It has been almost a week now since I have been in Lyon, and things are slowly getting easier. I no longer get lost in the mall; I know my way around pretty well! I usually go straight to the store, Carrefour, which international students like to describe as the French walmart equivalent. It is the best place to find cheap stuff, and they have a whole floor at the top of the mall that is a grocery store. It is a great place to buy food, but it’s a bitch to carry things home.

It has been raining ever since I arrived, so I’m anxiously awaiting nicer weather. I don’t own an umbrella yet, so it makes things a bit tough. I would also like to do some more sight-seeing, and take lots of photos to post here! I walked around town for a couple of hours a few days ago with a cool Canadian girl that I met outside the international students office. She overheard me and my friend Sarah talking in english, and she introduced herself. She showed me around the Belle-Cour, the Opera house, the town hall (Hotel de Ville), and where 2 of the 3 H&M’s are located. I cannot believe that Lyon has 3 H&M’s when Ottawa has 0. Where is the justice in that?

Things have gotten so much better here since yesterday. My friend, Sarah, who I had classes with back home, has been so helpful (she picked me up from my flight) and she took me on a trip to Ikea yesterday! I should have known that a trip to Ikea would make me forget about my homesickness, at least temporarily. I also had my first hot meal there since my flight.

I am so happy to now have a warm duvet to sleep in, and a REAL pillow! Yay:) I also bought a pot and a pan, so that I can cook hot meals for myself at home. Here’s to not getting food poisoning! aha! I made some chicken in tomato sauce and a side-dish of rice last night, and it was quite good.

I tried to buy some curry sauce for my rice, but I had such a hard time finding it at the grocery store. I think I may have to hit up a speciality store for it. Peanut butter is another item that is hard to find here, and when you do- it’s super expensive, because hardly anyone eats it. Back at home I would eat peanut butter toast (or a sandwich) every single day. I’m trying to brace the culture here, though. I now buy lots of baguettes. A baguette typically costs 0.85 euros, but I prefer whole wheat, and it is somehow cheaper at 0.45 euros- go figure!

The first time that I really felt like I was in France was on my first day when I saw an older man walking around with a baguette. Now I see people eating them everywhere. Want to buy a sandwich? It will be made with baguette. Going to the convenience store? You’ll see baguettes. Yummy!

Here is a photo of me and also photos of my new purchases:

Hello!

The pillows are square-shaped in France… I wish I could tell you why

We don’t have a shower rod in our bathroom, so I attempted to put up the shower curtain with strong tape, which clearly wasn’t strong enough. I guess I’ll have to visit a hardware store soon…

Cereal, olive oil, and 20 sided dice ^^ (in case there’s a party hehe)

My pot… that is probably too large

My new pan!

My PINK plates, cute cups, and baguette (or whatever is left of it)

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pinkNINJA… en France!

January 21, 2009

I am back, and I am now in Lyon, France! I almost went bonkers the first day, because my internet connection wasn’t working, and none of the airports I had been at offered free wifi. It feels awesome to have it again hehe, because I felt incredibly disconnected from family, friends, and basic information without it. I miss everyone so much.

Even with internet, though, I have noticed that the gaming ports for Steam, and the ports that ventrilo uses have all been blocked ! I am scared that I will not be able to game for 6 months. It is one of my greatest passions, and a great way to get my mind off things (such as homesickness). I tried using a vpn that I used at home, but that didn’t work, so I will probably try to talk to the admin about it…

Being in France has been a bit of a culture shock… they take 2 hour lunch breaks, and really take life slowly. It will definitely be something to get used to ! I have never lived on my own before, so it was weird not having a spoon to eat my yogurt with on the my first day here hehe. I had to use the cover as a kind of scoop! Being creative is certainly fun hehe. I bought toilet paper for the first time yesterday, and I found that to be oddly exciting.

It is so much easier living at home… there you don’t have to really worry about running out of things, or having to use a jacket as a pillow. It’s worked pretty well so far, though, haha but I figure I better buy one so that my jacket doesn’t look like a bucket of wrinkles. At home, too, I have never gotten lost in a big mall for 20 minutes. I swear I had such a difficult time finding the correct exit, and I felt like I was going around in circles. It was really funny to see some American stores that I recognized there- such as Claire’s Accessories and the Tie Rack! I had no idea that Claire’s was so big all around the world… go figure. I managed to buy a cellphone for 19 euros, and that’s with free incoming calls. I find that the cell plans here are a lot more reasonable, but that’s probably because there is a wider variety of plans and providers to choose from. I think my friends will be proud of me, as I had been using a broken cell phone in Canada since October!

The architecture here is gorgeous, and I feel lucky to even have such a pretty view out my window.

Here are some pics from my apartment- I haven’t unpacked yet, so it is quite messy (my b, my roommate is super cool and clean^^):

The view

The large window

The kitchenette… and the toilet paper that I bought for the first time!

My bed thus far and the black lump that is my pillow^^

Table and stairs

The bed in the loft (the ceiling is probably only 6′ high)

Battle Royale LAN Party

January 12, 2009

I haven’t been blogging so much lately, because I have been spending most of my spare time helping to organize a huge LAN party that is taking place from January 24-25, 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario at Carleton University. I can barely believe how soon it will be taking place! I will not be able to attend, because I will already be in France, but I have been trying my best to help make this LAN a huge success.

I was able to get Bawls, the energy drink for gamers to sponsor the event with 200 free drinks. Steam is also donating us 100 free temporary accounts for those do not own Valve games, and want to try them out and/or participate in the Valve game tournaments.

My friend, Renegade, from Pwnage.TV will also be making the trip up to Ottawa to do shoutcasting for the various tournaments!

I wish so much that I could be there, because LAN parties are always fun, and I know this one will be truly great. Please spread the word to your Canadian gamer friends ^^

Battle Royale Site