Thomas Jamieson

Thomas is in France on his year abroad from University of Strathclyde. He is linked with Vale of Leven Academy in West Dunbartonshire.

Not All Soup is Hot

If you had said to me yesterday morning, that such a thing exists as soup served cold, I wouldn't have believed you.

When I arrived here a fortnight ago, life was simple. It was sunny outside and I had nothing to do but saunter around town all day, soaking in the sights and buying household appliances. Once my immersion seminars began at uni, however, things began to change. Suddenly, I had to do things. Suddenly I had to wake up early and be places. Back home, I regularly don't have classes until the afternoon. Here in France, I count myself lucky if classes begin at half past nine. 

On top of going to classes, I also have had to get a lot of administrative things completed.

Imagine living in a world where you have classes from 8am till 6pm and where the banks and the post offices etc. open at 9am and shut at 5.30pm. Now if you're new to the Continent, you'll be forgiven for thinking that a 2 hour lunch break should be ample time to get things done HOWEVER, it's not much good when everywhere else goes for  a 2 hour lunch break at the same time. 

To get a student card here, I have to purchase what's known as the assurance responsabilité civile. To purchase this, I went to the International Relations Office who told me to go to LCL bank who told me to go the SMERRA who told me to phone "this number", which hung up on me after hearing my accent.

Everything's just a little complicated and stressful and I got a wee cold because of it.

So yesterday, I went for lunch with my friends in a small épicerie near the university. To cure my sore throat, I ordered the soup of the day, imagining how much better I'd feel with a wee heat. It was a Spanish dish named 'gaspacho'. And it was cold. Like I was eating Uncle Ben's Tomato and Basil sauce straight from the fridge and paying 10 euros for the pleasure. 

Despite these small troubles, I'm having a great time here. The weather is lovely and I'm meeting people from all over the world. The rest of the food is great, but I tend not to know what exactly I'm ordering until I am eating it (the other day I had "Daurade rôtie au laurier et citron graines de fenouil et marmelade de tomates vertes") so I knew there was going to be tomatoes on my plate.

I hope to improve the quality of my posts here in future, and if you've made it this far I salute you.

Here are some photos of me and my life in Lyon and surrounding towns.

A bientôt!

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