The very first time i got out of Asia was the year i turned 21, for 5 months. i was headed for France, to a city that i have never heard of up until 6 months before my departure and it was an adventure for me in all sense of the word. For a brief time, it taught me to be independent, to go out there to speak to strangers in a language i picked up 2 years before and to learn the system; the banks, the public transport, the education and even the ways and habits of the French. I wasn’t familiar but i managed to get by. It was truly, the best thing that has happened to me because of the values that i took home from it. It moulded me. This was like a damn long solo trip with many friends in the middle.
My friends who have lived overseas for a while would know what i mean by this. This freedom. This control. And this sweet adventure. My boyfriend, (he has a part in this story too) who has been to Helsinki and Barcelona had a taste of it and i’m glad that he did because we will have amazing stories to tell our future children about seeing the world and how different people live and most impotantly, why having an open mind is important. InshaAllah, we will give that opportunity to them because its such a beautiful world out there God has created and it’d be a pity we don’t get to see it. My bf must’ve loved Europe so much because last year, he returned to do a Eurotrip with his friends. Its time we move on to other destinations, ok?
Here’s Grenoble, a city in the Rhône-Alpes. Southeast of France at the foot of the French Alps.
Had my mom for a week before she left for Paris. I’m grateful for her support in this and my mom is truly la madame independent til this day!
My little abode for that period. And new in a relationship with a good friend of mine. im glad he is still my good friend, and the love of my life 🙂 it wasn’t easy when the relationship was in the infantile stage and there was such a distance. Saying goodbye was difficult, learning each other’s quirks as a couple was worse! But i guess maybe this might have strengthened it from the start (ha ha ha)
Another standard occurence was the ‘grève’. The schools would close because the staff were on strike. If it werent the schools, it was the trams, the buses, postal service. Other than the strikes, it was pretty efficient. And luckily for me, i lived on campus. And school was one tram stop away, french classes at Stendhal about 3 stops away. I lived in a University Town so there were many students and staff around and it was pretty multicultural too.
I took Geopolitics, Modern English Drama and an EU related course while i was there in IEP (Sciences Po). Taking lessons in French were difficult because i zoned out mostly in lectures but we do get to write French with help from a dictionary. But like i said, it is an adventure.
Cable Cars at the Bastille.
One of the places i visited out of Grenoble was Annecy. We did a day trip there and because it is known as the Venice de Savoie. Venetian Masks were out and the whole town was decorated with them and weekend markets were everywhere!
Another town we visited was in Voiron. Famous for the liqueur produced by Carthusian monks called Chartreaus (after the colour). We visited the monastery that produced it too and walked around the quiet town.
Of course i did a lot of travelling in between but ill save it for other throwback posts.
This was in Paris. Welcoming a VIP.
The first time i ever set my eyes on the Eiffel tower was like in the movies. (It felt like it). It felt fantastic honestly. Little did i know, that wasn’t going to be the last time i was going to be in Paris. Fate does work in magical ways sometimes.
Seems like today (i wrote this entry on the 24th Jan) is also this couple’s anniversary too! This graffiti, the love bridge, the whole scene truly makes Paris, the city of romance.
Hahaha only because i love quotes from Mark Twain.