On the Sunday (I’m just going to continue from where I left of because I know you remember everything that I say.) was once again a pretty lazy day.
My host sister had to go to a competition for her equitation and the rest of us hung around because in France all of the stores (generally) are closed on Sunday. This week ahead looked to be pretty simple with out a lot of things going on but there was one thing in particular that I was looking forward to which was Wednesday. Every Wednesday I have Cinema class and this week in particular I was excited because a professional photographer was coming to our class to talk about the different parts to a photograph, the lines with in a photograph and basically the general foundations of a good photograph. It was really interesting and we were able to view some of his own work and critique our classmates work. It was really fantastic.
Well it turns out that I would be receiving my first mark in France and, wait for it, I received… 2.5 out of 20. Fantastic I know, all of the people personally know me are having their heart restarted, because in Canada I never get failing marks except for in math. Guess what subject this was???? I bet you don’t know, yeah you guessed it (see I knew you were smart, but you must be if you a reading this blog) MATH!!!!! So yeah my first mark in France was a failing one but it slowly got better, I had to write a paragraph for history and my teacher said that besides the fact that there were some grammar errors (come on give me a break I wrote the whole thing in French) that I did really well. YEAH for me!!!!
Once again I survived another week and finally made it to the weekend, and this weekend was a special one because I was able to finish on Friday instead of Saturday because we were leaving on Friday night to go to the north of France. The Saturday was going to be a party for my host father’s god child who was turning 18. So after school on Friday which ended at 6 pm my host sister and I were picked up from school and we were given half an hour to each put a bag together to go to the north. Yeah 5 hours in a car, actually it wasn’t going to be that bad because at home we do that and more all the time. So we started off on our journey. As we were driving I noticed something it is : There is one thing that I really like about Paris (obviously beyond the fact that it’s PARIS) is their graffiti along the highway, it’s truly fantastic. They really should cut some of it and hang it up in the Louvre beside the Mona Lisa, what do you think. Probably not eh, but they really are good. So finally at about 11:30 we arrived at my host mother’s parent’s family’s house, and the first thing that I did was go to bed. I was great. The next day, Saturday, my two host sister’s gave me a tour on bikes of the farm and surrounding town that their grandparent’s live on/in. It was extremely beautiful, there was so much open space and interesting sites to see. It really was a fantastic place to visit.
If you have ever been to the north of France than you will know that a lot of the people that live there speak with a really strong “chiti” accent and it’s practically impossible for anyone to understand even the French. So imagine what this English speaking Canadian understood whenever my “host” grandfather spoke to me or asked me a question you got that right, rien, NOTHING!!!!! Either the sentence was translated if it was complex or it was repeated by him except every syllable clearly pronounced so that it now looked like he was speaking to a deaf person. It was really funny after the fact but at the time I felt really bad that I couldn’t understand what he was saying. That night we went to the 18th birthday party which was really interesting because I was able to see a tradition that I had never seen before. What happens for a boys 18th birthday is that he is given a series of 18 gifts which he opens in successive order to finally arrive at the final one. From what I saw and was told the first sixteen presents centre around what goes in a toolbox, the 17th being the actual toolbox and inside wrapped up as number 18 is the birthday boy’s “first” bottle of beer. I had never seen this before so it was a really cool tradition to be able to witness.
Sunday was the day that we were to head home but first my “host” father asked me if I wanted to go to Vimy, and me being a history buff and of course Canadian I jumped at the chance. I found it really funny that my host sister didn’t know what Vimy was and that she said after that almost all French people think that it’s just a small town in the north of France. First we stopped at cemetery and basilica near to Vimy where there are a lot of French soldiers buried from after the I World War. Next on to Vimy, the place where I was actually able to be on good old Canadian ground, it was truly fantastic especially due to the fact that I was wearing a t-shirt that said “I AM CANADIAN” ( I bought it at Canadian Tire) and a whole slew of Canadian stopped me and were like “oh where in Canada are you from” So I was like Ontario and they were like cool I’m from_____ it was really great. Then we (my host sister and I) listened for a couple of minutes to an English tour guide explain how the craters were made along side the trenches. After hearing her speak I asked my host sister if she understood what she had said and she told me “not at all”, so I figured that it would be a good exercise for me to explain this and it was understood after a lot of French speaking and minimal sign language. I was getting better.
Talk At You Later.