What do I want? Where am I? Where am I going?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Half way into my third month (already!) in France, I'm having a heart attack (again) on what I have come here to do, and what I have achieved so far.

My French goals 2014-5:

  • Improve my French language skills
  • Improve my cooking skills
  • Improve my fitness skills
  • Continue blogging
  • Keep in touch with family and boyfriend regularly
A lot of improving. How much have I improved, so far? 
  • French // I speak it every day, but I still haven't enrolled into any courses yet. 
I'd tried Alliance Française in the past, and while they are the standard/official French cultural institution to go to, I'm hesitating. Their website is hard to navigate around, I know their classes tend to be medium sized and work on books I've already used so far - because I'm hovering on the same level for the past few years, neither improving nor deteriorating, but barely keeping from losing all I've learnt so far. 

I've tried Franglish events, every Wednesdays in a bar somewhere in town. It's language exchange in a speed dating set up; you talk in English/French in equal set times, then change onto the next table and person. But the bar setting tends to be noisy so it's hard to hear each other, and at 14 minutes per table (7 minutes in each language), it's not easy to get past the usual introduction - hi, I'm Viv, what brings you here, what do you do, how long have you been here? Oh, time's up, bye.

I've tried to find groups on Meetup, Couchsurfing, Facebook, Leboncoin. I don't mind paying for private lessons, as long as they are not too expensive and if the teacher is good. I want to perfect my grammar, widen my vocab and improve on those cultural nuances, so I can laugh along with the others and not feel left out.
  • Cooking // Slowly does it. Simple and healthy.
My housemate enjoys being the guinea pig - it means that he doesn't have to cook. I've always wanted to have a beautiful coffeetable book with lots of colours and photos and gorgeous writings. Thought maybe I could have a cookbook instead. So far, I haven't found any I really liked. Ah well. Still eating lots of salads mainly, and lately, lots of sausages and yoghurts. I think baked new potatoes with rosemary and quality sea salt will be next. With salad as a side. 
  • Fitness // Marathon training starts... when?
A half marathon has been on my to-do list for a long while. A good few years. I have my eyes set on the Bordeaux night marathon next April, and was going to start training soon, but... it keeps raining. I have a cold. Excuses, excuses. I'm also really keen to take up African dancing again. I have three places in mind, so will try one by one until I find the one that suits. African dancing is the best, it's so much fun and lively, with live drums that gives you a really happy feeling all around.
  • Blogging // keep it up!
Finding time to blog regularly has been tough these days. I am forever trying to find ways on how to improve my content and to reach more people. The main thing is to keep posting so you have new things to read about. 
  • Keeping in touch // time difference sucks
But I'm used to it. Brief messages and phone calls here and there, just to hear their voices, is important. Long distance relationships are not easy, but we are trying :)

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About Life

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist -

About Food

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own -

About Dreams

“Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là.”
- Victor Hugo -