It’s officially been a day since I arrived in Lyon! And per usual, so much has already happened. So lets begin:
First-off, yesterday concluded the marathon equivalency of travel days. (*Yes, let’s take a moment to discuss that 8 hour layover in Chicago). With the long layovers and triple plane exchange all included, the total travel time was 25 hours. (*try using the excuse “I’m tired” around me again and I promise I’ll rebuttal). But you know what I’m going to say: It was all SO incredibly worth it. Because now I’m here, in Lyon, and its snowing, and my home is cozy, and I’ve eaten at least 3 baguettes in 24 hours. So there.
Donc, after I arrived in Lyon, I was greeted by my host mom. She is wonderful, and lives in one of the most picture-perfect spots in Lyon that I’ve seen yet. You can see the *mock Eiffel Tour from her kitchen window. And then this morning, I walked out to find myself stepping right into the heart of a morning market. A market. With flowers. And cheese, and bread, and meat, and honey and you get the picture. It was like something you’d see in a movie. Except it was me, and I was rushing to the metro. But I’m getting ahead of myself and we’re going back to yesterday now.
Yesterday, after my host mom picked me up, and gave me the tour of her home, we walked around the area near her road. It’s full of little shops and bakeries, and again, it reminds me of a little place from a movie. We went to the cheese store and bought yogurt and milk, and went to a mini-market to find shampoo (*human error while packing). Let me also add how weird it was to see American products in France. Just imagine seeing Special K granola bars (but in French), looking quite pitiful in comparison to all the fine French food next to it. After the errands, we attended an exhibition at a local art gallery followed by a late dinner; which was, well for lack of better words a pie, filled with potatoes and ham. And after, a chocolate cake. Talk about a “Hello, I know you’re from America and had a long flight and want food you recognize” meal. Parfait.
Now it sounds like it’s all been a fairy tale thus far. Yet you’ve forgotten that every fairy tale has an evil stepmother as well. Not that there’s any evil stepmothers, but there are culture shocks. Same concept really. It will take some time before I understand it all. Naturally. Until that point, I’ll just relay all of the somewhat awkward stories here. Then, in addition, there’s the whole language barrier. My host mom and I both agreed that she wouldn’t speak in English while I’m here, to really enforce the French, but that’s also hard when you don’t practice the language over winter break. Which leads to the 24/7 over-usage of d’accord (okay). It may or may not have gotten to the point where it’s become my answer to everything, besides Merci. Or situations arise where you think you know what your host-family is asking and you answer with something completely unrelated. Or answer the question completely wrong. Let’s just say day two allotted for lots of these situations. But it’s good, because its all apart of the learning experience.
Day two also brought along the following: First time using the metro (metros and a tram actually), orientation, first time doing a walk-about in the city and getting lost (*on purpose) for future reference, and another magnificent dinner with the host family. Plus also it snowed today. Which just adds to the ambiance of this city even more.
Alors for now, all I can say is that it’s been a crazy whirl-wind of a first 26 hours, and I couldn’t love it more. The learning curve may take time, but I’m here, and I am prepared to throw caution to the wind in order to understand this language and the beauty it holds.