Settling in, sorbet and the sea in Bordeaux

Two days ago marked my one month anniversary in Bordeaux. It was also the third night I slept in my apartment following a week of no electricity, a wonky fridge and malfunctioning toilet. The Year Abroad Student Handbook reads that finding accommodation may be the most stressful aspect for the year abroad. I think that sentence should be written in bold red and underlined twice. However, it makes having this place all the more amazing. We have a red checked table cloth and a poster of the Bordeaux wine region so it feels quite French and I love it.

I turned 21 on the 13th September (when I was, technically, homeless) but I was lucky enough to wake up to champagne and strawberries, an incredible brunch, a circus production and dinner. I also was able to speak to my little twinny in Melbourne who, for the first and possibly only time, became one year older before me. An unusual but memorable birthday!

All classes started this week, so life started to become a bit more structured. Saying this, I only have lessons on Tuesday and Wednesday which means I can enjoy a five day weekend, although a 9.30-8.00 Tuesday is going to be a bit of a shock to the system. I also tried out an athletics session just before my first seminar on Wednesday and spent the rest of the day with a red face and fatigued limbs. I’ve chosen a random mix of classes (Translation, Beginners’ Russian and Arabic/Muslim studies among others) but they are really interesting and I’m hoping to get a bit more to grips with them throughout the semester.

A perk of my timetable is my free Thursday afternoon which means I can join the weekly surfing excursion to Lacanau. Today there were blue skies, a bright sun and big waves. I stood up twice, shouted at my board a lot (it’s really therapeutic and bonds you to your board but the other surfers did not take it that well) and fell asleep on the way home. I can’t wait for round two! This trip taught me that my name is virtually unpronounceable. ‘Lazy’ in a French accent is generally how Lizzy is understood, or Leezy. As it sounds like cross between leery and sleazy this is not very encouraging. There was a small victory when one surfing instructor pronounced it with the right ‘i’ sound but I’m considering shortening it to Liz or maybe just telling everybody to call me Francoise.

As for food in Bordeaux, I have tried a cannelé despite being warned (by French people too) that it was not anything special. Mine had been warmed and flambéd with rum and I quite enjoyed it! The sweet was unlike anything I’d ever really had before. Other than that, I have enjoyed eating a profiterole the size of my head (this is in no way an exaggeration – I have never seen a pudding that large in my life), steak, amazing sorbet and ice-cream from O Sorbet d’Amour in Place de Parlement. I had one of these with my Mum and Dad after cycling round Bordeaux with them. Mum’s cassis sorbet (blackcurrant) stole the show. Juicy, a bit tart and a gorgeous dark purple, I’m going to have that when I return.

A bientot 🙂

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