Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Jul 17, 2010

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Flag of France  , Brittany,
Sunday, May 30, 2010

Allo everyone! I have been considerably busy over the last few days and it's taking all of my energy to type this entry before I crash and retire to my quarters for a brief hibernation (paradoxical, yes). I guess I should start in order to fill in what I've been doing over the last few days.

jeudi, le 27 mai

This was probably one of my laziest days ever. I slept in until about 11am, and loafed around the house. I read, I ate, I played my DS, and I watched some television. Nothing special here. When Cyril and Angélique came home, they asked if I wanted to go with them to see their friend Nicolas', new puppy. Naturally, I accepted and we were off on a 10 minute ride into Quimper. Nicolas is pretty cool, but his puppy is even cooler. I'm not sure what breed it was exactly, but the little puppy's name is Kiwi. Everyone fell in love with Kiwi immediately, everyone sauf Liam, that is. Liam was absolutely terrified the entire time by the rambunctious pup who was only trying to get Liam to play. He cried and whimpered every single time Kiwi got within 5 feet of him. Nonetheless, we all (Moi, Liam, Cyril, Angélique, Nicolas, and his fiancée Aurélie) went outside on their patio and had drinks all the while watching Kiwi frolic around the yard and Liam hide behind Angélique. Anyway, we left a little while after the drinks were finished, and we all headed home. At home, the usual took place: we ate, watched a bit of TV, and soon went to bed. 

I feel like I should add an addendum about the "eating" thing here: I am going to starve.

It's not because I'm not eating, but rather, it's what I'm eating. Angélique is the sweetest person ever and I love her and all but... her cooking skills leave much to be desired. Before my mother chastises me for being mean, I must explain. The French usually have before dinner foodstuffs like gherkins, fromage, bread, nuts, etc. Then, the appetizer, if you will, is followed by an entrée: usually some type of meat with some sides. After dinner, the French usually have a small dessert like yogurt or fruit. This arrangement sits well with me. HOWEVER, Angélique does not like to cook and it shows. The before dinner foodstuffs are her idea of an acceptable dinner. SHE eats like a bird and has no problem eating a rice cake with brie, some almonds, and perhaps some raw veggies fresh from her mother's garden. I just can't do it. I am a BIG WOMAN. I love to eat. I'm carnivorous. I can eat a 12 oz ribeye steak all by myself and still have room for dessert. Angélique isn't a big fan of meat so she rarely cooks it. So I've been making my own creations for dinner so I don't die. So far I've been making crêpes with ham, chicken, and fromage. It's holding me over for now, but I would give ANYTHING for an Outback special right about now. When you guys see me in July I will probably be 10 pounds lighter.

That, I won't complain about.

vendredi, le 28 mai

Friday was simply amazing. The day seemed to drag on forever and by the time I got home around 9pm my time, I was exhausted. In effect, I made up for my laziness on Thursday, with HALF of my day on Friday. Cyril got home early on Friday so shortly after getting up and eating lunch, he asked if I wanted to go out driving. So we hopped in the car on this beautiful sunny day in Bretagne (rare), and I asked him where he wanted me to drive. Il m'a répondu "C'est à toi." I chose our destination: to the beach! 

A note here on my driving: I can now say I can efficiently drive a stick shift. I drive slower than the crazy Frenchies, but I can safely drive a manual transmission car from point A, to point B. I'm pretty proud of my accomplishment, and I even briefly entertained the idea of buying a new stick shift when I return to the US. But back to reality, I rationalized that driving a stick shift may be ideal for the countryside in Bretagne, but in the city, especially Tallahassee, driving a stick shift may be pretty tedious because of all the hills.

 Anywho, Cyril showed me the directions to three different beaches: Ile Tudy, Sainte Marine, and Bénodet. We stopped briefly at all 3 for pictures and the like, and I enjoyed the beautiful weather while wishing I had a house just like the beautiful ones I saw on the coast. After, we stopped on the bridge Bénodet over where the river ends and the ocean meets. It's really a beautiful place to be. We took a few more pictures and after walking back to the car, I drove us home.

I was actually pretty tired at this point, but oh no, the day was nowhere near finished. We had dance class that night, so we drove to Quimper and before going to class, we stopped at the mall. I think it was Géant that we stopped at... but it could have been Carréfour. I don't remember. I love their mall, but I HATE shopping with Cyril and Angélique. Angélique never really knows what she wants to buy so we loiter around in the stores going in circles sometimes as she looks at items she has no intention on buying. Cyril entertains it, and together they act all lovey dovey and I'm pretty much their annoying teenage daughter they had to drag along. What should have been a 5 minute trip ended up being a 30 minute ordeal. After we left the mall for 10 packets of ramen (a necessity right?), we left for dance class. Again, dance class was quite enjoyable and I cha-cha'ed, salsa'ed, waltzed, and rock and rolled for and hour or so. More fast-forwarding, and after class we picked up Liam from Cyril's mom's house, and returned home where I "ate" and passed out.

samedi, le 30

Ugh, longest... day... ever. I woke up at 9am at Angélique's request so we could get an early start on the day. At 10am, we left the house for a day of shopping. Once again, I was subjected to the long and once enjoyable ordeal that is now shopping. We went to stores where she bought absolutely nothing. We went to a store she went to for a total of one item. And we went to the mall where Cyril bought me lunch (un sandwich et Lipton pêche) while Angélique dropped 105 euros on beauty products from Sephora. We went to Casino (a supermarché inside the mall) where she pretended to do some grocery shopping, and I wondered off to do some shopping on my own. I bought a pillow and a case (pillows are different here!), a bamboo bath mat, and some adorable bowls. When we finally got home from shopping, I happily put away my purchases and Angélique called me to the kitchen. When I got there, she asked me if I wanted her extra Sephora tote and a couple of her awesome Orangina glasses. I was so excited I gave her a huge hug and bisous and thanked her profusely. Did I mention Angélique is awesome?

A little later in the day, I began getting ready for the disco. Angélique lent me a clubbing top and I pulled on some boots over a pair of my favourite AE jeans. Miraculously, my curling iron decided to work so I put a little curl in my hair and I was pretty much ready to go. Angélique and Cyril both had informed me we'd be going to her coworker Alida's house for dinner, but they would not be staying because Angélique had to work early in the morning, and Cyril would have to watch Liam, who was sick. I was pretty excited, but a little nervous that Angélique would not be coming with me. We arrived at Alida's apartment and she greeted us excitedly. She ushered us in and introduced us to other girls sitting on her bed. Unfortunately, I forgot their names but one was her cousin, and another was her friend. Additionally, before leaving the house, Angélique clarified that I wouldn't be going to a disco, but instead, a "fête de Malgache", that is, a Madagascar themed party. Shortly after arriving, two guys entered and everyone introduced themselves. I didn't get the name of one guy, but the other one who sat next to me was named Geoffrey. Geoffrey was cute, and as a plus, he spoke English too so we began talking in both French and English. And no sooner than we had arrived, Cyril and Angélique bid everyone goodbye. I watched as my only friends in Quimper walked out the door. Alone, I considered my options: I could..

a.) Be a party pooper, and run out the door after Cyril
b.) Feign unbearable fatigue and stay at Alida's without going to the party
or c.) Let my social butterfly within win over my new company and have an awesome time.

I chose option "C", and scooted on the bed next to Alida's cousin and friend. I started up a conversation and soon we were pretty comfortable. Alida was busy cooking so I decided to befriend everyone and wow them with my awesome English. Kind of. Alida's cousin asked me to say something in English, so I just started talking at random and they giggled in delight. Apparently, the American accent is amusing. Alida finished cooking: rice cooked in coconut milk, a cucumber tomato salad, and island style shrimp with sauce. It was ABSOLUTELY delicious. Alida's cousin offered me some odd looking concoction in a jar and I asked her what it was. She answered but I had no idea what she was saying (she was speaking Malgache). "Tiens" she said, and dipped my fork ever so slightly into the jar. I looked at my fork which looked completely clean and gave her a puzzled look. She urged me on and it touched the fork to the tip of my tongue. I swear I heard it sizzle. My eyes watered slightly. The jar contained a homemade chili/hot sauce of sorts that only the Madagascar natives seemed able to tolerate. I declined, but Geoffrey's friend decided to be bold and try it. Bad idea. He was literally crying and gulping down mouthfuls of water in vain. Only bread or bananas would cure the heat, they advised. Everyone laughed at his misfortune and we enjoyed the rest of our dinner.

Afterward, it was time to go to the party. Geoffrey's friend left, but he stayed, and Alida asked what I was wearing. It was then that I realized my modest getup wasn't good enough. Everyone else was wearing a dress so she lent me one of hers, and her cousin lent me some heels. After forever, we left the house and Geoffrey volunteered himself as the chauffeur. 

Stop here. The title at the top? That's French for YIELD. I decided that was the most appropriate title because of the following events. So I thought Cyril was a bad driver? Well, I recant that previous statement. Because compared to Geoffrey's driving, Cyril is a perfect driver. Geoffrey is by far the craziest driver I have ever seen. We experienced dangerously high speeds on teensy tiny streets. We halted scarily fast at red lights I was sure her was about to run. Worst of all, at roundabouts, I saw the "cedez le passage" signs and I braced myself for what was surely sudden death as we entered roundabout after roundabout in excess of at least 50 mph. I clutched my seatbelt tight, and said a silent prayer for safe passage because I was only 65 percent sure we'd make it. But sure enough, we made it.

Dressed improperly for the 50 degree weather complete with blustery wind and rain, we ran inside the building, and into the party. There was a good amount of people there. It was a mixed crowd consisting of natives from Madagascar and every other ethnicity you can think of. We got a few drinks (a sickly sweet orange juice rum cocktail and natty room temperature beers) and sat at a table. Malgache music is super fast paced so that it pumps your energy, gives you a headache, and makes you tired all at the same time. We all got up to dance and we had fun, in short. But we arrived at the party around 11:20pm. Around 2am I was beat, and ready to leave. Unfortunately for me, French parties last until around 5 in the morning. So as to not be a party pooper and make everyone leave, Geoffrey offered me the keys to his car and gave me a blanket so I could rest in the back seat. I accepted them gratefully and he returned to the party. I'm not sure how long I was asleep, but some time later he knocked on the car window and I unlocked the door so that he could sit in the driver's seat. He played some of his music for me, and we ended up having a 2 hour conversation about everything. We have tons in common and I feel totally comfortable talking to him about anything in both French and English. Some time later, a predictable fight broke out in the parking lot. Some time after that, the girls staggered back to the car, equally bushed, and we finally left the party around 4:45am. Geoffrey dropped us off at Alida's, we all said our goodbyes, and we crashed at 5:08am.

dimanche, le 30 mai (Mother's Day)

I woke up today around 10:20am with a splitting headache. And unfortunately I can still say I have that same headache now, almost 5 hours later. Cyril picked me up from Alida's and we stopped by Angélique's job and Cyril's mother's house to wish them both a happy mother's day. And voila, here I am now writing about all of the stuff I've done over the last few days. I will never again write an entry this long. I'm on the verge of falling asleep and I should really take an Advil. So with this update, I'm off to take a nap. 

A pluss...zzz...zzz...zzz

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Al'Quawn on

Perhaps the lack of food will teach you to enjoy every bite, i.e., slower eating.

Erinnnnnnn on

1.) My favorite line:
"I feel like I should add an addendum about the "eating" thing here: I am going to starve."

Hahahaha. Angela, when we reunite, we're going out to dinner.

2.) Your host family seems lovely. They're even letting you drive! A very nice perk.

3.) Your photos are FABULOUS! (your hair, too!)

angielajolie123 on

Bless you, Erin. You truly love and understand me and my fatty ways.

Quawn, you should be ashamed for even suggesting such nonsense.

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