Hi everyone! If you noticed I’ve been a bit absent on social media this past week or two, it’s because I have safely arrived in France to be with my babe! The time leading up to my trip went by in a whirlwind that even if I wanted to, I probably couldn’t recap for you. It involved a lot of family and friend time, and trying to pack my entire room into one suitcase (which I basically did, and I will share with you the secrets to my success in the near future!).
Since arriving in Bordeaux, I’ve learned a few things.
1. If you don’t speak French, they don’t care. There’s no English translations like in other countries, and my first interaction with a cab driver who continued to speak French to me after I said “je ne parle Francais” proved that it’s a “me” problem. Time for more Duolingo!
2. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to look up customs of the place you’re traveling to, especially if you’ve heard of something but aren’t sure if it’s true or not. For example, on my second night here, I accompanied Babe to a sponsored team event at a chic little wine bar, not really sure what to expect but excited to have the chance to go to a posh event feeling like Carrie Bradshaw. Anyways, we show up and there’s a small handful of people that Babe knows who come to meet me. Of course everyone has heard that in France, to greet someone you are supposed to give a kiss on each cheek. So what did I do? As the first woman I met approached me, I extended my hand to shake hers, and she politely guided my arm as she came in closer, which made me think she was going for a hug, so I wrapped my other arm around her! L O L. She gave me my two air kisses and I proceeded to sit down, feeling trés ignorant.
3. People riding bicycles might actually run the road here? Last year in Czech, we used a car to get around the small town, as there weren’t a lot of people on bikes. It was either walk or drive. Here in Bordeaux, there is a very high number of bikers, and they are everywhere. Although I love walking so I can notice everything as we pass by, having a bike is like, the best thing EVER, because cars will yield to you, walkers stay on the sidewalk, and you can still get a sniff every time you pass a boulangerie. With that being said, motor bikes may be the overall king of the road, as I almost got hit by one on my bike yesterday. They have the convenience of compactness with the added element of speed. It’s a great way to see the city without being exhausted from walking, and without the stress of traffic/one way streets. Also, on nearly every big street corner, there’s a spot to rent bikes for only a euro a day! If you’re thinking of getting to know Bordeaux, I would highly suggest skipping the tram pass and doing as the French do- faire du vélo!
Anyway, it’s Friday night and we’re on our way out on the town after a home game. Although I love watching Babe play, for the first week or so after I arrive, I love when he’s beside me rather than on the ice, so I am waiting like a puppy for him to get his derrière out of the change room!!
Stay tuned for more life, love and lessons as I find my way in France!