Wednesday, March 24, 2010

just a quick update...

I'm finding that I'm beginning to miss the strange things about home/school such as the vegetarian riblet and mac and cheese I would get every friday at the SUB. Wow, Im in France and I'm missing my school cafeteria food.

I'm registering soon for next fall's classes and it doesn't look like its going to be an easy semester by any means. My classes will look something like this:

IPE 301 (Advanced Int'l Pol. Economy Theories)
IPE 311 (IPE of 3rd World Dev.)
IPE 405 (The Idea of Wine)
ECON 371 (Int'l Econ)

The last one is the one I'm most afraid of...but the rest are a little frightening too, but mostly seem really interesting.

I'm pretty exhausted from this week so far and have a fair amount of homework to do so I'm going to lie in bed and attempt to work on some of it...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Highlights from SB

So if I were to go through all the places and things I did over spring break it would be a novel; thus I am going to paraphrase. We took the plane into Rome where we stayed for 3 nights. Ate lots of gelato, pasta, and pizza and saw lots of old and cool things such as the coliseum, the vatican, ruins, the pantheon, and trevi fountain. Next we took a 3 hour train to Milan. I honestly could have skipped over going to Milan; everything seemed to be oddly spaced out and empty. We had a hard time finding our hostel and when we finally got there they informed us that the water heater was brokedn therefore we had to stay at another hostel for the night that was way the heck across town. So we trecked our booties waay over to the new place, which ended up being a 3 star hotel (pretty nice for our standards). We finally got out for some sight-seeing and saw the famous cathedral (absolutely gorgeous) and the Galleries where all the expensive designer shopping is. Later on we met up with some of Amanda's friends who are studying in Milan and went out to a nightclub with them. It was fun, but I don't think I would plan on returning.

Next we hopped on a plane to Agadir, Morocco. Driving from the airport to our hostel random Moroccan kids were waving to us-- I felt like some hyped-up celebrity, it was bizzare and kinda sweet at the same time. Agadir was beautiful and warm and the sunny weather and beach scenery was a nice change from Paris' cold, city feel. We had a really nice taxi driver named Moulay who we arranged to have pick us up the next day and drive us up to Marrakech. He showed up the next day with his old, clunky Mercedes form the 80's all shined up and ready to go. He was still wiping down the hood as we were getting in (another example of the small things in Morocco that make the average american student feel like royalty). He drove us the whole 4 hours up to Marrakech and it was cool to see the Atlas mountains and random Moroccan terrain during the trip. Marrakech met us with the chaotic atmosphere we were promised. We arrived in the city around 10:30 pm and our loyal taxi driver set us up with a Moroccan who would show us our way to the hotel since there was no access by car. Our hostel was nestled into the bustling Medina district which was very vibrant and lively even at 10:30 at night. The next day we woke up early to take full advantage of our day. The day started with free breakfast at our hotel of delish Moroccan bread rolls with butter curls and fresh honey. yum. From there we pretty much just let the city take us where it wanted. We ended up seeing a big tannery where leather is cured and dyed (smells awful) and then got to see the shop with all the final products (beautiful). I bought a camel leather luggage bag (my splurge of the trip). We then wandered through more shops, eventually got lunch where I ate Tagine chicken (first time I ate chicken in a long time, but it was delish). Saw lots of cool/exotic animals such as monkeys, turtles, chameleons, and cobra snakes and saw some less exotic animals such as millions of stray kittens in the streets and donkeys carrying stuff everywhere.

Anyway, back to Paris now and midterms start next week, blehh. It's hard leaving paradise and coming back to reality, I feel like I had a small degree of culture shock coming back to Paris where things are so much less chaotic and laid back. That being said, I still seem to fall more and more in love with this city as the days fly by.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Le Début de Mars

So tomorrow Annie, Amanda K, Kelsey and I are heading out to Rome. We will be spending 3 nights in Rome, and then taking a train up to Milan and spending one night in Milan. We will then take a plane from Milan to Agadir, Morocco, stay one night in Agadir then take a taxi from Agadir to Marrakech where we will spend our final night before heading back to Paris. As excited as I am, I am also very exhausted just thinking about the whole trip. It'll be a total of 6 airports that we will be dealing with across the span of 7 days...I know it sounds a bit crazy but students take drastic measures to cut down the costs of traveling, especially while abroad. If I had it my way I would have probably only wanted to go to either Italy or Morocco and spend the bulk of my Spring Break in one of these two countries, instead of running around like crazy, but we'll see how it goes-- I'm sure it will end up being an adventure.

Reading other people's blogs who are abroad, I feel like I'm failing as an international blogger. Coming on here has been feeling a bit more like homework than an enjoyable pass time and I don't feel like my writing quality/stories are as exciting as the others I've been reading (this could be due to the fact that it's feeling like homework). As much as I want to have an exciting blog, I haven't really had the motivation lately.

What I am excited about are the upcoming trips that Annie and I have been planning. We have tickets to go to Barcelona, southern France (Nice...Monaco..), Athens, a ferry ticket from Athens to Santorini, and we are trying to set up a weekend to go to Munich, Germany as well. I feel like the mindset about most students studying abroad (and especially in Europe) is that they want to travel a ton. I've realized this is more difficult said than done since traveling takes a lot of preparation and money. Also, since we are first and foremost students here, there is limited time for traveling which means a lot of the trips end up being rushed. Part of me wishes I could just take as long as I wanted in each place and not worry about rushing around to get everything in. What it comes down to though is that I really should not be complaining about anything while I'm here since I'm incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to study abroad in the first place!

Below are some pictures of the Louvre at dusk:

About Me

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I'm currently a student at the University of Puget Sound and will be going into my senior year this coming fall.

la tour eiffel

la tour eiffel