Trip Start Dec 10, 2008
Trip End Jan 15, 2009

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Flag of France  ,
Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yesterday I got up super early, at 6am. It was a struggle, I must admit, but I
ended up dressed and eating breakfast at 6:30. We had to leave for school
by about 7:15 because it takes 30-45 minutes to get to school, depending on
how much snow is on the road. When we got in the car to go to school, it
was pitch-black outside. If I had not known better, I would've thought that
it was midnight. It felt weird leaving for school when it was still so
dark. The descent to Bourg-Saint-Maurice is so steep and we go down so
quickly that it makes my ears pop.
I was pretty nervous about school. When I spent a week in a Chinese school,
I had my sisters there with me, and it was a primary school, so we were
obviously heaps older. But here, I am alone and these people are my age and
We arrived at school when it was lighter, but still pretty dark for 8am. My
first class was PE. We first went into the change rooms (boys and girls
separately, of course) and everyone started stripping off in front of each
other. I was a little shocked about how open they were with each other, but
wasn't ready to join that group myself so I went into a shower to change.
In sport, we played handball. For someone who is a much better spectator
than a player, I had fun. I felt silly a lot of the time when my amateur
skills were on show, but it was okay. I was pretty tired at the end of the
two-hour class though. After PE, we had physics. Jessica has a physics
exam tomorrow, so today was an important lesson. It was also two hours
long, but after an hour a five minute break was allowed. You could stretch
your legs, go to the bathroom, read a book, whatever during this time; it
even had its own special bell. I listened to half of the physics lesson,
and read a book I have to read before school starts back during the other
At 12pm, it was lunchtime. This is where I found the most differences
between Australia and France. Lunchtime is an hour and a half, and is the
only long break at school. We went to look at the menu outside the
cafeteria. Yes, they have a lunch menu and a cafeteria. We went inside the
cafeteria with Jess' friends and I got my name ticked off so I could eat and
get a tray. The others had special cards that when they scanned them, the
machine spat out a tray. If you forgot your card, there was no tray,
therefore no food. As you pushed your tray along, you grabbed food from the
stands in front f you. At the top there are signs that say things
like; "Fruit has antioxidants for your energy, so take one piece of fruit"
above the fruit. You grabbed fruit, one dairy product, like yogurt, one
entrée, one main and one dessert. You also grabbed a cup as there was
pitchers of water on each table. You found a seat in the crowded, crowded
cafeteria and ate. It was really noisy, but I managed to tell Jess's
friends about lunch in Australia. They were really interested. One of
Jess' friends sang an English song that she knew, "there were 5 little
monkeys jumping on the bed." and I sang the only French song that I
knew; "Ca plain pour moi." After lunch was finished, you placed your tray on
a conveyor belt that goes into a kitchen to get cleaned up. It was a lot
different to homemade sandwiches.
We then went into the room where everyone hangs out. It had a TV, a
foosball table and a café. It was really crowded, so we moved next door to
a simpler room.
After the hour and a half was finished, it was 2 hours of maths. I imagined
that the French would be miles ahead of us in that department, but they
weren't. They were doing maths that I had just done. After an hour of
maths, half the class left to go to another class. The French school system
is really unusual and I don't quite understand it yet. It is not like
China, where you have the same class for all subjects, but it is not like
Australia where you have a different class for every subject. Apparently,
you have some electives, but not all your subjects are electives like back
The last period for the day was English. The teacher got me to read a few
things, to the class, but Jessica told me that nobody understood me. I
think it's because my accent is different to theirs. I must admit, I had
trouble understanding some of them when they spoke English because of their
thick accents.
School was finally over, so we went home. We went to her grandmother's
house first before we went back. By the time we got back, it was pitch-black
again, signifying the end of a long day.
There were a few things at school that I wasn't expecting. I was expecting
them to be extremely quiet, and the teachers to be really strict. But
people were writing notes to each other, eating chewing gum, talking. It
was a surprise, as I had always imagined them to be streaks ahead due to
their strict attention to studying. Jessica even told me that no one
understood what was going on in maths.
It was a tiring day, but an interesting one. I love seeing the differences
between our cultures.


Today Jessica had a physics exam, so I hung out with Martine for the day. I
still had to wake up at 6am, as we had to drop Jessica off at school at
Martine and I went shopping with her sister Christine and her mother in a
town called Annecy. It was about 2 ½ hours away from La Rosiere, so it was
a long drive. It was worth it, though as it was so beautiful. It was a
really old village, filled with all of those beautiful old European
buildings. The walkways were narrow, and the buildings were colourful. In
the middle, there was a pretty lake with an old prison in the middle.
Martine's mother threw half a biscuit to the two swans below in the lake,
and all of a sudden fifty or so pigeons dove in after it too. It was so
chaotic, and unexpected. We all had no idea where all the pigeons came
We walked around a little market there. All the market stall were decorated
with Christmas lights. Even though it was during the day, the lights still
looked pretty.
We had lunch at a Creperie. I had never had a savoury pancake before, so
this was another new experience. It was pretty good, it didn't taste too
We then went to the big shopping centre. I didn't buy anything, though. I
know that I am becoming too much like my mother when I'm standing in the
shop, looking at a top and thinking 'it's nice, but with those sequins,
it'll be annoying to wash'.
Something I noticed in all the shops is the way they write the price. At
first I was looking around a jewellery shop and checking the prices, when I
noticed that everything seemed so expensive. I didn't take note of it,
after all, I'm in France, and everything's expensive. I then figured out
that 125,00? didn't actually mean 12,500?, it meant 125?. The comma is
instead of the full stop that we use. Little differences like that really
intrigue me.
We walked back to the car and drove back to pick Jessica up. It was a long
drive back, and it was tiring. I rested in my room until dinner. Martine
cooked enough pasta probably for 8 people, so we ate a lot.
This will be my last blog until Saturday as I am staying at Jessica's
grandmother's house tomorrow and then on Friday, I am going to Paris! I will
be back by Saturday, though, to tell you all about it!
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lozzafisher on

Hi amy! Im back from QLD and just read all your travle blogs and i feel like i've read a novel! Very imformitive. It sounds like your having a geat time, which is good. Have you gone through the tim tams yet? U took a lot!! Sounds like ur eating heaps- i wish i was there. Have lots of fun!! I'm going to have breakfast/lunch since I'v only just woken up. {12.12pm} OKay- xoxox cant wait for ur next blog.

joan34 on

Hi Amy,
It feels as if we're right there with you, so thank you for all the news
Nana & Pa

joan34 on

It wasn't me
I didn't change the photo - It's your father or aunt
Love again
Nana & pas


katemel on

That's not nice Nana
HI. Thats not nice of Nana to say that I would do something like hack into her travelpod account and alter her photo!!!! I'd never do ANYTHING like that!!!!
Enjoy Paris and will 'see' you in a few days. Love Aunty Kate

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