Random things in France.
Well, I’ve been studying in France for two years now. There’re things that I would like to share with y’all.
What can I talk about this? I’m paid to study here and so there’s nothing else I could complain about. Luckily and gladly, the scholarship is still in the pocket, so yeah, 3 years to my graduation. Class of two years is coming to an end, and is currently applying for a few universities to continue my master degree.
Personally, holidays = vacation. The greatest treasure of studying abroad is able to travel around Europe. I’m glad that, ada la rezeki sikit, I have some great travel buddies and we traveled to lots of places. It’s really exciting for me to think about and plan a vacation. And of course, post-vacation-blue is the hardest thing to handle.
What’s the cure? Undoubtedly, another vacation! Yes, it sounds mad but it does make sense. Coming back from my Christmas trip to Eastern Europe, there was still a week of holidays before the school’s recommencement. The whole week, I stayed home and couldn’t find motivation to be productive. Well, after ten days of eating out throughout the whole trip, how could you expect me to be satisfied with my own tasteless prepared meals? Then what I did was planning another trip to Ireland. Let me show some photos of my favorite places that I’ve been to.
p/s : I travel with my own saving, not a single cent from my family. Don’t judge.
It’s so cliché that every French walks around, in a metro or in a park, with a baguette in their hand. But, it’s true, this long stick bread is such a fortune, especially the freshly baked ones. It goes well with whatever meals u are eating, from fish dishes to meats or cheese,. When the nearby bakery serves nice baguette, your day will be enlightened.
4. Eating out
Eating out is everyone’s favorite. First, do survey on tripadvisor and read through comments. Second, call up to reserve or observe when passing by the restaurant and then walk in. Third, admire and take photos of the setting. Fourth, wonder what to eat, go for steak or duck confit (#firstworldproblem). Fifth, look at the wine menu and pretend to be able to differentiate them (padahal compare price saje but act like being in deep consideration of which wine goes well with the steak). Sixth, wine tasting before everyone get served (no matter how
bad good the wine tastes, you will still nod to say ok because you somehow still have to pay for that wine unless you are rich enough to get another bottle). Seventh, food is served, wait the waiters to get away then take photos before actually eating them. Lastly, chit chat until you get bored then you can get home.
I used to think that spending hours on the dining table is impossible. But I realized that it’s such a pleasure to really spend a good time chitchatting while having dinner in a good restaurant with friends. An hour or two, who cares? Eating slow is a trend ok, bear with it.
Aiyo, which Asian doesn’t take photo of their foods?
Weather reflects the mood. If it’s sunny today, everyone is under the sun to have their lunch, to picnic, to sunbathe and to do whatsoever linked to the sun. But if it’s raining day then don’t ask why are others feeling down. And we are all good at weather forecast. Looking at Weather apps every single morning is such an essential task before you actually go out. And of course, the weather is a common topic, like wtf.
Good weather, wait what lagi. Picnic la on!
Coffee is the essence of life. Sometimes, people ask why pay 2euro for a tiny cup of coffee. Well these photos explain why. You get the view, the atmosphere and the people-watching.
Same angle, different coffees, different places, but still, coffee at its best. And I came across this photo online where a Barista in Nice teaches the customers to order politely.
Translation : Price of an espresso at the terrace A coffee .. 7Euro A coffee, please .. 4.25Euro Bonjour, a coffee, please .. 1.40Euro
7. Burger and Steak
Due to religious reason, I don’t really eat beef way back home. The moment i arrived in France, I started to try everything, rabbits, turkeys and beef. Well, rabbit tastes like chicken but better in texture. Just don’t imagine the cute rabbits when u eat them. And yeah, beef is the best. I once tried the must-try Florentine steak and there’s no turning-back. SUCH A SUCCULENT STEAK!
And also, burgers. Who the hell on earth can resist the temptation of burgers? Not the McD ones la.
Ok I’m done with these. Gimme meat.
To sum up my social life in France, I would rather say, I’m socially awkward. Things get quite serious as I find it uncomfortable to join with the french students. Not that they are unfriendly, but I find it hard to get myself involved. Too much in my own comfort zone. I blame no one but myself on not making effort.
9. Facebook addiction
Facebook sucks big time. I can stare and scroll on Fb for hours without doing anything. Facebook is one of the reason why we procrastinate. Damn it but how to live without….? (No air is playing on the radio)
10. Vision & Self motivation
Tough topic. I’m always pictured as a determined person of my academic achievement. Although I mention it as my strong personal characteristic during my job interview, it’s not true in fact. I’m currently in the self-discovery stage, trying hard to find out what I really want and what I’m really passionate about. #dontjudge
For some people, they don’t need those ultimate motivational quotes to keep them moving. Not me. I constantly read the articles on thoughtcatalog or elitedaily to keep myself motivated for hours. Yes, hours. Then the motivation fades away again. Perhaps being lost is the only way to self discover.
Let me share these three random articles in my bookmarks.
11. Being single
12. Money saving
I would rather say, cukup makan la my monthly allowance. Despite the routine of noting down all the daily expenses, I didn’t manage to save up any single penny. Or perhaps all the savings had turned into my travel budget. Well then, quoting my mom, spending is the best way for you to realize how much you have to earn in future in order to maintain your cukup-makan-pakai-main lifestyle. And hell yeah, still working on that. Saving is definitely not the way out but a good start. Let’s see how further could I get after one year of the plan. #fingerscrossed
For heaven’s sake, I actually started to do some reading. I have some self help Chinese books constantly resting in their grave. These books are motivational but they are more like stating facts with some random stories in order just to fit in their theories. And quickly, I lost the urge to read. Then I came across this book and it blew me away. So many things learnt from this old man’s real life story and how he embraced his life knowing he was dying of a motor neuron disease.
Learn how to die, and you learn how to live.
What’s wrong with being number two?
Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.
Death ends a life, not a relationship.
14. Canteen foods vs Self-prepared meals
I would say french canteen food is the best. Paying 3Euros per meal, you get a salad, a dessert and a plat of meats & side dishes. Me, being a lazy arse, I only cook like twice a week so basically I’m constantly eating in the canteen. Sometimes, during festivals or some random happy days for the chefs, they will cook something extraordinary and it will definitely enlighten your day, for real.
Paella at 3Euro? Mana cari?! And so, Lunch time = happy time, just because I get to eat some meats. Then get grumpy hungry 6hours later, then back to sad life. How sad?
Then generally I will wait until the weekend to get someone to cook rice to eat with me. Rice is precious, like very precious. Or at least, I don’t have to eat my own dishes. And burrito is my life saver.
15. Political knowledge
It just so happens that I’m all over comedy shows. My meal-time accompany is then the taiwan political talk show hosted by chen wen qian. She talks about what’s happening globally in term of politics and economy. Proud no longer being so ignorant like I used to. It’s time tho to realize that politic is actually the future of a country, no matter which country. Japan, Egypt, Ukraine and Russia are no exceptions.
And I do enjoy reading Dr Mahathir’s short essays from time to time on FB. Not saying that I’m his follower but his articles could actually provoke deep thought on the social issues, so why not?
16. Government’s puppet
Well, kind of get enough of this stereotype. Accepting the scholarship doesn’t blind fond us. There’s no any single rules stated in the contract that we have to support which ruling party. Just that we, students living abroad, could not join any political demonstration. So, yeah, it doesn’t mean that I don’t support the government, just that to make clear that I do have my own political view instead of being brainwashed by any certain people.
17. Interviews and Internship
Great, interviews, I had a few. Three in total, but all didn’t go really well. To be honest, these interviews somehow made me realized that academic result doesn’t mean a shit. Thinking of having good grades facilitates the job search? In your dream, people don’t really really care. And it is then important to know how to sell yourself. How? Don’t know pun, google it.
And luckily, I found my intern in a laboratory. Not much thing to do actually and surf internet for good damn long hours, procrastinate to the max. And this is the 200km-away-town called Pau in South West France.
20. Snow & Ski
Snowing is actually quite exciting. Waking up in the morning and seeing the white surrounding are just so cool. And I went skiing twice. It seems awesome to ski but very difficult to handle the two long sticks. It’s like learning walking like a penguin or even like a baby. Had lotsa fun though.
And also, random misty mornings when it was cold enough to form some ice on everywhere.
And yes, we were really luckily to have Bruno Mars’s concert in our town Toulouse. The ticket was just 40Euros (Rm160) and so it was so damn worth it.
My version : iPhone vid sucks.
Random online version :
Honestly, it’s hard to say no to wines in France. You can simply find huge varieties of wines from all regions of France and the price is kind of reasonable, some might say cheap. And since temptations are everywhere, so … And don’t take me as a drunkard. These photos are just the good ones I took photo of throughout the TWO years here.
23. Christmas market
During this festive month, almost every town will organize a monthly Christmas market where you can get foods, red hot wines, churros, decorations, Christmas cards and gifts. Let me show you some of them.
Then in my town :
And this year, I sent out my first ever Christmas gifts to the friends. And agree that giving is better than receiving.
24. House chores
Being tidy at all time is really not my things, but still, there’s a limit. But when 6 tests and 1 presentation came all together in a week, my room was then like a war zone. I warn you first. And don’t judge. I’m too disgusted by myself looking at this photo AHHA
I swear these two photos are taken neither on the same day, nor the same week. This is just my one-month laundry after coming back from ten-days-winter-vacations. This is scary I know.
Guess you spotted my ukulele on the floor from the previous photo. Bought from a Christmas market two years back then. It has been such an accompany to me. It’s easy to learn the chords but I don’t really play it a lot. And neither any advancement with the guitar. But recently, so happened to record a 25-sec-melody.
Now you can laugh on that.
26. Eiffel tower
France = Paris = Eiffel Tower. People only think of Eiffel tower whenever they think of France. Being a tourist, of course I did visited and climbed all the way up to get the breathtaking views. And being an Asian, of course I took lots of photo.
27. New year party
To celebrate 2014, we organized a home party. To make it festive, we actually bought champagnes, foie gras, osyters and lots of good stuff. We came back from Carrefour with a receipt of 250Euros. Bravo.
Definitely a wrong way to eat this. Just put them all together for the sake of taking photo. HAHAHAHAHAh
28. Lying down on the ground
I got this weird habit. I like to lie down on the field and enjoy the silence.
And that’s it!
[THIS POST IS WRITTEN TWO YEARS AGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO]