Today, I slept in and had crêpes for breakfast (what’s more French than that?!) filled with fig preserves that Michelle made from her garden!
Then, I walked around my neighborhood a bit. Le Notre Dame de la Garde is about 15 minutes uphill from my host family. It’s a really famous monument in Marseille, and because it’s so high up, you can see it from a lot of places. It’s breathtaking! Not only the architecture and decoration of the church, but also the panoramic views it offers of the city, the mountains, the sea… wow. I took tons of photos, some of which which I may post later. That evening, my family’s youngest daughter (age 22, she lives further up the same hill) and another neighbor came to visit. When Jean-Marc came home, we ate dinner (couscous, vegetables, lamb, and cider— délicieux!).
After dinner, as is customary, I presented my family with some gifts that represent NH. Maple syrup, maple candy, a book of famous sites, and a guide map in French. They loved it and we spent at least an hour talking about New Hampshire, Virginia, and their trip across the US in the late ’90s. Jean-Marc is also really nice. He’s very talkative and funny, and he politely corrects my mistakes.
Tomorrow morning is my first day of orientation with AUCP. They’re going to answer all our questions about the program, our living situations, obtaining a cell phone, etc. After lunch is a 2 1/2 hour language proficiency test (aïe!) and an intercultural awareness test.
A few things I’ve already learned:
- Common filler words in conversation: donc, alors, euh, quoi, ben, “pfff”
- “Tu arrives?” = are you all set? can you do it yourself? you ok? etc. This phrase was used a lot when we were trying to fit 5 suitcases, 2 bags, groceries, and 4 people into one car leaving the airport.
- “Je te laisse.” You can say this near the end of a phone call or voicemail, or you can use it as “je te laisse faire…” meaning I’ll leave you to do… ex: Alors, je te laisse, rappelles-moi à tout à l’heure!; Je te laisse lire; Je te laisse dormir.
Ben, je vous laisse pour le moment, il faut me lever tôt demain! Bonne nuit.