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Showing posts from May, 2013

Jetlag...and its opportunities..between France and Australia...

I am a tourist in Monte Carlo (photo a fellow tourist 2013)
Three days ago, I returned to Australia after a seven week sojourn in France, during which I completed a four week French language immersion program at theInstitute de Français in Villefranche-sur-Mer. I have written about my observations of the wonderful Institut in recent posts.
Jet stream from aircraft sending a "kiss" to my apartment in Villefranche-sur-Mer (photo LP 2013)
The course was followed by a two week mother/son “road trip” firstly through Provence, and then through the wine growing regions of Bordeaux. My son and I,  both “foodies”, challenged ourselves by attempting to emulate some of the beautiful meals we shared. While visiting the fresh food markets in the little towns and stocking up on provisions,  I practised my French with the stall owners while he chose the various vegetables, fruits, fish, fruits de mer,  poultry and meats with which we would try and reconstruct our favourite meals.  It was a  t…

France...and Confucius...and people...

After almost seven weeks my sojourn in France is ending in a few days.  Having spent short holidays in France over the past 30 years, I wanted to stay for a longer period and to have the opportunity to live like a local, albeit a transient one. 
My month long course at the Institut de françaisin Villefranche-sur-Mer enabled me, for five weeks, to mix within the welcoming community of that ville...to share their market, their boulangerie, their boucher, their inclement weather, and their daily greetings as I would commence my walk up the hill to my "school" each morning. 
The teachers and administration personnel at the Institut were, each and every one of them, encouraging of we students, even while they corrected our language and at times laughed with us over our mistakes.  The two teachers who conducted my class, Intermediate 3, over the four weeks were inspirational...they encouraged us to speak even when making mistakes, to correct ourselves and to keep speaking regardle…

Villefranche-sur-Mer...a ville and its food....

Villefranche...the restaurant strip beside the water (Photo LP 2013)
After four weeks in Villefranche-sur-Mer,France, I have settled in and feel a little like a local.  My regular contact with the people in the little boulangerie, the nearby small supermarket, the butcher,  the Tabac and the small shops I pass each day on my way to and from Institut de Français has resulted in a familiarity which I would not have expected. 
The regular " bonjour, ça va?" as I pass, or when I visit the market each Saturday morning, has made me feel at home.  When I have mentioned  that I am a student at the Institut the local people immediately smile and encourage me to speak in French, which was awkward in the beginning but as I have improved my confidence and my ability to speak in their language, these "locals" have encouraged me with their compliments, week by week. I am going to miss each and every one of them when I leave.

My first meal inVillefranche,scallops at Les Corsaires