in response. I was bemused at this rather flat response to my admittedly hearty welcome. I mean, did they expect me to break into a Flamenco dance? “We Spanish, we do not like the stereotypes,” my tanned and seemingly hostile room-mate responded to me. Deflated, I slunk into my room on a mission to spend the evening crying to Señorita by Justin Timberlake while being thankful that my lack of Spanish language hadn’t allowed me to ask them what I had originally planned – if they would like a lend of my farmer uncle’s bull for the next bull fight in their city.
Basically, I’m a French student who, last February, spontaneously decided to take an Erasmus place to Lyon. Lured by the prospect of another year in college, a potential sun tan and an attempt to somewhat solidify my Arts degree (I can now work in McDonalds in France!) I gallivanted to Lyon on my twentieth birthday at the end of August. Running off in the direction of Duty Free, far away as possible from my overly-emotional mother at the departure gates, I pondered on the potential year ahead. Estimating that it would take approximately three months to morph into Coco Chanel, and perhaps four months to secure a marriage to a man called Pierre, off I went to France for a year.
So far, Lyon has been fantastic. However, there have been shocking developments – I’m pretty sure the only language that I’ve improved upon since arriving here is English, given that I might as well be in Dublin for the amount of Irish people I hang around with. In another nod to my Irishness, I’ve joined the GAA club (returning from an early retirement from my under-12 team days) and have attempted to join Irish dancing classes, but couldn’t as they were too expensive (shockingly, there is no discount for actually being Irish). In the meantime, I’m lamenting the existance of 8am classes, developing great friendships with the managers of Irish pubs and pumping my Erasmus grant back into the EU via H&M like the thoughtful citizen that I am. Now however, I’m off to perfect my solo runs….
Photo c/o exchange360.org