The Holy Trinity

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Church.

Like any given Sunday in the life of moi, this morning I went to church. Being a Christian, and it being Sunday, that fact is a fairly unexciting statistic. But, what made today different, was that “going to church” meant going into a gigantic medieval style stone structure filled marble carved statues (we’re talking 8-10 feet high, including a skeleton reaper which is #hellapunk) in a small French town. Oh, and that it was Catholic. Which I am not.

Now you may think there would be some cultural differences for an American Protestant girl who ducked her way into a party where no one speaks her exact verbal or spiritual language, and you would be right. But overall I felt incredibly refreshed by the experience. The reason I was there in the first place was because it’s the only church within 30 miles of where I live. Not gonna lie – the lack of options is kind of a bummer.

The church service was as traditional and conservative as you could probably find anywhere, complete with a pipe organ and higher than usual pitched singing. It reminded me of church coronations/marriage scenes from Elizabeth or Ever After. But, overall I loved the service. It was pieced together with biblical scriptures and interval hymns (In French, of course, which was amazing) and I loved that it constantly engaged those who were there to worship.

Afterward, I stopped by the flower shop across the street and bought a little purple flower bush to bring some life to my room. It worked. I’m so much happier seeing my little plant ward every time I walk in the door. It really is just the best for someone, like me, who is obsessed with the natural world.

The final excitement for the day happened when I logged in to my favorite websites, Hulu and Netflix, to relax for the evening. Then, to my utter astonishment, from BOTH websites, I was told that they did not work within the country I was operating. As in – there was NO Netflix, Hulu or Pandora in THIS WHOLE COUNTRY. Try to grasp my horror. It was quite severe and really couldn’t have been worse. I’m not ashamed to say it, I adore all of these websites, and being able to relax and watch a movie is essential to bringing together my feeling of home.

I’m starting to realize more than ever that, sometimes it’s the littlest things that make home feels like home. Like Netflix. Or a random little shrub in your room.

I am sorry to sound like a spoiled American brat, but when I first found out I would have no access to Netflix, Hulu or Pandora I was pretty seriously considering booking it out of France…ok, so I wasn’t, but I was pretty upset. I don’t have many of my movies with me here in France, so it’s really important to have these resources. Would I die without them, no. Would I be a lot less happy about life? Yes. LUCKILY, I have amazing friends who let me in on the secret of Chromzising websites and making them work with Hola. I couldn’t be more happy.

Today has been a full and relaxing day, overall. I actually had the guts to tell my host family I didn’t want to go with them, the kids and their grandparents to the park, a decision which needed to be made since it’s my day off and they keep trying to “include me” on these days – which is nice…but I’ll be with the kids this week 7am-7pm every day (school doesn’t start until next week) so I think I’ll have quite enough kid time for the week without going out on my day off. Instead I stayed home and wrote letters to any and everyone I could think of. I ran out of postcards, but I plan on getting more on my next trip outside this petit-chateau.

Also, if you’ve asked me to send you a letter/postcard please please be patient. I’m mailing out the first bunch today, but there are still some people I’ve missed that will have to go out the next time I have the courage to go into the post office and ask for stamps.

Oh, yeah…I have a sauna in my bathroom. As in, the bathroom is only for me and there's a sauna in it. Awesome.
Oh, yeah…I have a sauna in my bathroom. As in, the bathroom is only for me and there’s a sauna in it. Awesome.

French Favorites For The Week

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1. Fashion Icon: Juliette Gréco

“Still more will remember the pared-down look invented by this muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés: sheathed in black, her doe eyes rimmed with kohl, her bangs and long black hair framing her pale face and expressive hands. It has been inspiring girls with artistic aspirations for over six decades.” – Vogue August 2014

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2. Cédric Klapisch series: L’auberge espangnole, Poupées Russe, et Casse Tête Chinois 

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This is one of my favorite series of all time. The movies are made over quite a bit of time and show the lives and progressions of a group of student/young adults/adults. Filled with just the right amount of humor, drama, romance and real life experiences they are HIGH on my list of suggested watch, regardless of if you speak French. (They’re easy to find with English subtitles – Amazon has them to stream/buy!)

3. Miley v. Joan of Arc (aka Jeanne d’Arc)

Have you ever watched “Epic Rap Battles Of History” on Youtube? Ok, so this isn’t strictly French, but it does have Joan of Arc in it (aka The Maiden of Orleans, France – where I’ll be going to school). It’s definitely ridiculous and satirical, so watch at your own risk…of dying from laughter.

4. Bla Bla Car

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This is a resource that the French girl Couchsurfing with me right now told me about! Traveling around France can be expensive, and I’m going to pretty much have a budget of nothing while I live there, so it’s going to be really important for me to have little life hacks like this one that I can use to see the country without spending all of my savings. Example: Riding the train from where I live (one way) to Paris is about $40…ride sharing is about $15. So glad I found out about this!

5.  Normandie Armada Festival

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Today I just found out about this festival that happens every four years (the next one is going to be in 2019) where old ships all gather along with millions of people on the coast of Normandy! Definitely on my bucket list.

6. Leboncoin.fr

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Another great resource for the young, broke and not yet famous, I’m really excited about using this website (which is a lot like the French version of Craigslist) to find some necessities at a more accessible for my soon to be financial stays (aka broke).

7. Nolwenn Leroy

My bohemian self is in love with these videos and Nolwenn in general. I’m especially fond of these songs because they’re kind of like a mix of Irish/Scottish music + French which may be the most perfect combination ever.

(Only two more weeks until France!!)