Allo, Grenoble.

It has been a little less than a week since I arrived in Grenoble, and even though it still seems weird that I’m not coming home for 7 months…I’m starting to get really excited about my new home.

Grenoble is surrounded by mountains. Literally. The Chartreuse, Vercors and Belledonne mountain ranges are all very prominent when you look around the city. I couldn’t tell you which one is which yet…but I’m getting there. A couple days ago I went up to “La Site de la Bastille” which is known as the best view of the city, and I believe it. A fellow TA, Arleth from Mexico, and I went up in the “bulles” which kind of reminded me of going up in the arch in STL but a lot less claustrophobic. Needless to say, Grenoble is a beautiful place.

Not only is it beautiful, but the people here have been SO nice. I feel like I’m in Minnesota when a random stranger comes and strikes up a conversation on the tram, and that’s happened many times! My AirBnB host was an angel. She let me use her address and pretend that I was going to be living with her permanently so that I could open a bank account, and she has given me a lot of tips on living in Grenoble. If you’re ever gonna visit Grenoble…try to find Nathalie Bourquelot’s “chambre en hauteur” on Airbnb…you won’t regret it.

I have visited both of my schools to introduce myself, and I left both those visits feeling excited. The faculty at both schools is so welcoming, and the kids were all wide-eyed when I introduced myself as “Américaine”. My french has so far proven to be pretty good…I’ve managed to open a bank account, ask the necessary questions while apartment hunting and purchase a french phone plan without using any english. Most people ask me where I’m from because they say I have a little accent…but hey, I’ll take it!

The following week will include our orientation, my first few days of work, more apartment shopping, and hopefully some pain au chocolat 🙂 I met some fellow TAs this weekend that were all super nice so I’m excited to get to know them better and meet many more tomorrow. So far most have been from the U.S. but I’ve also met people from Portugal, Costa Rica and like I said before from Mexico…pretty cool!

Highlight of the Week: My fabulous Airbnb host and the view from her apartment.

Meal of the Week: A tartine called La Provençale from a great little cafe – Pain et Cie

Other Random Thoughts & Observations…

  • It has been in the 80s for the past week…and I swear I have seen less than 10 people total wearing shorts. What’s up with that?
  • When I tell french people that I’m from Minnesota, they often have no idea where it is in the country, but a couple have asked me if I say “MinnesOHHta” so that has been pretty funny
  • I’ve met a few TAs who are back in Grenoble doing this for the second time so that has to be a good sign.
  • I need to start learning how to not say “Bonjour” everytime I greet someone. It does mean hello…but it also means good day, and people really say “Bonsoir” as a greeting when it’s nighttime, and “Allo?” when they pick up the phone. Takes some getting used to!

That’s all for now! Til next time!


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