Saturday, January 28, 2006

The French make me laugh

Well, I woke up this morning to about 4 - 6 inches of snow on the ground. That is right folks...hell has frozen over in France...ok well, a little over reacting, but they act like there is like 2 feet of snow.
I have mixed feelings about this snow today...only because I was supposed to be finally going to the "Amazone" (and it was Chippendales night) and due to the snow, my friends couldnt make it. That just sucks. Though the snow made me excited!!!
I went to the grocery store and ran into a few students who decided to throw snowballs at me. Luckily they are cute ones. hahah.
So the funny things about the french. One, in most parts of France they are not equipped with snow plows, so the resort to tractor type things which is quite amusing. Even to salt the roads they have a tractor type thing. Good for a laugh.
Alright, so some funny things I saw....skateboards with no wheels being used as snowboards, though not on hills, but rather just a slight incline, brooms and dust pans being used as shovels and last but not least bushes being used as the fort/wall you would build to have a snowball fight.
Gotta love it!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Funny thing I forgot

So today, my first class was at 930 and I usually have 13 kids. To my surprise there wer only seven kids in class...I was thinking to myself as the kid told me this, stop lying to me, 6 kids cant be absent in one day, not remembering it snowed yesterday. I turn my head and look out the window...sure enough it is white outside. Finally I realize and burst out laughing. I realized that the students were absent because of the snow. The funny thing is...there was not even 5cm. Hahaha!!!! That was funny, anyway all for now.

Finally the weekend

Well, I guess it is sort of like I have 2 weekends per week these days. Usually I only have Wednesday off, but right now until after the holidays I will have Thursdays off too. So yes, I work very few hours. You think that you would love it, but when alll your friends are working (and/or you live in the middle of nowhere) and there is not a whole lot to do, it gets quite boring. Yea sure I can say it is my fault for not trying to get involved in things, but oh well. I will probably not have another year like this for quite a long time unless I decide to do it again next year.
So on Tuesday I went into Chateauroux to see Caitlin. Planned on staying one night, though that turned into two. Tuesday night we didnt do a whole lot. Just chilled and chatted, had some great laughs..."you have to like me". Wednesday we had a girlie shopping day...I havent done that in a long time and I ended up spending more than planned, but I did finally find a pair of black boots that I have been trying to find forever. I also got a sleeping bag which will help in my travels! I finally after over a month saw some of the other assistants. I had not been into the city since before the holidays so hadnt seen any of them except Caitlin and Lucy because they came out to see me.
Again this weekend, tomorrow, the two of them are headed out to goood ole LA CHATRE!!!! It should be a fun evening as we are planning on heading to "the Amazone" my local night club which we have yet to visit.
Well, Im off for now, going to a teachers place for dinner!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oh hell...

pardon my language here, and in my last post for that matter.
So yesterday I went to the movies with the students. There are usually only about 5 students that go but this week there was about 30 so the woman that is responsable for the students asked if I would accompany her in being responsable. Sure, of course. The movie was Angel-A by Luc Besson. It was hard at times to follow because of the speed they spoke French but I got most of it. Anyway, dont need to tell you about the movie, but there was this one student I was chatting with, I thought nothing of it until we were walking home...I think he may have been hitting on me. Ahhhhh. This is NOT good. He asked me for my # which I never ended up giving him, he told me about his past girlfriends, asked me my age, and invited me to watch a movie with him and his buddies tomorrow(Wed). I think he thinks I am going to school here, which clearly I am not, but I am teaching. When saying goodbye he gave me the french kisses too.
This morning bright and early on my way to make a couple photocopies who do I run into in the halls??? Yea, that is right....Jonathon. He said he was looking for me. Great....then walked with me and asked for my # again. I gave it to him but I think that he must have typed it in his phone wrong because he said he was going to send a text so I had his #, but still havent got it 3 hours later. Oh well...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Weekend to Rouen & the beaches

My weekend...I headed up to Rouen, in Normandy to see Ashlie, who I went to uni with and to Spain. One of the guys, Leo, that went to spain with us came up too and his friend, Sekou, came also. Sekou is this 280 lb black dude from Indiana. He arrived before Leo & me. Olivia(also went to Spain with us) picked up Sekou from the station as Ashlie couldnt be there at that time, and doesnt live right in the city. Ashlie picked me up from the train station around19h45 and we met up with Sekou and her other friends at a pub while we waited for Leo to arrive. Had myself a pint and was starting to feel it due to lack of food. Finally Leo got there and we got dinner at about 10pm. After we stopped by Olivias house, then headed to another pub. We had a few drinks and chilled. It was a fun time!!! The next day we were planning to go up to the D-Day beaches. It was a beautiful perfect day for it which was nice. We thought about renting a car, but didnt do it ahead of time so got up early and went to the place to see. We decided if we couldnt get a car or they were too expensive we would have just hopped on the train. We ended up getting a car, Sekou said he knew how to drive stick, and because the stupid Hertz people made us wait an hour, we got a super deal. They opened at 8 but the dude that does the paperwork didnt get there till about 915. So we ended up getting a rental for 2 days for 115€. That is pretty good and it was a huge car, really nice. So off we went....stall #1....stall #2 ......stall#50. Ok, so we stalled so many times and his gear changing was not that great. But, whatever I was happy he was driving. But hell, it got worse....he did not read signs, yes they are different but the roads are better marked here than back home if you ask me. And frankly how hard is it to follow signs. Anyway, it ended up being a lot of voices being raised about where to turn, when to turn etc. It was super frusterating because he didnt seem to listen or pay attention to the signs so we drove past things like 10times. It was frusterating. So we got to go to Juno Beach which was cool, along with a few others(Gold and Omaha). That night when we got home things got a little awkward. Everyone was frusterated and whatnot. The next day seeing as we ended up getting the car for 2days we wanted to go to Dieppe, but that didnt end up happening. Buddy refused to drive and then was being a huge asshole. I felt really bad for Leo becuase this is his friend and it put him in an awkward postion.
So, everyone was frusterated and had been up and down most of the day. After dinner we were talking and this guy has the nerve to say to me "are you manic depressive or something? Or are you bipolar?" I was like excuse me???? Who the f**k do you think you are asking someone that question. I asked why the hell he asks that and he says you've been up and down all day, you're so nice when you are happy. Im sorry buddy, you were f**king driving me (and all the other girls) up the f**king wall with your lack of attention put into looking at signs. Anyway, that was pretty much the weekend. He did not thank Ashlie for letting him stay at her place or anything. So yea, that is pretty much it. Good but that dude....someone I never really want to see again.
On the train from Rouen to Paris this dude sits beside me. He asks "Do the cops control(patrol) the trains. I said I dont know, the didnt last time I was on. Why, do you not have a ticket?" He says to me "I have some coke with me, and I dont have a ticket" Me: "ok" ...who tells a complete stranger that??? So anyway, the ticket controllers come around and he has no ticket. He gave them a fake declaration for identity because he was going to be charged for not having a ticket, which I think was about 60€. He told me it was a fake declaration, I asked for what and he told me his identity card, I think its the paper they get if they are waiting for a new one cause they lost thiers or something. Oh man, what a wierdo. Nothing like what I see in my little town.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Last time I do something nice....

Bloody hell, I am not a happy person. I want to quit today!!! I didnt even say that after the first day and I thought it was hell. All I said then was that I was discouraged and that I didnt know if teaching was for me. Well, this morning I got up early and made pancakes for my 2 classes of students. I am now asking myself why I did this for them. I am so angry and frusterated and really am not sure if I want to come back after the holidays. Ok, well, I know that I will but today I dont feel I want to. These students lack respect. They lack listening skills. GOD, I can't believe how much these French kids talk and just dont care. I think I should make them write one page on why or why not they like English. haha
Next week I think Im going to make them hand stuff in.
Anyway, this is all for now, need to get going, headed to Rouen today to Ashlies.
Have a good weekend

Monday, January 16, 2006

Another class cancelled

I sat in the staff room after lunch today relaxing with some of the teachers, including one of my favorites, Rémi, trying to remember what time my afternoon class is at on Mondays because I havent had it since well before the break for Christmas. Rémi told me that I have it at 2, funny that he knows. He headed off for class at 1330 and I did some photocopies for the class. I was chatting with some of the Enlgish teachers when I all of a sudden remembered that I dont have my afternoon class today. I cant seem to keep up with my cancelled classes over here. hehe! Last week I only ended up having 6 hours of class, including an extra hour going to the primary school with one of the teachers. This week I will have more which will be a nice change from having free time. I have 1hour today, 3 tomorrow, 1 Thursday plus 1hour at primary school and I will go to another class just to be introduced and on Friday I will have 3 hours. So I will end with about 9.5 of 10 hours. I figured out that I will work about 200 hours(if that) in the total of 7 months that I am here. Man, that is like 5 weeks work back home! If I average out what I am making per hour here it is amazing! 26 € /hour = about 38CAD/hour. Cant really complain about that, on top of that, I make out well not having to pay rent here. If only I saved money! haha, have to make the most of being able to travel while here, atleast I think so!
The one thing I hate in this school is that on more than half the computers I can't access my hotmail. I was in the "parloir" where the internet for the teachers is (we have it in the staff room too, but I cant access my email there) and a teacher came in and needed the computer to input marks, so here I am "banished" to the "teachers" computer in the library because there is a class in the library, where once again, I cannot access my email. So frusterating. I can't even access Oh well, life goes on. I was in the middle of writing an email that I would like to finish, but it will have to wait.
For some reason my feet are really cold today.
This weekend I spent with my friend Sophal. The one from Cambodia. Her husband has been away since last Monday and will come home on Friday. I was at her place for the weekend which is not far from mine. We didnt get up to tooooo much, but it was definitely nice to spend the weekend with someone and to speak French the entire time. Thats what I want...speak French!
I know it has improved a lot since I have been here, but I feel as though I have reached a "plateau" as it was put by Rémi. It's frusterating because I just want it to be there. I dont want to have to think anymore when I speak French. I just want it to be there! Grrrr.
I have contemplated what I will do next year, as I still am not sure. I do know that in the summer I definitely need to find a job to make some cash for whatever I decide to do in the fall!
Alright, this is turning into a book, sorry! Hope all is well wherever you may be.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Well, I have decided that I really like this town except one thing. This one thing is really big which is a problem. It is the fact that I don’t really have many friends in this town. That is the thing that is really hard to handle. Other than that I like ;y life here. To go along with the no friends thing I’d have to say it is the free time factor.
I am going to make a list of pointers and things of that such for if there is an assistant here next year or in the years to come, although a list of pointers can not help everyone. My opinion on this program that I am not going to post on the assistants site, is that it is not fit for everyone. Especially if you end up in a little town such as La Châtre it is even more specific of person I think. You have to be completely dedicated to this program I think, and you have to enjoy your own company. I am not going to say that it is always easy here by any means, it was really hard at the start for me, but you have to push through it, as I did, and you have to continue to look at the good side of everything. Once you get over that hump, you are all set. Sure I have my down days now but they are few and in an overall general sense all is great! The thing that could make this place better is friends, hehe! I will survive!
I was walking through the hallway today on my way back to my room when i saw one of ;y students. He is super cute and if he was older I’d have q crush on him. Hahaha. Ok, so anyway, he always uses “vous” with me and I try and tell him every time to use “tu”. I had a little chuckle about it. It just made me smile.
Well, I am headed out to meet up with my friend Sophal. I will spend the night there. Not too sure yet what we will do but it will be nice to get out my place for a night and to spend it with a friend.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Forgotten moments

Oh man, sitting around this weekend I have realised I have forgotten some funny things from the trip. I noticed that I put something about the mullets in my title but forgot to elaborate. Oh well, here is a little something.
Everywhere we went in Spain we saw mullets. And I mean everywhere. You didnt just see the basic business in the front party in the back, but I mean some interesting mullets. I have a good picture somewhere that I will have to upload of one of the cops mullets. It was dark hair with a dyed blond streaks mullet. Now that is a good laugh. On our way into a store somewhere we saw the best one yet and unfortunately I did NOT have time to get out my camera to get a shot. It was a dreadlock mullet. That is right, his mullets was dreads. Hilarious!!!!!
We got some different channels at our place there too. German television as I already made a reference too, but English(Bristish) tv too. We saw some pretty great comedy shows. The first one had a good skit in it that had to do with lesbians and the one line was something like "muff eater" and the second was "fanny muncher". For all those north americans out there, in Britain, a fanny is NOT your bum, but the other side..... Another show we saw was "BUZZCOCKS"....yes, I may sound like I am 12 laughing at this, but it was pretty funny.
The nicknames....that is all that has to be said!!!!!! GREAT TRIP!!!!!!!
Thanks guys for the memories!!!!!!

Not a happy camper

Grrrr....just doing laundry and if these f'n stains from the washing machine dont come out, I will be down 4 tshirts...yeah that is right 4 of my t's have this f'n grey stain from from the washer. I am soooo pissed right now. Atleast I realised before the dryer so hopefully tomorrow I can find some stain remover to get rid of these stains or I will be REALLY mad. One of my favorite tshirt is amongst these. I have not had much luck with laundry the last couple times. No more beige bras, just grey ones and now tshirts with grey stains. Grrrrr!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Next stop....Amsterdam then Brussels

So after just making the train with about 1 minute to spare we realised that we cant walk all the way down to our (Darcie and Is) car of the train. So I went to check with the train man to see what was up. Have the train was staying in Brussels and the other half was continuing on to Amsterdam. So in Brussels we had to hop off and switch trains. We eventually made it to our hostel in Amsterdam. Seemed a little sketchy upon walking in but the rooms were decent and because we had reserved we saved 2€ per night! We got to our room after having to climb of the smallest and steepest staircase EVER. Found our beds and chilled. We met a couple Aussies in our room who we ended up spending the entire stay with. A dude from Alaska, Ryan, showed up in our room while we were still there (room of 16) and we all headed for food. Darcie and I were starving seeing as we had only had a fruit 2 go and 2 cookies on the train ride there. The 5 of us headed out for food (chips AKA fries) and did a little tour of the city for awhile then went back to the hostel to relaw a little before the night began. Darcie Luke and I went split from Josh & Ryan and went and got food. We ended up loosing the guys because they werent there when we got back so we headed back to the hostel where we eventually found Josh, alone. Ryan said he was going back the hostel but I guess he didnt make it there right away. We headed out yet again stopped at a few places and checked out the Red Light district. Darcie and I were trying to pick out who was a man, hahah! We actually got to see this guy pickpocketing people, not that it is a good thing, but it was krazy to see. People just walk past you saying quietly "coke, cocaine" trying to sell it to you. If you really look you see people actually dealing. It was really eye opening. I was there in October staying with Anna so never was really out much at night and definitely NEVER noticed any of that. It was krazy. Back to the hostel! We chilled in the common room there for awhile before bed. Finally Ryan made it back and we all just hung out chatted. Darcie and I wanted to play Monopoly, we had ever since we saw it when checking in. Unfortunately NO ONE wanted to play except us. Instead we drew pictures and sort of played a "pictionary" type of game.
The next day we slept in later than all the other days then headed to the Van Gogh museum. We got these amazing little mini pancakes for lunch which were great! Josh & Ryan didnt come to the musem with us. After on the way home we hit up the grocery store to get some food for dinner, or pre-dinner and snacks. I got MILK!!!! It was great! Not like the milk here in france. I actually drank 1/2 a litre of it!!!mmmmm! I was happy. We all just hung out in the room for awhile relaxing and I looked through some of Lukes pics from the UK which were awesome. Made me want to go travel there for sure. We went downstairs and chilled there for awhile with some other random people from the hostel. We headed out for awhile to walk around town and get some food seeing as we didnt officially eat dinner. Not too late of a night, but not that early of one. We chilled back at the hostel for a bit before going to bed.
The next morning we got up and headed out for a bit. Darcie want to get a few souvenirs and I would have like to find the GIANT wooden shoe, although we ran out of time for that. Once again, off and running. We almost missed our train, AGAIN! If it werent for the Aussies we would not have made it. As soon as we stepped on the train the buzzer rang and the doors closed. I really wish that we would have missed the train as did Darcie. Upon arrival to Brussels, we were NOT the happiest of people to be there. It was kind of disappointing. The only good things that we saw were was the "pissing" manequin and his collection of outfits! We stayed 2 nights and home for me then. Left Darcie in Brussels she got on one train and me on another.

All in all, this holiday was AMAZING! I didnt even miss Christmas that much. Hhehe

Darice & Erin do Europe....first stop Paris

Ok, well maybe Europe is an exageration, but we did hit up 3 countries. So I met Darcie at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. I arrived a little before her flight and had to take the Navette (little bus) to her terminal. After wandering around I finally found her we went to the train station and hoped on the train to Paris. We got to the hostel and lucky for us there was still room!!!! We werent able to check in yet because it was lockout (which I absolutely HATE). We dropped off our bags headed out for some food and ate it at the hostel while catching up. We ended up taking a 2 hour nap because we were both exhausted and then heading out to dinner and the grocery store were we got some wine and hung out in the hostel. We met a few people there, a Mexican, Diego and an Argentinan, Joaquin(spelling), who are both studying in Grenoble drank some wine and played some game with them. It was called Pin & Pun(pronounced by them "peen" & "poon"). Darcie and I had a great laugh over that one. We didnt stay up too late because we were both tired. Friday we headed out to Notre Dame and when coming out of it it was snowing. It was shit weather. We headed towards the Louvre and grabbed some food along the way. We saw every kind of percipitation possible. Rain, snow, fun. When we were in the Louvre we saw a sign saying it was free for those under 26 after 1800. So we headed out of there to the Concorde and Champs Elysées. Because the weather was shit, the ground was just sluch. Our pants were soaked almost to our knees and our feet were wet. We stopped finally at a cafe and got hot chocolate. The waiters were all dressed in sailers outfits so we couldnt pass up the urge, Darcie used her french skills and asked them for a photo. It was great! We each got our picture taken with some of them. Hilarious! We went home to dry off before heading to the Louvre again. It was sooo uncomfortable with wet feet. I blow dryed my shoes, haha. After the Louvre we got dinner and met these 2 Texans, CJ & Wesley and invited them to stop by our hostel. We went back to our hostel to eat and ended up meeting a whole bunch of people drinking wine playing cards and chatting. We went to go out for a bit with a couple mexicans but for some reason never made it to a club and ended up back at the hostel. We hung out there for awhile and I met someone that is from my region which was awesome. Late night, but oh well.
New Years Eve day! We headed to the Eiffel tower after a late start and had to wait in a line for 1.5 hours jsut to walk the stairs. That is right folks....the STAIRS. The line for the elevator was about 3 hours and 3 times the price. Once we made it to the first floor we went skating. There is temporarily an ice rink on the first floor of the tower. I was pumped to go skating though we didnt stay on for long. I though I was going to do the "bambi" and have my legs slide out from underneath me. The skates were crap and had no edges, but oh well, what can you expect when it is free, donation if you want. We tried to go to musée d'Orsay but it was closed early. We stopped at the grocery store got the cheapest vodka possible, and some food for dinner then back to the hostel to rest and get ready to go out for the big New Years Eve in Paris!
We were going to head to the Eiffel tower with our water bottle and juice jug mixed with our vodka, to meet up with some people but in the metro we ran into some people we knew from the hostel and the Texans and they told us we had to go to Montmartre. So we made it there with a couple minutes to spare after running up the stairs to Sacré Coeur. Up at the top we were protected from these guys harrassing us (more Darcie than I, I just yelled at them in French or moreso franglais) by our new friends. Aussie, Jonathon and American, Brandon. Good old France and NOTHING organised people were lighting off fireworks everywhich way and they were even shooting into the crowd. It was craziness and one even almost hit one of the girls with us. After there we headed to the Champs Elysées. We were wandering around there and next thing you know the cops or french swat is making one of those lines with their little shields and all. So we started walking away from this area. Next thing you know a shit load of hoodlums were running towards us. We saw a metro stop but it was jam packed down there so we just got to the wall out of the way. Everyone was a little nervous, I think especially after what happened in Oct/Nov here. So we headed for the next metro stop and off we went. We ended up getting split into 2 groups and meeting back up at the hostel. It was definitely a great night. We chilled in the lobby for awhile before going to bed. It was a blast! Late night and didnt get up with the alarm the next morning. Off to a late start and running to catch the train. Thankfully for Brandon he was on the same train going to Brussels rather than Amsterdam and he helped us make it on time! Good times in good old Pareeee!

Friday, January 06, 2006


Tonight I was out walking around town. Thought about going to the movies, but Narnia is not really my cup of tea for movie choices and that was the choice. I decided to walk a little further in an area I have never really ventured down. On my way back down the street this car was driving up going pretty fast. My first thought was "as if someone is driving so fast in these tiny streets. Then I looked down the road and thought to myself "these roads arent really that tiny". I remember the day I arrived. Rue Nationale the main street was the same street I first drove in on when arriving. I remember thinking then "wow, this is the tiniest street ever". It's funny how your perception of something can change. I dont know why I am posting this but I just thought it was kind of funny/interesting. My perception has changed...and this just proved it!

A couple days to myself...

The 27th I headed to Salamanca on my own. 3 of the 4 flew home that morning and Leo was staying in Madrid then heading to Barcelona. I got to Salamanca and arrived at the train station, stepped out and all of a sudden it hit me. I hadnt travelled like this in awhile. All I knew was the name of the hostel, with no idea where it was or where the tourist office was. I asked a woman in the station and she told me it was a 15minute walk. I decided to lock my pack in a locker and just take my small backpack. I didnt know how long I would be wandering for. Just arriving like that caught me off guard becuase I head been travelling differently the past while. I like it though! I made my way around and ended up checking into the hostel for 12€ a night, great deal. I went out and toured around town at night which was quite beautiful with all the lights on the buildings and churches. I ended up eating at Pizza Hut. I would love to go into some nice Spanish restaurant but sometimes when you are alone it is just easier to do the simple thing.
The next morning I met Paolo who was in my room. He is from Rome. We got chatting and he was headed to the cathedral also so we headed for a quick breakfast and to the cathedral. It was quite impressive. Paolo seemed to know so much it was great. We then decided to head to Avila which was about 3/4 of the way to Madrid. I took my stuff and went to put it in the locker. After messing up and spending 9€ I got my pack in. I was a little grump, but oh well. We were there and unfortunately, Paolo's guide books times needed an update and we missed the cathedral. Oh well, thats life. Cant have everything. So we headed up the wall which you can walk along the tops of. It was cool. We wandered around town periodically grabbing hot chocolate/coffee because it was chilly, and caught our trains around 9. I went onto Madrid and Paolo back to Salamanca. I just went straight to the airport took up camp on a bench and slept. My flight was at 715 checking closed at 645 and so it was not worth paying for a hostel and a cab in the morning. Back to France to meet Darcie......

Christmas!!!! Off to Cordoba

We all headed off on a train north on Christmas day. The girls and I got off in Cordoba and the guys continued on to Madrid. We found a hotel, very nice and cheap then set out to wander around town. A lot of things werent open, which I kinda assumed would be the case, but me managed to see into part of the Mezquita (mosque) and see some of the other monuments in town. Later in the evening around 7 or so the streets just filled with people. It was awesome. We headed to get dinner late likee usual and ended up what seemed to be a decent place. Ashlie and I ordered something fairly simple...chicken. With horribly broken Spanish because no one in this town spoke engish, we asked if it was chicken brest. He replied yes and off he went. When he came back, I saw the sketchyist chicken ever. It looked like the little squares of beef you use in a stew. Oh well, we ate as much as we could and off we went. The next morning Ashlie and I got up to go to the Mezquita to arrive around 945 before it was supposed to open at 10 because we wanted to catch the train at 11. When we arrived the Mezquita was open (and free, not the 5€ that I read somewhere) so we headed straight in. There was a ceremony going on at the cathedral inside. This place was so incredible and once again, photos can not do it justice. I was super happy to be in there and happy to be able to hear the sound that came from that organ. It was just amazing. Off we ran back to the hotel got a cab instead of walking and booted it to the station. Only to our dismay was a) not at 11 and b) going to cost 75€ if we left before 1715. So we headed over in the rain to the bus station to see what they had to offer. There was a bus at 4 arriving at 845 which was only 1 hour and 15min later than the train and 30€ price difference we opted for the LONG bus ride. It wasnt bad and we eventually made it to the hostel in Madrid. Cat's Hoste after getting lost and the use of my brilliant Spanish skills haha, I got us directionsl! I didnt spend a lot of time here it was an awesome hostel and I would recommend it. Great security, clean and a great atmosphere. Enough of me selling this place to all you. We met back up with the guys and went to dinner and then a few of us had some drinks at the hostel. Olivia Leo and I decided to go out and check out the scene. Off we went walking in a direction the guy at the front desk suggested. We met some Austrian guys on the walk then some Spanish. We all talked about going to a club. I had a deja vu because we ended up in front of the club that I went to 3.5years ago when I was in Madrid. Club Joy! We didnt go there. The 3 of us and the two Austrian dudes headed on and ended up at some bar which I believe was called Dreams. We had a couple beers danced a little and then headed out. Well, actually we were kicked out as they were closing pouring our beers into "to-go cups" but real sturdy plastic, not like the throw away plastic ones. That was quite amusing that they were sending us out with drinks. Along the way we met two finish people. We were going to go to another bar but Olivia had to go home because she had to leave at 6 to catch her flight. It was 5am and I didnt think she would find her own way home so I said I would walk her home. For some stupid, pisse me off reason Leo decided she should take a cab home and for some reason I got shipped home in the cab too. I was not impressed at all! Actually I was quite pissed off. I thought I should be the good friend and offer to walk Olvia home not take a cab. She was fine enough to take a cab home alone. Oh well, Olivia made out with one of the Austrians so that was quite amusing!!! Comment of this day was definitely "paperbag princess" sorry, no explanation on this one. Good times.
After many talks on the highlights of the week and the song of the week, thanks to the all famous German music channel and Gülcan(or however it was spelt) here it is....LAST CHRISTMAS!!!! Heard that one way too many times. It was definitely an amazing week with lots of memories! Thanks guys

A day off...

At the last minute I just decided I wasnt going to go to Morroco. Ashlie ended up going on her own(with a tour group). I was tired and exhausted and knew I still had about 12days left of travelling before going home. So I slept in and then headed to the mall with the other 4. The guys went to the movies and Olivia and I looked around the mall. We headed home and relaxed before having our Christmas Eve dinner. We tried to eat up everything that was left in the place and then started drinking. We had lots of booze to drink. There were 3 bottles of sangria, 1 btl of rum and a bottle of wine, plus Ashlies bottle of rye. We got off to a start with dinner and carried on into the drinking games. Those are always fun. Arthur went to bed earlier than the rest of us and eventually headed down to the beach at 3 in the morning ready to swim. Well, atleast Olivia and I were in our suits. Got in no more than the knees. It was funny though. It ended up being a late night but oh well, still need to do that every so often.

Granada....good bread

Yet another drive ahead of us. Started off better than the previous but still late due to some late sleepers.....the drive didnt seem as bad as the day before. Less in and out, but more through the mountain roads. And the roads there are really nice. We ended up going to straight to the Alhambra (which I have been waiting to see for so long), grabbing some food and heading in. It was just amazing. The architecture was so impressive with arab buildings. It was really a site to see and I dont think all the pictures I took can even do it justice. It is just unbelieveable. The funniest thing ever. I was strolling through the Alhambra when I saw a familiar face. I stared for awhile not knowing if I actually knew the person. Well it turns out I wasnt crazy. I actually knew the guy. Scotty....I went to university with him and knew hime through Amber & Caitlin, sorry no last name. Anyway, thought that was kind of funny. After the Alhambra we headed into town. I wanted to stop in and see the cathedral. The 3 of us girls split up from the boys. Grabbed some bread at the grocery store before heading to the car where we would sit for the next 2.5 hours. Some interesting comments were made on how good this bread was. Some comparisons of how good it was. Quite the amusing day!


Thursday we ended up renting a little car for 2 days to do a little touring. It turned out to be a great deal. The car and gas were only 160€ (32€ each). We all piled in and headed up the mountain (litteraly) we went, in and around the mountain halfway up. It was a great roadtrip! We finally made it to Seville after a late start due some NON early risers after 2.5hours in the car. We had lunch (McDs to cure a stomach after a night of drinking) and met up with Ashlies roomate Jorge who actually lives there. We went to the Royal Alcazar and in the part of the cathedral which was open. We were able to see the tomb of Christopher Columbus. When we were in the Alcazar we wasted a lot of time because Olivia wandered off out of the palace and over to the cathedral and around it. We had no clue where she was. The Plaza de Espana was amazing also. To end the night we went to a tapas bar, and some of us hada beer and we all had tapas. It was great!!!

Free booze at 10 am, WOOT!

Wednesday we signed up for a FREE bacardi cortilla tour, although we had to go to the diamond factory after. 9am pickup and we headed off to the Bacardi place in Malaga. They sure rushed you through the museum part of it, but oh well, we sat down at 10:22 and had ourselves a nice bacardi breezer. When we finished that we grabbed a shot of 8 year old dark rum. We checked out the boutique which was unbelieveably cheap. I bought myself a set of 4 bacardi glasses which are nice glass with "beveled"(that ones for you Linds) writing on them. They were only 1€ each, though a pain in the ass to carry after. We all went in on splitting a bottle of rum. The diamond place was a bore, they were all about just selling which I sure wasnt interested while I was on my budget holiday. That afternoon we didnt get upto tooo much. We were going to go to Malaga but we didnt end up doing that becuase it was fairly late. We just went to Fuengirola checked our mail looked into getting tickets for the train and headed home. That night we cracked open the rum as well as one of the many bottles of wine we had. We played "kings" or "waterfalls" as Leo called it. We played it a couple nights earlier just Ashlie Leo and I after a failed attempt at playing asshole because of rule differences. Anyway, Leo, Ashlie and I were getting pretty loaded and decided to head out down to one of the pubs. The other 2 just want to bed. We went to Harp Bar. There were a lot of english speakers in there, as well as some others. Ended up talking to some Welsh guy and his "SKETCHY" mexican roomate as well as some english and a wierd hungarian(i think) girl. It was quite the amusing nights with the phrase of the night being "piss off" in a welsh accent. This night made for many laughs, that is all that needs to be said.

Gibralter for a day!

Well, Tuesday....ahhhh Gibralter! We headed out on the bus to Marbella to catch another bus to La Linea from where you walk across to Gibralter. Of course we were late and did not make the direct bus. So instead, me being completely determined to get there wa headed to the tourist office to find out other options. The same old man was working at the tourist office when we arrived. He was super friend was again as he was the day before so I thought it would be nice to give him a little Canada pin. Then he asks me "can I give you a wet kiss". I look at Ashlie thinking, what the hell is that supposed to mean. Well, thankfully it just meant a kiss on the cheek. He told me that next time I should go back along. ahhhhh! Off we went to the bus station. From there we caught a bus to Algeciras then from there to La Linea. We crossed the border where once again, no questions asked for customs and no stamp givin and then had someone offering a tour of "the rock" which is ultimately the country. After discusing the pros and cons for about 10 minutes everyone finally said yes on dishing out the 22€ for the tour. We hopped into a little mini van all 5 of us and the guide and off we went headed up the rock. We stopped at various points and although it wasnt the most clear day, we still could see the coast of Africa. As we are on our tour our little guide was very informative. He was born and raised in Gibralter where there are about 30,000 inhabitants. He told us that the rock is "as hollow as swiss cheese", speaking about all the tunnels and caves that are in it. We did a tour of the caves which was awesome. There is even a concert hall inside which is pretty spectacular. The sound in there would be amazing. We headed up higher on the rock where we got to see "the monkeys". I even got my picture taken with one on my head. I fell in love with the monkeys. They were so cute. Saw a few of them fight and it was hilarious when one of them used Ashlie as a tree and jumped on her back. Ashlie Olivia and Leo were scared of the monkeys, haha, and got trapped up on the stairs because they were surrounded. Our tour guide decided to pull out his secret weapon (a toy snake) to scare them off, but they all ended up running up the stairs towards the 3 of them. They weere all screaming. It was pretty hilarious if you ask me. We walked through the Great Siege Tunnels which was dug in 50 weeks if Im not mistaken by men. On the way home we tried to catch the direct bus but didnt make it so again transfered through Algeciras. Great day. Loved those monkey.

Spain...where the mullet lives on

Sunday morning I met up with Ashlie, Olivia and Arthur at the airport bright and early around 8am. We made our way to check in and got on the plane. It was a decent ride and the food (breakfast) was good! All the flight attendants were male which made up ladies happy! We got in around 11 am to Malaga and while waiting to get our luggage we saw some guy with the Canada flag on his backpack. We debated whether or not he was truely Canadian and called him a poser most definitely loud enough for him to hear. How embarrassing! Then we were arguing over who would ask him where he was from. Wow, that's so immature, but I was part of it. Eventually he said something to us. He was more so a mutt then a pure bred Canadian like myself, but I give him some credit that part of him is Canadian. Off we go to figure out where the hell we are going. We ended up hoping on a train headed to Fuengirola which was about 15km to our hotel. From there we just decided to take a cab, though we should have taken a bus and saved a little cash, but oh well that was easiest. The 4 of us made it to our hotel which was awesome and relaxed for a little while. We headed out to the grocery store to get some stuff for dinner. Arthur went to watch a football match and me and the girls just relaxed (I think). Leo, the 5th of our group was on a late flight and arrived around 1130pm, after getting a ride from some family he met during his travels (flight/mini bus to plane) who were staying at our hotel. That worked out nice for him.
The second day Ashlie and I got up reasonably early and headed to the welcome meeting for 10am. No one else got up, but oh well. After we headed into Marbella which is 16km further(opposite direction from Fuengirola). We figured out the buses and off we went. We wandered around town there, checked out the beach, a couple of us put our feet in (kinda chilly). We also went to Puerto Banus which is at the other end of Marbella. There are some amazing boats there from all over including Turks & Caicos. This was one of our less eventful days but still tons of fun!

The holidays begin...Mitsuko & Erin take on Paris

So on December 16th, the day I finished classes for Christmas break I made my way to Paris to meet up with Mitsuko. It seems like forever ago, which I guess it kinda was.
My train was late getting into Paris that day and I was worried that Mitsy would be lost in the station looking for me. I had met some man on the train with whom I ended up exchanging numbers and I hurried onto the metro and made my way to the other train station. Well walking up from the metro my phone rings and it is Mitsuko. Thankfully her train was late too and she had just arrived. We checked into our hostel near La République where the only problem in our room was the fact that the window had to be propped shut with a chair. We had a shower and toilet in the room so that was good.
After relaxing for a bit we headed out to grab some dinner. We ended up at an italien restaurant (I know we are in France, but decent prices and good food) got dinner and some wine. After that we headed out walking towards the Opera. From there we headed down to the Concorde (obelix), up the Champs Elysees and then to the Eiffel tower. We hit up the grocery store on the way, grabbed some wine and snacks. It was a super nice night out. We sat down on the Champs Elysées eating chocolate and people watching. We were siting on the bench when these two guys passed. I smiled and they kept on walking. They turned and looked back so we smiled again. The continued walking for a couple minutes and then came back to us. They each took a picture on their camera phones with the two of us. It was quite amusing because we really had no clue what was going on.
The next day, we headed out to find a market in Paris. We hoped on the metro and took it to a stope where we believed there would be a market, got off and started walking in the direction of the "market". YIPEE!!!!! We found it! It was awesome. We discovered a nice little area of the city that neither of us had seen before. I bought some clementines which still had the leaves attatched for some reason or another and we continued walking. We met the most ignorent Canadian ever. An embarrassment really I thought. Mitsy and I were getting crepes at this little store/restaurant when we met this guy and a Mexican. The guys decides to order and not make an effore even though the french words were right infront of him. He was very demanding and rude that I forgot he was Canadian. I saw it from the French peoples point of view I think. I just think that when visiting another country it is nice to make atleast some effort, and maybe that is just me but, you can always find out how to ask if they speak your language instead of just assuming that they should speak it. We headed to another market and then through Luxembourg Gardens and stopped for a hot chocolate/coffee. We just got food at the grocery store for dinner and ate in our room while drinking some wine. We put it in a water bottle and took it to go as we made our way to a bar where we were meeting some people from couch surfing for a "meeting" ( - if you are interested in knowing more). There were already lots of people there but it was really nice to meet people and chat over drinks. We went for a bite to eat after then Mitsy and I headed home. I had to be up at the crack of dawn the next morning to catch my flight to Spain. On my walk to the metro at 630am I crossed a lot of people just on their way home from the bars. Quite funny actually! Great weekend. I wish I could have spent more time with Mitsuko seeing as it had been 1.5 years, but oh well. We will see each other again soon!
That night, Saturday

Home at last

One quick post before I start into all the various adventures that went on in europe this holiday break. I will break them down to make it easier for me, maybe for you guys too. Hope everyone had an amazing holiday like I did. I didnt even really miss "Christmas". I had a blast!!!! Just got home yesterday and have lots of stories!!! :D