Slaut à tous! It has been quite a while since my last post, and I have SO much to fill you in on, so lets jump right in!
La semaine dernière (last week) was my long anticipated trip to Munich, Germany for the world famous Oktoberfest. It was decided weeks ago that I would take the same bus out of Strasbourg with the other HC kids headed to Munich, which gave me the perfect excuse to come visit all the other French kids a day early. To be honest, I was un peu nerveux (a bit nervous) to visit Strasbourg, due to the fact that it’s the “what could have been” of my study abroad experience. I couldn’t help but think to myself on the train, “what if I actually like Strasbourg better than Dijon, with its giant cathedrals, scenic bridges over the Rhine, and 11 other Holy Cross kids??” How would I be able to stay in Dijon if i found out that life in a bigger city was a better fit for me? Regardless, when I arrived in the Strasbourg I was met by none other than my old French FLA Élise! Finally seeing the person who I’ve had countless conversations about France with, in France, was surreal. Élise showed me around her city and we reminisced about all the good times we had on the Hill last year, just like we said we would do while in 301 level French practicum. After our tour, we met up with the other old FLA, Mathias, and the rest of the Holy Cross students at a local restaurant. Upon sitting down at our table, I realized that this was my first time being face to face with other Americans ALL MONTH. I loved catching up with all my fellow Frenchies’ adventures and relaying my own. While walking the streets of Strasbourg after finishing at the restaurant, I came to conclusion that Strasbourg really was not for me, and that I am beyond happy with where I am in Dijon. From what I gathered, Strasbourg is a totally different experience than Dijon, it’s much more of a city vibe and I really could not see myself living there without feeling overwhelmed. I love Dijon and its warm small city feel, and I guess it’s where I was always meant to be.
Now, after that boring introspective discourse, back to mon histoire (my story). Following a small passport dilemma and a five hour bus ride Friday morning, the France gang finally arrived in Munich. Right after getting off the bus, we all went out in the city center to buy our drindls and lederhosen for the fest. Once equipped, we split up to go to our respective locations, mine being an Airbnb with six of mes amis (my friends) from other study abroad locations. Meeting up with friends who have been in (des différents pays ) different countries, such as Spain and Ireland, was by far the best part of the whole trip. I loved being able to compare my many stories and hear the different experiences of whole new audience of friends. Saturday morning, at the ripe hour of 6 am, my friends and I left to get a good spot on* line. Unfortunately, the Munich public transportation system is not the easiest to navigate when you don’t understand German, so our 25 minute commute turned into hour long odyssey after ending up on the complete opposite side of the Munich from where we planned and then having to turn back around. Once on the camp groups, American college students could be seen for kilometers lined up at the gates. After the clock hit 9:00, the gates opened and there was a mad dash for the tents in order to reserve tables. Luckily, Holy Cross students are good sprinters, and we were able to secure three tables in the Hofbräu tent, also known as “the American tent.” Although I probably did not get the most authentic Oktoberfest experience, it was fun to be just like every other American student for the weekend. Speaking a language that I missed, and seeing faces that I missed even more, definitely made all the hassle of the trip worth it.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time in Munich. It was really strange experiencing a foreign country other than France for the first time. I found myself having the impulse to use je vais prendre (i’ll have) and merci (thank you) when attempting ordering pretzels and potatoes. Being in Germany definitely made me appreciate France and being able to speak French a whole lot more. While leaving Germany, I kept thinking to myself how excited I was to get back to Dijon that Sunday night. I wanted nothing more than to be in mon lit(my bed), in ma maison(my house), in ma ville(my city),
but that was before I missed the last train to Dijon from Strasbourg, forcing me to wait nine hours for the next one.
Expression du jour: French: Je comprends seulement “la gare” // German: Ich verstehe nur “Bahnhof.”// English: I only understand “train station.”- a common German expression that means “I don’t understand this foreign language.”