Friday, August 21, 2009

My Arrival in Aix-En-Provence

At present, Phillip, Emily (the first of three roommates to arrive) and I have officially moved into our flat which isn’t very flat as it occupies space on three floors. This cozy place is quite charming and ideal for two however we are four which means we’ll be getting very well acquainted. Phillip leaves tomorrow, to my hearts dismay, and will be starting his final year of school in Bordeaux on Tuesday. Tonight, my third roommate arrives, the forth tomorrow, and then we have orientation with the rest of the students in the program! So far I’ve met almost all of those who live in the States for either dinner or a group trip to a Durham Bulls game. The consensus seems to be that none of us have a clue what we should expect of this first semester experience in France. Luckily we’ve allowed a few days to settle in and become familiar with our surroundings before we’re challenged and put to the books.

I’ve passed a few of the same people in the streets everyday and have identified who the locals are and who the tourists are…there are a lot of tourists! Everyday I pass the guy with dreadlocks and athletic calves who moves furniture near the church; the drunk in the courtyard near the bar; the guy who starts playing the accordion around 2pm everyday which I can hear from the 4th floor of my building; and the sound of the obnoxious child calling “Papa! Papa!” repeatedly from downstairs leaving me to wonder where in the world that child’s father is and if they could kindly respond so that the child can stop calling.

I’ve also become familiar with the church bell which looks like a picture in a frame at night through our window and rings on the hour and half hour starting at 7am; the motor scooters that zoom through the streets while people dodge them to get by; and the never-ending heat which becomes easy to confuse with a fever! Don’t tell our mothers, but Phillip & I have both just gotten over a fever which we probably acquired during the 8 hour car ride from Spain to Montpellier in the sun with little to eat. It really shouldn’t take that long to drive that route but we drove along the coast which followed the contour of the cliffs jutting in and out rather than the straight highway.

And now, we’re waiting for our wonderful landlord, Sylvie, to return with a third set of keys. Sylvie is a very outgoing and friendly lady. She’s French and studied American Literature as a young student, then studied cinematography in Aix, where we are currently living. She is a casting director and just finished choosing the cast for an HBO movie and a FOX show – one of which is Gulliver’s Travels, so let me know if you see it! She should be arriving soon, so catch up on H&P Bilbao & Aviles below while I wait for her!

Ps: my address is 15 Rue Gaston de Saporta, 13100 Aix-En-Provence

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