Thai, not pie!

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. – Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

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Honeyed apple fritters for pudding!

I sure dined well last night! Along with some of the international girls, who share my love of food, we decided that last night would be Thai night. Us eating out has turned into a weekly occurrence, which I am delighted about as it gives me something to look forward to half way through the week. Already we have experienced Chinese, Indian, Sushi and Moroccan! And all of which have been amazing and have left me with a very satisfied belly. So as I said, last night was the turn of Thai, and having only eaten this cuisine once before, I was very much looking forward to it. Being only a small little restaurant down a back street, it wouldn’t seem like much to someone who has happened to wander past, however you shouldn’t judge this book by it’s cover. There was plenty to choose from so I was stuck for choice slightly, but I settled with the set menu as this was the only way to get the most from my money. The main was amazing, satay chicken always goes down well with me, and it was all so well presented. I could have eaten it forever! Overall, I couldn’t fault it, so they will definitely be seeing my eager face again! At home, I settled down with the Apprentice and a bag of these beauties!

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As explanation for the title of this post, when on the phone to my boyfriend, he thought I’d said I was going out for pie in France. I wish!

-Len

Better late than never!

How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
-Dr. Seuss

Okay, so truth be told I have already been living in France for a little over a month now, but it’s only recently occurred to me that a blog could be a really good idea, and a way of recording every experience so that I don’t have to rely so much on my memory later in life, because it is truly terrible. Anyway, I will use this first post as a means to do a quick overview of my first month here, in the beautiful country of the French. (I apologise in advance for how un-chronological the following may be…)

So, the few weeks leading up to my departure for France were probably the most awful weeks of my life. Well maybe not my life, but you know what I mean. The prospect of leaving home to go to a totally new and foreign place just scared the crap out of me and I put off packing for as long as possible, mainly because I hate packing but also with the thought that maybe if I didn’t pack in time I wouldn’t have to leave. But the city of Tours is a beautiful place, and so arriving to the city with my parents in tow gave me a little sense of relief; I would be living in this amazing place! Below is the first picture I took here, which I soon uploaded to Instagram.

View over the Loire river from Rue Nationale.

View over the Loire river from Rue Nationale.

I am living in University halls, which for the very cheap price aren’t bad at all. Although I think 30 students to 4 hobs and a microwave is slightly pushing the boundaries, and I am always mega happy to find it empty when I want to cook. I have my own en suite (or tiny wetroom; however you wish to look at it) and I’m at the end of the corridor which means minimal noise. I have located the best supermarket; only a 10-minute bus ride away and they have a section of international foods, which includes some English items, much to my delight.

One of the things that made me feel a whole lot better about being here was the number of other international students who are here and in exactly the same boat as me. It’s reassuring to know that everyone is missing the comforts of home, and we have often spend an hour or so just simply talking about food we miss; for me it’s onion rings and magic stars (Nutella is not an issue here!). It’s great to sit and talk to them all, there are many from America, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Scotland and England too, as it gives me the opportunity to experience cultures other than that of the French while I am here.

Internationals in Tours

At the Château d’Amboise

Already, I have experienced many things. Some of which include: visiting a couple of chateaus (one of which you can see above); ice skating (and falling over in the most un-elegant way imaginable with the bruises to show for it!); eating my weight in crepes and croque monsieurs; speaking to many French students, all of whom have been a pleasure to speak to, and buying a toaster, because living without one would be unthinkable. However, the first moment I was truly proud of was when I bought bread for the first time in a boulangerie (French for bakery) because I managed to have a conversation for the first time without having to say “Pardon?!“.

Although I could probably type for hours, I feel like I should bring this post to a close as I probably run the risk of boring you with all these words (currently 706!). So as a finishing note, I would like to say that having now lived here for a substantial period of time, I now realise that the anxiety I had before leaving were natural but unnecessary and that I should embrace new opportunities and grab as many as I can with both hands, jumping in head first! Oh, and also, all the Nutella is now gone.

-Len