Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Settling In

Today's blog is being hijacked by Kate and Kim. Ros has been locked in her room, by her hosts, ordered to do her homework and catch up on the sleep she has lost the last two nights from the magical drilling pigeon. Mum also doesn't have access to the internet where she is staying, combined with the fact she has no idea how to use the netbook, even though we have been teaching her for over a month now.

We met mum today for lunch after her morning class. She advised us that her lesson this morning was much more difficult. Apparently the teacher walked in on the three students discussing a Spanish fruit that Josh had brought at the markets, in English. The teacher was not happy and insisted they continue their conversation, describing a Spanish fruit, in French....we still don't know what the fruit was.

We walked along the commercial centre of Montpellier to the river, where there were a few café's, one being Ayres Rock Bar and another being New York Grill. Not the authentic cuisine we were hoping for. After picking from the alternatives, we had a salad each for lunch. Pretty disappointing.

We really haven't seen an outstanding choice of savoury French meals, some of the best eats we have had were the Italian fish dish in Bordeaux and the Moroccan meal on our recent visit to Paris. Come to think of it, all the wonderful meals we rave about are the sweets and pastries. We are yet to see a Beef Bourguignon, real Foie Gras or Bouillabaisse. Mum did get excited in Paris when we found a French Onion Soup on the menu one day. But the excitement disappeared when she tasted the bowl of tepid water with a floating whole onion doused in olive oil.

We took a walk among the more residential part of town, lacking in the dated century old buildings, Montpellier is much more modern than the other towns we have been to. There are more modern buildings squeezed in between a church and the street, they look much more out of place when scattered haphazardly around the city. On our walk we came across another 'manifestation' (strike) as you can see in the video, making a lot of noise. Mum's hosts told her protests happen almost daily here, everyone in France is frustrated with the political situation at the moment, everyone seems to have an opinion. Until elections are held in two years time, people are going to protest about changes they want until then. Everywhere you walk in this city there seems to be someone approaching you with a petition to sign, or a pamphlet to read.

Glad the weather is warming up, although the wind here could blow the filling out of your baguette, it was a warm 27C today. Should be this warm for the duration of our stay, which means good weather for visiting the coast, spending time outside and drinking wine!

Love Kate and Kim....... Oh and Ros

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