Friday, August 26, 2011

J'ai appri quelque chose aujourd'hui!

I pass my days learning new things.

Being surrounded by French people, French comes easily. I use some books and online resources but definitely memorize things better when I hear them from friends. Sometimes Jehane and Anaïs ask me something so I search for the right expression and with some help from Thierry I have the answer. New expressions come during conversations, I think of what I'd like to say and jot it down in my notebook. I learn new verbs and practise conjugating them. I memorize the numbers (on our way to another village; just from hearing). I have a closer look at phrases and sentences and try to understand them like Mathematics, make them logic like a puzzle, know where I have to put certain word, which form I have to use. Memorizing less important facts and odd words is something I'm good at and in this case it also does the job.

But language exchange works in both ways. After I had learned French numbers, Viviene wants to know how to count in Polish. I write the numbers and Thierry tries to come up with their phonetic transcription, sometimes struggling to find the right letters to describe difficult Polish sounds. When we have a look at a little book with pictures, Viviene bursts out laughing when she sees that "brosse à dents" is "szczoteczka do zębów" in Polish.

Driving gives me so much enjoyment. I'd never suppose I'd feel this way but now I want to know more and more, I feel much more comfortable when I drive then I was in April, learning new things comes easily. I can't wait until I start giving rides to hitchhikers.

Besides, I make improvement in swimming and it's still beginner-style but my fear of water has vanished.

There's nothing you can do that can't be done...

Some photos from my first week here:


Along Canal de Carpentras:

Just walking here and there:

Simple pleasures and random acts of kindness:

Recalling Woodstock

Anaïs and Jehane

Another small gift from them

Diligent students

Almost destruction

Tomorrow I'm saying goodbye for now to France and leaving for the south, to see a good friend for the first time after almost 1 year and 8 months. I eventually didn't manage to find a host in Barcelona, but becoming quite impatient I decided to send requests to other cities and here I come, what I didn't find time to see in April, I'll see next week - Toulouse!

My backpack is light as feather; having so little is delightful. Now 1,5 month on Iceland with 2 backpacks and heavy burden are just a distant memory.

Wake up time for tomorrow is around 6.30 and my plan to have more rest backfired but I couldn't say no when Anaïs asked me to make another stitching pattern for her, so she chose a difficult pattern with a cat and I carefully marked every dot for her but eventually finished making the holes myself. We start with the thread tomorrow on our way to Salon-de-Provence, unless I fall asleep, tired with the extensiveness of last days.

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