Tomorrow I’m off on my next adventure – a Workaway just by the town Dax in Southwest France, where I’ll be living with a French family and taking care of the two children – so here’s a quick run-through of the last three weeks leading up to my departure.
On Friday the 28th of May I had my last online French class, having successfully completed three months of school and ending up with a level B1 French (intermediate).
Sunday the 31st of May Ben, Eric and I went on a day trip, first going on a fairly easy trek to Pont du Gare – a stunning old roman bridge and aqueduct close to Nîmes -, where we sat down to eat our picnic and enjoy the perfect weather. Usually, the area is completely flooded with tourists, but because the usual entrance was closed, we shared the view with only a handful of people. We walked the same trail back to the car and drove to the nearby town Uzès. My foot was still hurting, but I managed to do the trek in a slow pace and with the help of Ben’s walking sticks.
Uzès was a charming and beautiful old town, with a cosy atmosphere and few people. We walked around a little, got ice cream and enjoyed a calm afternoon before heading home again for dinner.
My first week without courses, I spent in Bédarieux with Madeleine, Caroline and Phillip. I passed the days practicing French alone and with Madeleine, doing a two-week intense workout schedule and spending time with family. The weather wasn’t too good most of the week, but Tuesday Madeleine and I did go on a little outing to Villemagne l’Argentière.
Madeleine, Caroline and I got hooked on a French Netflix series and we ended up binging both seasons in three evenings, while keeping Wednesday free for the semi-final of Top Chef. A super sweet friend of Caroline stayed with us from Wednesday to Thursday, which was great practice for my French. Madeleine and I spent multiple afternoons playing card- and board games, and the week in Bédarieux was as cosy as ever and went by quickly.
I took the bus back to Montpellier Friday morning and in the evening Julia came for dinner with Eric, Ben and I and stayed for the whole weekend. Ben and Eric were away on a trekking trip Saturday and Sunday, and so Julia and I spent that time together. Saturday we went into the city centre and managed to get a table at Bonobo café for lunch. We were over the moon that we could actually eat at a café again and spent a little time walking around town afterwards.
The afternoon we spent at the house relaxing by the pool and playing a really fun French board game, 'Les Mystères de Pékin' .
It definitely took longer to read and figure out the rules than actually playing the game, but we had fun and it was a great practice for our French – Julia and I mostly speak English together, but we’ve started speaking in French as well and SMS solely in French now. We made popcorn and watched a movie in the evening, and Sunday we started out with a game of Monopoly.
I got Julia to join me for my daily workout and after lunch we watched ´Breakfast at Tiffany’s´.
It was a fun and cosy weekend, and I spent the following week in Montpellier packing my room, practicing French online and with Madeleine over Zoom and getting myself ready. Tuesday I met up with Alex for lunch - the only other person left in Montpellier from our pre-Covid friend group - and we spent the day walking around town together, catching up.
This Friday I joined Ben and Eric for an aperitif at the neighbour's house, but went back for dinner and an evening of relaxing alone.
Yesterday, Saturday evening, I met up with Julia for dinner in the city centre.
Montpellier was absolutely packed with people and we ended up walking around for a while after dinner, just to take in the lively atmosphere. We sat down at one of the many squares packed with people and stayed chatting and drinking wine for hours. We went on another walk around Montpellier, going down random streets and switching between French and English. We had a great evening together and I didn’t end up back in bed until 1 am.
And now I’m spending the Sunday getting the last things organised and relaxing with Ben and Eric. I’m super excited for my Workaway and I’m crossing my fingers that the family will be sweet and that I’ll be talking in French constantly. Otherwise I’ll just come back to Montpellier a little earlier than anticipated. No matter what, I think a change of scenery will be fun and refreshing, let’s just hope my French will be able to keep up with a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old.