Amiens Annie

My Year Abroad as a Language Assistant

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Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.
Terry Pratchett

Filed under Terry pratchett Go away Come back Leaving

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I got up at 7:30 to start packing and cleaning my room. Mummy, Richard and Grannie came to help an hour later and once we’d finished, I had my room inspection. I was worried that I’d lose my deposit as I’d pulled a fair bit of the wallpaper off when I took my posters down! The cleaning lady who was doing it said I needed to clean my fridge and sink again but she didn’t mention the wallpaper… I borrowed some cleaning wipes from Charlotte and then the cleaning lady came back and said I’d passed! After handing in my keys etc., we went out for breakfast, with Charlotte, to Le Petit Poucet patisserie. I had a chocolate chip brioche and jasmine tea.

I wrote my postcards and posted them on the way back to the car. We stopped of at the little Carrefour to get a picnic for lunch (baguette, Camembert, tomatoes, salad and crisps). Charlotte bought Mummy, Grannie and I each a little bunch of a rose and three sprigs of lily of the valley to say goodbye and thank you for the meals. She also gave me a card and started crying when I left, which made all of us cry (except Richard)!

On the way to Calais, we made a detour to Parc Samara, which is a natural prehistory park.

We had our picnic in an aire and then got the Eurotunnel home.

Filed under Parc samara

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I had to get up early to go for my last day at school. My first class was at Faubourg and I taught the children to play rounders. We got half way through the game but it started raining so we went back in the classroom. I had my photo taken with the children, gave them the sweets I’d bought them and gave my card to the teacher. Then he gave them all a piece of paper and told them to write a little message or draw a picture for me, then they stuck them all on a poster for me to take home.

My second class was at Jules Verne and was just a normal lesson. The teacher didn’t even tell them it was my last lesson with them until I told her I wanted to tell them! I gave her her card and she gave me a lift home, which saved me a 40-minute walk. I went to the little Carrefour to get some lunch and then to the patisserie. I had a pasta salad and a flan abricot.

This afternoon I was at Beauvillé. When I got there, the door to get in was locked but a teacher let me in and I sat in the staff room as usual and then did my first two lessons. At break, the door was locked again but someone let me in. When I was in the staff room I could hear crying and screaming coming from the room next door… I thought, either someone’s giving birth or they’re possessed… the teachers were whispering about it but I couldn’t understand enough to know what was going on. Then one of my teachers came in sobbing and the other teachers were reassuring her… Afterwards, I asked the teacher who speaks English what was going on and she said that my teacher’s daughter had taken drugs and got very violent. There were policemen, fireman and an ambulance at the school to take care of her and they finally got her to hospital. My last lesson was cancelled and it was a bit awkward saying goodbye, especially as I had to ask the crying teacher to sign my forms…

I met Mummy, Richard and Grannie at the hortillonnages as they had just been on a boat trip. We went to the bank to find out about closing my account, which I have to do  by email when all my wages/deposit have come in. Then we went to my favourite café, La Croustille, for a last hot chocolate (and Mummy had a crêpe). We went to my favourite shop, Librairie Martelle, and I bought a book that Eloïse (the girl I’ve tutored) said was her favourite. Then I came home and did some more packing. I met Charlotte downstairs and we all went to La Majorelle Moroccan restaurant for dinner. I had a very nice lamb tajine.

Afterwards, we went to Ad’Hoc for cocktails and I had my first non-virgin mojito.

Filed under amiens ad'hoc

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Mummy, Richard, Grannie and I left home at 07:30 to go to Amiens. We stopped for a picnic on the way and arrived early afternoon.

We wandered around the flea market for a while. Richard wanted to buy a German helmet, a rusty sign and some wooden clogs, but Mummy didn’t give him any money!

We had a cold drink outside a bar and a hot drink at Jean Trogneux by the cathedral. Grannie went to look around the cathedral and I bought some postcards for Richard’s parents and for my great, great aunt Hilda. Then we went to the jardin des plantes, which was all really pretty (last time I went it was all dead).

Then we took all Mummy, Richard and Grannie’s stuff to Hotel Mercure and had a drink downstairs in the bar. Charlotte joined us and we went for dinner at Le Bistrot de Boucher. I had the ficelle picarde, then a duck breast with honey sauce and potato. It was really yummy. Richard got Charlotte some pastis as she hadn’t tried it before!

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This is the hostel we stayed in. Judith said that she thought she’d booked us an all girl’s room so we all guessed what nationality our room-mate would be. When we got to the room we looked around for clues and there was a flowery wash bag with toiletries with Arabic writing on it, so we assumed it was going to be an Arab girl… then an old man walked in. He must have been about 60 and he snored really loudly all night…

Filed under lyon cool and bed room-mate guessing game

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Lyon day 1

We got to Lyon around lunch time and stopped at a restaurant for a salad before going to our hostel, Cool & Bed. The guy at the hostel gave us a map and told us all the good places to go. We went for a wander around Vieux Lyon and went down a few traboules, then went to Place Bellecour. We had dinner at a restaurant called Le Pique Assiette in Vieux Lyon and I had the salade Lyonnaise, chicken with tagliatelle and mushroom sauce and the tarte praline.

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Charlotte, Holly and I went to Boulogne today. We spent the morning in Nausicaa Aquarium, which was really good. My favourite things were the giant octopus, the tiny starfish and the Pinocchio fish, which had a long nose.