Friday, 13 September 2013

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...(Part Un)

Hi everyone,

I guess I can only start this post with a massive apology, as I haven't updated this since May! In my defense, my laptop has been on the fritz, so I've been unable to connect my camera for most of the summer... However! I am now 2 weeks in to my study placement in France, and have managed to discover a way in which I can scavenge some photos from my camera's SD card. I can't access my photos from Aus yet, simply because of the sheer volume of them, but rest assured they will be forthcoming (soon, hopefully!). Although I did add this photo from my phone of Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island, just to give you a taster...

So without further adieu, let's get on to what's happening now/in the last 2 weeks in France. As I said in my last video, I'd decided against halls, and wanted to search out my own accommodation, which was fine - until it got to the day before I left, and I still hadn't found anything! Most of the landlords were wary of renting to an international student, or wanted me to see the property before laying down a deposit (not likely when I was in Australia!), so a few days before I left, I booked a hostel for a week, with the thought that I would get something sorted by the end of that first week.

Before I even got to France though, I ran in to disaster. I was booked to leave on a flight to Lyon at 11.35am, but I didn't reach the airport until 11.05am due to an accident on the M25, completely missing my baggage check-in and thus also missing my flight. Standing in the middle of Heathrow on the verge of tears, it kinda felt like the whole world was crashing down, and I almost decided that I definitely didn't want to face this big, scary year abroad when it had already gone horrifically wrong. But, I managed to buy a ticket on the next flight at 4pm, and although it meant waiting in Heathrow for 4 and a half hours, the relief when it was sorted definitely eased the wait a bit!

So I finally got out to France, and then got a shuttle bus from Lyon to Grenoble, then the tram (which runs throughout the city of Grenoble) down the the southern part of Grenoble, Échirolles, where I had a 20 minute walk (40 with 2 suitcases, hand luggage and a handbag) to where the hostel I was staying at was located. So finally, after leaving my house in Kent at just after 8am, at 10.45pm French time I got to my room at the hostel (I've put a few photos below of my room, which I shared with 3 others).

I was sleeping in the top bunk on the right.

Then, I just had to move on the next set of problems, finding somewhere to live when I had no student loan or funding, and dealing with French bureaucracy (I don't think I've ever been somewhere which loves paperwork as much as France...) But after finally getting to Grenoble, I felt kind of invincible so I thought it could be dealt with no problem, but I'll let you know how it went when I update again, with the next bit of  'Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore...'


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