THERE are certain things that they don’t mention on glossy Erasmus brochures. They omit that the lovely French boy with an inviting smile on the front of the brochure’s girlfriend is just out of shot. They forget to mention the fact that nice sausages are an endangered species within the country and, most tragically, that classes start at 8am. How careless.
However, I’m back in Lyon after a prolonged trip of nourishment and money gathering, sorry, ‘family visiting,’ in Ireland over Christmas. After four weeks of painful deliberating (…lying in bed) classes have been chosen, not without a stern talking to myself about not repeating last semester, which solely consisted of spending my Erasmus grant like it was 2007 and sampling the local haunts.
Waving our EU health insurance cards in the air like we just didn’t care, myself and my brave friends gallivanted to Courchevel ski resort for a day. Given that, my ski experience to date had consisted of skating down the back lawn during the winter of 2009, I wasn’t overly optimistic about my chances. But surely it would be ok? Apparently not. A mere hour later due to becoming blinded – my life flashing in front of my eyes – I was somehow lying off piste. To add insult to injury, young children whizzed past me, having obviously spent their lives on the slopes. Making a mental promise to make weekly trips to the Dublin mountains during the winter of next year, holding on tight to my ever-suffering friend, made it down the slopes in an accidental re-enactment of a Titanic scene. Never did the ‘I’ll never let go Jack’ line become so relevant!
Two weeks later, I am approaching Valentine’s Day in the country of romance with various battered body parts from skiing, a cold and an ever-declining faith in mankind (the addition of Tinder to my iPhone didn’t exactly help!). However, refusing to admit defeat, I have signed up for speed-dating in a last-ditch attempt to spend Valentine’s Night in my room dehydrated due to over-crying and in the recovery position to due chocolate overconsumption. Of course, we are all paying €7 for the privilege of spending our Valentine’s Night with equally desperate singletons, but there’s no price on love…or my dignity, apparently. If all else fails, there’s always this overzealous Frenchman to fall back on. Rule number one, don’t give your number to anyone who claims to want to ‘learn english’…tell them to buy a book…it saves the hassle of having to go apply for a restraining order.
Photo c/o melty.fr