One thing I forgot to mention about Friday is that during the presentation, the director of the university came in and, among other things, reminded us not to drown ourselves in the Gironde. Apparently 8 young adults, 6 of them students drowned during night’s out in Bordeaux over the last few years. This explains why when I went to the bank with Mum earlier this summer to sort out finances and stuff for uni, the lady warned me not to drown in the canals…
Also, as I was looking up some articles about this, I saw this article: http://www.sudouest.fr/2012/08/30/la-force-arrive-en-ville-807099-2780.php . Apparently last night I missed a Star Wars flashmob at the place des Quinconces. It took place at quarter past 8 and was organised by practitioners of a french martial art called ‘Canne de combat’ or ‘Savate‘. The enthuasists of this sport are often compared to Jedi knights from Star Wars, so they decided they might as well be Jedis! It’s a shame I missed this, it would have been great to see!
My Star Wars-less day wasn’t very exciting. In the morning, I went to the Mériadeck Centre Commercial to continue my quest for Cheap Peanut Butter. The peanut butter at Auchan was indeed cheaper, but at €4.34, not cheap enough! I did get some oil, oats and caramelised peanuts, so the trip wasn’t all bad! Auchan has an a very cheap area, called Self-discount, which looks great for skint students as it has loads of really, really cheap edibles.
Oats, peanuts and sunflower oil from Auchan, which came to about €3
Unfortunately, as my current ‘fridge’ is a baking tin full of water with a damp teacloth draped over it, I can’t buy anything in bulk, or that needs proper refridgeration. This, along with the rather dismal cooking facilities (one hotplate which never takes 15 min to boil a small pot of pasta – and this is after spending 5+ minutes just trying to turn it on!) is starting to be quite frustrating. I had been planning on maybe making a big batch of something Sunday night and then eating that during the week, and I had been really looking forward to being able to bake for myself… I think most of the other students in this residence have bought their own ovens, fridges and the like – judging from the sounds of cooking coming from rooms, the many notices downstairs salling fridges, etc. and the many appliances I’ve seen being carried into rooms while people were moving in!
After leaving Auchan, I pottered around the rest of the shopping centre which was full of all sorts of shops, including a H&M, a Quick and aven a Claire’s Accessories! My shoes were rubbing so, being the responsible and ever prepared student I am, sat down and stuck a plaster on what remained of my heel, then quickly regressed to the age of 7 years old and headed in to the Claire’s. In there, I found a selection of flavoured lipgloss – something I’d been looking for for ages! I treated myself to a €2.50 Claire’s brand ‘Cookie Dough Ice Cream’ lip balm, which unfortunately smells more like playdough than cookie dough, and doesn’t taste of anything, as I discovered when I got home. Oh well, it comes in a cute pot!
After leaving Meriadeck, I set off looking for a secondhand bookshop ‘La Bouquinerie‘ by Gambetta. I found it easily enough, but it wasn’t quite as cheap as I was hoping. They had a nice, but small english book collection, and while they didn’t have ‘Speaker for the Dead’ by Orson Scott Card, the sequel to ‘Ender’s Game’ whiwh I’m currently reading and really enjoying, I bought a copy of ‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy, a nice pose-y book to read on the tram.
Treats to celebrate a first week on my own!
I went home, and seeing as it was quite hot (méteo was saying around 32°C) didn’t go out again that afternoon. In the evening, as I was getting rather stir-crazy, I decided to go have a picnic in Peixotto Park, which is about 2.5km away. I made some pasta – I found a little shortcut for this: I added boiling water from the kettle into the pan with the pasta instead of starting with cold water. This helped and even with the pathetic hotplate I managed to get the pasta done in less than 15 min! I added the rest of the jar of bolognese sauce, and shoved various cookies and sweet things into another tupperware lunchbox thing, grabbed my helmet (see Mum, I’m being careful! :P), got my bike out the bikeshed and set off. I rode along the cycle lane as far as it went (it stops at Arts & Métiers), then cut through the campus to arrive just opposite the park. There was an unfortunate infestation of couples in the park, but I found a quiet-ish spot near a few families (and a very unimpressed cat on a leash) and settled down to read and eat my impromptu picnic.
My gourmet pasta!
The view from where I sat – there’s a duckpond just out of sight in the background.
And a cat on a leash!