29 September 2010

A Tour of Town

This morning David, my "mentor" and one of the English professors, showed me around town with Huimin, the Chinese language assistant. We have already walked around several times ourselves but it was good to see it again with some more information and from another source. David was also able to point out things like his favorite boulangerie (bakery), and ones that are really nice but a little expensive. He would also walked into just about ny building he felt like. One of the Churches in town has been converted over into a cultural center of sorts. Over that past two weeks, ending this past weekend, they had a huge garden exposition and they were in the process of tearing it down. If it looked that good when the were tearing it down I can only imagine how it looked all put together. We also saw the library in the cultural center (which has cd's and I really wish my computer had a cd drive so I could rip them all). Some of the things he was showing us we had already seen several times before, but again they were good to reinforce.
The purpose of the expedition was also to set up bank accounts, but we were only able to make appointments for Friday, but at least we have that.I bought donner kebab for lunch as I made it too late to the cafeteria for lunch as it's Wednesday and I didn't realize they close early.
In the afternoon I ran 2 bureaucratic type errands which went surprisingly smoothly and also Huimin and I also met up with Meike, Meike is the German language assistant at the middle school in town, all of 4 minutes away from the lycee. She's been here for about 2 weeks and I think she's getting a little bit of cabin fever. Coutances is lovely but it's small, with a good selection, but limited amount of things to do (especially alone). She also drove here and has a car! She's really nice and we are meeting her to go to the fruit and vegetable market tomorrow morning.
A quick purchase of baguette and cheese and I had my dinner. I got some random cheese that said "Coutances" and essentially "Made in the Cotentin" which is the peninsula of the region. It was so delicious and creamy, yum! It's too bad that Huimin doesn't like cheese at all, sucks for her!
That was about it for the day, throw in a few trips to the market and chats on skype and that's about all I did!
I'm working on my vacation schedule soon!

Here are some photos that should have been with yesterday's post

A view of desk, the walls above which have been adorned with photos.

The kitchen (communal)
My shelves and bed
Closet, sink shelves. The door entering the room is to the right of the closet.

28 September 2010

Bienvenue à Coutances!

Bonjour Tout le Monde!
I safely arrived yesterday in Coutances. I was dead tired but everything went well. The plane got in early, my bags was one of the first on the carousel, I caught the bus easily, as well as the train. Arriving at the Coutances train station I made a small mistake. I knew from Google maps that the Lycée was only a kilometer away so I firgured that I would rather just walk there than dealing with a taxi. Unfortunately walking meant all uphill on only a vague idea of a sidewalk. I got there fairly quickly and to my room soon after. I thought I would finally get a chance to sleep but no- it was time to overwhelm me with French paperwork! All in all it worked out and things have been moving along fairly well.
My room is fairly simple, but nice enough. There are four individual rooms with a bed, closet, sink, desk and shelf each. The bathroom and kitchen are shared, the kitchen being a bit small, but enough. Coutances is absolutely lovely, with a beautiful cathedral in the center. I've gone on a fair amount of excursions already, including buying a cell phone, heading to the pharmacy for shampoo and other toiletries, to carrefour because I had seen it from my window, a small market for some food yesterday and a walk around town. I got some more paperwork done this morning but there is always more to do.
I think that's about it for now, love and miss you all!
the view from outside the balcony in front of the apartment entrance