Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bonjour from Le Mans!

Meet Yves & Liliane Ory--the couple I'm staying with for the next month in northern France--helping them with English in exchange for room and board...

He's a computer programmer and she's a housewife. They have a daughter my age who lives in Paris, which is about a two-hour train ride from here. (I took the train here yesterday after taking a bus from Brussels and a train from Leuven before that...it was a long day! It was made longer by my train from Paris being delayed due to striking. Ugh.)

Anyway, I'm happy to be here, staying with such a nice couple in a lovely home...

Even though it's a country home, they live close to the city center. It's about a 30-minute walk, which I did with Liliane this afternoon.

My bedroom, where I'm writing from now. :)

Walking around Le Mans, trying to get familiar with the territory...

Le Mans is well-known for it's annual automobile race--just like Indianapolis!

The main cathedral is such a beautiful building.

In addition to exploring the modern area lined with shops, we also strolled around the historical section, where there are cobblestone streets. I've also eaten chocolate here already, so this means I don't need to change the title of my blog. :)

Last night for dinner, we had chicken & rice with zucchini, served with a baguette. My host dad says it's not a proper meal without bread. When I told him that I like a type of sweet bread with zucchini it it (Mom's homemade zucchini bread = yum!), he said, "Zucchini!?! In zee bread!?! Non non non." Hahaha

After the main course, we had a platter of different types of cheese. I thought that might be dessert, but then my host mom pulled out chocolate-covered flan! Oooh la la. We had caramel-covered flan tonight as dessert.

Two kinds of flan two days in a row--that's a first. :)

We had a cheese spread again tonight before dessert, this time served with wine. (And a baguette, of course.) So French! My host dad is serious about his wine; he has a list of exactly what's downstairs in the cellar and how old each bottle is.

So my time living in France--which is something I've wanted to do for years--has started out as a great cultural experience, and I love that! Learning about different cultures by experiencing them first-hand is definitely the best way.

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