(This picture is from my exploring the other day! This is a street along the river!)
Since being here, I have noticed many things and I thought I would share some right now! They are random, but interesting and might answer some questions that people have!!
To start with, the cars in France have their driver seat on the left side of the car, and they drive on the right side of the road, just like America!! The roads in Bordeaux are super small and hectic! The first full day I was here, I was being taken to my apartment and we side-swiped a car, simply because there was absolutely no room! Also, it is acceptable to give other cars a little tap on the bumper while parking. I am not sure what the law says, but if you do this, no one will look twice! : ) There is just no room!! It is incredibly crowded!
There is a lot of American influence here. I always hear American music and our shows are always on TV. There are not many French television shows. Everything I see is Friends, House, How I Met Your Mother, CSI...the list goes on. They just have French voice over. Right now, I watch the world news channels a lot because they are the only ones in English! As I start to learn French, I will watch more French television to hopefully help me! : ) I have watched some French shows already. There is a dramatic reality show that I watch and put my own story line to it...it is quite entertaining for me!
I went to my first McDonald's today! It is surprisingly like American ones. Unlike when I was in Japan, their McDonald's were very different. Here, they have machines (with an English option!) where you place your order, and then wait for your number to be called. As we were eating, I noticed that no one's sandwiches had ketchup on them! It is something that has to be asked for. If you know a Weinberger, you can imagine my shock and horror!! ; )
In some downtime in my apartment I like to read or watch a movie. Naturally, I tried sites like Netflix, Hulu, and my Google Play movies. On all of them I got messages "Sorry, this has not been brought to this part of the world yet." I was surprised at first! Contrary to common belief, just because it is on the internet does not mean you can access it anywhere!! Other students have been asking about what sites are similar to Netflix, so I know I am not the only one.
Something else I found interesting here is work. French are not allowed to work until they are legally an adult! Once they are done with their high school, they usually go to prep schools, programs, or universities. Their education is usually really cheap or free, but they have a lot of work while attending, so they don't usually have jobs while in school either. Their first jobs are usually an internship during a summer while in college or after they are done with college all together. I have had a job since I was 13 years old. In America, it is becoming almost weird if you don't have a job while in high school already! People here are interested in the fact that I have already worked so much and all the different work/experience I have gained! That is a big cultural difference!
One of my friends and I had the opportunity to talk and hang out for quite a while today. She has traveled to the United States several times already and loves it there!! Her family loves to travel as does mine, so we were able to talk a lot about that! It just so happens that we have both stayed in the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, and have eaten at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville!! We thought that was pretty cool!
I could write a lot more, but I will save it for my next post! : )
Thank you for reading,
"If you keep on believing the dreams that you wish will come true."