University of Minnesota Morris

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Expect the unexpected.

Okay, so, I have never written a blog before, I barely write letters, so I have no idea how or where to even begin so I will just jump right in.

On the 8 and a half hour plane to Paris, I had a lot of time to think and collect my thoughts and during that time I was thinking what to write on this very blog. I had NO idea what i was going to write! I didn't know what to expect what would happen in Paris, let alone when I arrived in my town of Montpellier. I guess I assumed I would go to class, do homework, and hopefully hit the beach and shop. I'm not really sure what type of mindset i was even in because I only got a half hour of sleep on the plane, so I am sure I was thinking many complete thoughts. But my point was that I had no idea what I had gotten myslef into and when I stepped off the plane from Paris that brought me to Monpellier, I was greeted by a giant, very gorgeous, man with an even bigger gun. At that time I was ready to go home, he completly freaked me out. But after the encounter with him I made it to my dorm and got settled in then fell asleep. Moving on to the next morning, we had to be to school by 9 am for our 3 tests. So intense. But these tests, in my opinion, were horrible. So many of the people i met here were placed in the wrong skill level class, me included. I was placed in "Groupe A" (all the students are divided into groups and they are lettered on skill level). When I saw I was placed in A, I was okay with it becuase I did only have 2 semesters of French and many people were on like their 7th year of French here so I assumed it would be tough but where I needed to be. WRONG. The first few classes we did numbers and the alaphabet. I got out of that class as soon as i could. Now I am in "Groupe B" and it is much much better!

Moving on from boring class things, as i was saying before i began to ramble was that I had no idea what i was goign to blog about, but little did i know that so many things would happen within a few days! From the time I was in the air over Fracne until now, I have been sneezing and had an insane stuffy nose. Turns out I am allergic to some random french thing that is still unknown to me. And on top of that, I got a random bug bite that hurts so bad. Someone thinks its a spider bite, but I doubt it is. Needless to say it is healing now and doesnt hurt as much. But ignoring my lovely list ,that keeps getting longer, of health issues there are so many other things I could say or talk about because so much has happened. The program I am with keeps us all so busy from morning until night. It is great but not always because some days we do want to rest but dont want to miss what is happening. And with being so busy, we go all around and outside of Montpellier and that forces us even more to adapt to the culture. It's not a bad thing that we are adapting, it is quite fun but very challenging and I think i will have a harder time adapting back to our culture because things seem more intense with culure than ours. Maybe it only seems that way to me because its all brand new...I guess we'll find out as time goes on. But the two biggest things for me are the bathroom and eye contact. The bathroom here is so different in size and quality and where you sit even. There is no literal toilet seat, none that i have uesd so far anyways, you actually have to kind of balance. That isnt even the worst part about toilets though, at the university there is bathrooms with not toilets you sit on, but ones you squat over! yeah, that was an experience in itself....so gross. Now eye contact, it is a no-no here. The people either think there is something on their face or you are tryign to seduce them. And eye contact is so hard to avoid because the creepers try to make eye contact and they hold it! One time i amde eye contact on accident when a friend and i were at an outside pizza place and they guy sat down next to us and just looked at us constantly, we left as soon as we could from that situation. Strangers here are just like the cities in the US, you must stay away. But here, it is hard to tell creepy people from ones that arent goign to stalk you. Another time while waiting for the tram, a lady came up to me and was talking and gave me something to read and such and I told her I dont speak French becaus ei wanted her to go away. I had to ask for help to get her to leave, and when she finally did i found out she was a gypsy and was trying to steal my stuff. I was so shocked. Luckily she didnt take anythign because of the bag i have and where everything is in it but just the encounter was scary enough. So, ending yet another rant, i wear sunglasses allllll the time now and look everywhere but most faces (some men are so hot here you have to look for at least a second)

Alright, I think I will end this before it gets too long. Sorry for having no blog experience and not so good fast typing skills. I will do a blog everytime i can and fill it with the things I find important but may forget to tell people when they ask for all the things that happen here. There is so much goign on and only so much time i have to tell these stories to people. And if you are readign this part right now, thanks for reading the whole thing, (unless you skipped to this part, in that case oh well) I kow it isnt the most intresting, but its the little things that make this trip so great!

au revoir
-RaeAnn

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