Friday, December 30, 2005

Cara's future *mystical music plays in the background*

I think everyone one is curious about what I am doing after Lyon so here's the plan man! My last exam is my French exam (Oh la la!) on January 15th and then I hope to go work for Shaggy (Patrick my step Dad has a best freind named Franco, whose daughter Simone lives in Italy and knows Shaggy) who owns both a resturant/wine bar and a discotheque/club. The job is to work between the two venues over the period of the 2006 Winter Olympics (official dates are 10 - 26 February 2006) held in Turin, Italy this year. While Turin (Turino in Italian) is the official city I dont think hardly any events will be hjeld there as it is a city and not so good for skiing right? Most events will be held about a hour out by train in the Sestriere/Cesana region and other surrounding areas. The venues are in Sestriere and have been chosen as the official hang out spot for the American Winter Olympic team. Cool huh?

I am currently waiting to hear from Shaggy about what happens next! Here is the last thing I have heard on Friday, 16 December 2005 8:41:42 PM

To : 'Cara Bradley'
Subject : C.V

Hi Cara

Thanks for your C.V, i only received it yesterday, Italian Post is very slow.

My partner and me are very interested in you working for us from mid January, I am just trying to sort more staff accommodation out at the moment. As soon as that is sorted I will get back to you with further details, in the mean time if you have any questions please feel free to email me. Regards, Shaggy

I asked about the duration of the position, uniforms (I need to know what to bring with me from Lyon) and acouple of other things that I can't remember! So there you have it....fingers crossed!
Okay, so I am in here in Corinthia staying with Anna's Dads best friend's (Christine) family. They are all really really nice and it has been a relaxing few days. I arrived in Tues afternoon and will leave tomorrow (Friday afternoon). Southern Austria is colder then northern Austria (where Vienna is) wacko is that! We have had a meter of snow at least since I have been here. I got to shovel snow too this evening! With a real shovel! I talked with Judith (Chritine's brothers wife) who said that they have not had this much snow since Christophe (her son) was a toddler. He is my age so this is the most snow since the mid 80's! The temperature is usually warmer when it snows...u know traps in the heat and all that jazz!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Hi ho Hi ho it's off to South Austria I go!

I have to rush off as I am leaving for South Austria tomorrow at 8am! Opportunity came a knocking and I and running with it. Anna's Dad Joe is from the South of Austria and his son will travel there tomorrow...meeee too! Joe has called a close friend there and it is all set that I will stay with her family! We are going to go see a glaciure (spelling!) and then I rendez vous with Anna's family (minus Anna who will still be in Vienna) en rote for their snow trip. We will ahve lunch together and then then Joe's son and I will head back to Vienna. I have decided to stay here for New Years! I am happy to have made a decision...any decision but I am not ready to leave Vienna yet...not before New Years. I may count down with Anna's friend Muriel in the city where there are concerts and things and then meet up and party with Anna after!

I promise I will post Chrissie photos dosen't help that I don't have my own camera to quickly chuck some on the net but I will work on it and will buy a camera before leaving Vienna! hummm....must book that transport!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Cara's current dilemas

I am currently sitting at Anna's parents house (Anna lives in an appartment in 'shouting distance' as her mother says). It got dark here at about 4:15pm! So early! Jonathan (Anna's little brother) is watching 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' or 'Harry Potter und die Kammer des Schreckens' in the backgound in German...I wish I understood more.

I am a bit lost and wondering what to do about things today....Christmas cheer gone so soon hey? I am looking for flights and modes of transport on the internet to get to who knows where for New Years. Anna is working until midnight on New Years (something she didn't know until a few days ago) and her parents are heading off to the snow on the morning of New Years eve for their annual snow trip. So unless I want to be by myself until after midnight I need to go somewhere. But where?

The options seem to be Barcelona with Ben (housemate) or London to visit and party with Dhivya. I would have accmodation in both places (Barcelona is a bit more complicated in that respect) but the problem seems to be transport. It is all very expensive and I am not sure about either destination. I could return to Lyon and celebrate there (I think the majority of people are still travelling and all European students ahve gone home for both Xmas and New Years). I would like to stay in Austria with Anna but being alone for the count down dosen't sound very fun. I have to find transport back to Lyon regardless and I am tired of searching endless websites for flights and prices and trying millions of variables of planes and trains. Vienna to London, too expensive (as is Vienna to Barcelona) ...try another combination. Vienna to Milan then Milan to London? Not good. Budapest to London? Cheaper. Except how do I get to Budapest? Trains to Budapest are not on my French sncf site so by the time I get there it may cost the same expensive prices as the easier options. Maybe don't even fly out of Vienna. Train it to another Austrian city first? More options! Oh the joys of0 travelling (YAY) in many options (wonderful) so complicated (not so wonderful).

And meanwhile I need to be studying for my Fine Arts subject, Contemporary Art Subject and French Grammer....something which I find very very hard and just can't seem to grasp. As my French teacher said 'You speak well but you do so badly in tests. Why is that?'

Fete des Lumieres

Thursday night was the "Fete des Lumieres" – the annual light festivalin centre-ville at Lyon.

The main squares and buildings (cathedrals, opera building, fountains) were all lit up with light shows and 'light art' really. Just about all of Lyon waltzed out onto the streets drinking vin chaud (hot, spiced wine) to celebrate. The fete was originally a religious festival to thank the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from the plague. The Fourviere/cathedral on the hill overlooking Lyon with its golden statue of Mary was lit up in blue and red and white. Viva La France.

Silly quizzes

Cara's random movie quote:
Cara's Random Movie Quote:

'I'm sure in 1985, plutonium is available at every corner drugstore, but in 1955 it's a little hard to come by.'

- Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future

Cara's Lucky Charm:
Cara's secret lucky charm is:!

"A pair of rusty binoculars"

Cara's time travel:
Cara 's Reason for Travelling Back in Time:

To see if aliens really did co-ordinate the building of the pyramids
Time Machine!

Cara's excuses:
Cara's best excuse:!

"I’m hot. I don’t need an excuse."

Celebrity match hey?

Your celebrity match is Johnny Depp. You like your men funny and smart.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Austria thus far

So I got here at a bit past 8:30 in the morning (the train was late) and was greeted by big smiles from Anna and her mother. We went to the new local shopping centre so Anna could pick out some Chistmas presents. I ate breakfast at a bakery in the shopping centre/mall. When I was sitting there with my hot chocolate and spinach pastry and people watching I immediately noticed differences...'We are not in France anymore Toto'. I think thing here are a little cheaper then France but not by much. Fresh produce is more expensive. I looked around the supermarket and noticed the lack of puddings and other things that the French are obsessed with. A nice change....but J'adore la France.

the little things

There are daily reminders, little things that remind you that you are somewhere else. Not the obvious stuff-the language, the beautiful buildings but things that hint at deeper Anna's mum buys 'Dunajky' which is a pack of 5 sandwich like wafers. The waffers are thin, round and and as big as your hand filled with sugar. They are from Slovakia and are well known. It highlights how close Austria is to Slovakia. The wonders of Europe.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cara is in Austria!

Cara is in Austria! YAY YAY YAY and more amounts of YAY! Anna and her Mother were waiting for me at the station at 8.30 this morning when my train arrived at Westbhanhof, the main station in Vienna! It is so good to be here! It is not too cold today but there a little snow on the ground. Anna and I looked at photos of when she was on exchange in Australia. We look so much younger, she more then I. I gave updates on some of our old friends- Emily, Kris, Julia etc... I asked Anna if she ever thought I would come to visit and she said that everyone always says they will but you know. When I said I would come and visit I meant it and it was only a matter of time for me. And it will only be a matter of time before I come back to visit! Anna and I are already talking about rendez vous-ing somewhere else in Europe after Xmas, my exams and my ski job in Sestiere! More soon and photos soon!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Up late!

Had dinner at Beryl's (Canada) tonight. It was kind of a mix of events. I planned Japanese dinner with Alisa (Canadian ut with Japanese parents) and then we moved it to Beryl's qnd lots of people turned up and there were like 10 people for dinner in the end. Alisa and I planned and made tempura and sushi! Yum and vegetarian!

Ate random asian dishes tonight with random freinds. Ate too much chocolate! Found moulding and worm eaten food in Beryl's host family's cuboards. No there were actually live little worms in there! She was scared and I laughed so hard I cried! Going to Austria for Christmas. 18hrs in the train seems to be the best option! How is that possible. My english spelling is getting bad with all this French! Currently listening to M..French music. Night!=)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

S'up Cara?

Had a great Brithday (photos to go up soon). Party was good. Would had been even better if some people had turned up earlier (made me nervous that no one was going to come) and oh yeah...if someone had NOT stolen my camera....impossible since I knew everyone there and there are no suspetcs but yeah...

Went to Switzerland randomly on Sunday To Geneva. The word COLD once again springs to mind. It is now cold again Lyon...for a while it wasnt too bad! Sorry no photos since I was WITHOUT A CAMERA! Did a police repot in French when I got back to Lyon for Insurance.

Currently working on Van Gogh essay for Contemporary Art History, Essay on Portugal to hand in, really need to stuy French Grammer as I can take some practise tests this week, finding cheap flights to get to Austria and trying to figure out where I am going to be for New Years! Must ask Alisa to cut my hair (don't trust the French hair dressers), burn Claire's french CD's and mop the floors after e not so clean party! Go shopping for new camera too (oh joy, oh expensive). Niki and I are meeting tomorrow for lunch and are making veggie curry. I hope to study for my other Art subject and FRENCH. Thursday is studying Art Plastique/Fine Art with Becky (UK) during the day and hot chocolate/Harry Potter in english hopefully in the evening with Kathryn (Canada-met her through her Mum in Annecy). Friday is a Christmas dinner with some of the girls (exchange students). Need to make Chrissie cards and decorated cup cakes as presnts I have decided....but when? And boo hoo no camera to document it all.....=(

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Start of 24 hours of Birthday Celebrations!

Ben took me to dinner on Wednesday night for pre-birthday celebrations! We ate at this REALLY REALLY cute little cafe on the presqu'ile (almost island) which is the middle of the city! He is SO nice! What a nice thing to do!

Here is one of the cutest resturants in the world!

Me with my first piece of birthay cake!

Here are the presents that arrived the day before my birthday! Luckily was Ben was home to collect them (if they won't fit in your letter box you have to go to the post office and collect them) and they were waiting on my bed when we got home from dinner!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's beginning got look a lot like Christmas!

It has begun to look like Christmas for a while here. The Christmas market is at Perrache and has all sorts of yummy things to eat along with toys and gifts and all that jazz. Shops have their window decorations up and there are Chrissie tress up in front of stores...and someone has decorated a tree at uni in the court yard.

I guess it is even more Christmasie because le Fete des lumieres/ the party or festival of lights is this week (Dec 7th- 11th). The whole town will be lit up with lights of different colours. There will be candles on December 8th (I hear you crying 'That's you birthday! Hooray!') because that is the day that the plauge stopped at Lyon and didn’t kill everybody...and also cos it's my birthday! To celebrate, people place candles on their window sills. So people have been getting ready for that for a week or so at least. There have been trucks and crates with lighting equipment everywhere. And slowly I have seen the changes- there are now blue lights on the bridge to Vieux Lyon, Green globes have been installed at Bellcour, purple and red along the river and the two most notable things- a giant Ferris wheel decked out in lights at Bellcour and the church on the hill the Fouvriere is bright purple with some serious spotlights! So the shops have put up their lights too which will be for Christmas and le fete des lumieres! Everything is pretty cheery in town!

P.S. I am inviting people to my Birthday party on Saturday. My theme is 'un touche de rouge'... I wanted to 'go jungle' but its a bit hard when no one has any costuming resources so a colour that works for both guys and girls was the end result! Going to look for balloons and streamers balloons and streamers!!!'s now stuck in my head!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go;
Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Toys in every store,
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.

A pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots
Is the wish of Barney and Ben;
Dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Everywhere you go;
There's a tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well,
The sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Speeeeeeeeechs...oh long speeches!

Okay, now I am sitting in my class waiting to give my speech on 'Portugal and the European Union'. 'Waiting' really isn't the word for it now anymore...more like sitting and thinking and...going on the internet! No, I am paying attention too. I held out for 3 hours…yeah that’s right, the speeches started at 3pm so now we are in our 4th hour!!! My brain is feeling a little numb.

Currently Denmark is up but we have done France, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland, Romania, Turkey.…very interesting but I am skeptical of how much I am absorbing now. I know Romania is big on sunflowers (lavender too) and grows these things for money rather the using their land for food. Historically people bribed other people to get into government so today the word for bribe is derived from that and Romania is still figuring out how to govern without bribing people. France is Euroskeptic and has always been power hungry. They started the European Union in conjunction with Germany (France wanted to fix it’s agriculture and Germany wanted to it’s coal and steel industry) and if they can’t control it they aren’t so happy. Finland has been neutral in politics as to not involve themselves in power struggles and the Soviet Union stole 10% of Finish territory a while back. Most Finish politics and now way of politics are because the Soviet Union was a big threat. The Czech republic liked to throw people of windows (called 'fenestration') and everyone in their history had names like ‘Fredrick the bad’ and ‘John the terrible’. Inflation has dropped in Turkey from 106% to 12% and has a corrupt tax system.

On another note I received an email from Anna yesterday! I sent her a postcard, email and tried to call her to get a confirmation about Christmas. She replied last week asking when I was coming! That’s was a big hooray but I needed to know when I was welcome and also what Anna is doing for New Years…when do I book a return ticket? Yesterday’s email asked among other things ‘If there was anything I didn’t eat because her Mum wanted to know’ Hooray! So I called Anna last night. She wasn’t there but her Mum was very happy to hear that I was coming for Christmas! She said she and her husband liked having a ‘big party’ for Christmas and said that they will invite some Japanese students as well (I assume Anna’s Japanese friends as she was just on exchange in Japan). She said that someone could pick me up form the airport or train and was really nice! Hooray. Success! I am excited!

After calling, I went for a jog along the river yesterday evening. It was really nice, partly because the weather wasn’t freezing but also because I got to see another side of Lyon. At night all the buildings are all lit up and it was very pretty. I enjoyed it even more as I have not jogged for so long. I went once a couple of weeks ago at the Parc de la tete d’or but I had to ride to get there and then just kind of jogged aimlessly. Last night I jogged up and back and maybe I need a structure/routine to feel like I have accomplished something. There aren’t any ovals/football fields that I have seen here. I am going to try and do it again tonight and a lot more often (I won’t make gross claims like ‘every night I want to jog’ but we’ll see).

And after all that....we have run out of time and I won't be doing my speech today! Next week 2 hour exam and then my speech along with 2 others!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Portugal anyone?

Right now I am at McDonald's trying to figure out the Portugese parlimentary system! What fun! Hope you're all doing something equally exciting! What are y'all doing?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Okay.....long and funny maybe?

Okay, just got to macdo (McDonalds). I have a headache, popped 2 aspirin, freaked out when a cute little girl asked me for money (never happened before) because my friend Corey (ballet dancer form NY) said some cute little boy stole his phone as maccas a while ago! Ahhhh! Alert! Grab your bag and zip it frantically and check that this urchin hasn’t stolen your phone already! I think I am eating off yogurt...a little to bitter for me today. The weather is gray and rainy but surprisingly not freezing...there is a strange lack of crisp ice on the wind. It doesn't feel like the wind had just blown off of a glacier. I spent this morning hanging my clothes out the windows because I went to Ayers Rock last night at Place de Terreaux. Go the Aussies! This in fact the reason why the French like Australians! It was my first time visiting the Aussie pub, a favourite in Lyon that everyone keeps telling me I have to go to. Basically at'Airers' (as the French say ) Tuesday nights are good, Thursdays, Weekends…oh every night! I danced....a lot! Haven't danced that much in ages! Ran into Kate (US) and Rita (Aust) too although not surprising as they are definetly regulars- they know the names of the barmen, bouncers and other patrons. My clothes stank so severely when I got home it was actually slightly concerning! (I thought of incinerating them but then came to my senses and remembered if I had an incinerator it wouldnt be freezing in my house!) When the French smoke they do so with dedication! And what’s worse/more amazing is that I went with a group from the Franco-American soiree (some I knew from uni) and after arriving my friend David decided it probably wasn’t a good idea to check his bag, complete with 15 passports in it so back we went to mine (everyone had just walked from mine- after the soiree the local bars were full and went to mine for champagne and chocolate-yum!), dropped it off, I changed my shirt to something cooler (felt like Australian summer) and admittedly skimpier. And the first shirt I wore into the bar for literally 2 mins (we walked in walked out!) still stinks today!

The after going to bed at approx 3:30 I got up at 8am (Ben didn't wake me as I asked...he wrote a note but I didn't understand the reason behind not waking me...something about fear? lol, I swear I am not a vicious animal in the mornings…I hardly ever see him in the mornings with our different schedules). I rode to uni surprised at how un-cold it is and felt compelled to remove my gloves. I went to Internat. Office and hoped for a fax or email from my uni (I asked them to send me the letter that I wrote when I applied to come on exchange). Instead they sent nothing, slack buggers and when I called the other day the woman who works there had the nerve to ask me in a tone with far too much exasperation ‘Why I was not happy? Hadn’t I gotten approvals for my subject in France and if not what are the approvals you have been forwarding me'. I wanted to tell her I wasn’t happy because she had no idea how to do her job but thought better of it in the end. Her comments only prove my theory that she has no idea what is going on here! She lost that attitude when I told her that I had NO approval at a specific year level (therefore no approval) and she was supposed to be following that up! Remember? So anyway, no fax this morning (guess she thought she’d do it on Monday or maybe she was putting in some time and effort figuring out how to do her job!) means I have to write a whole new letter for my French friend Alexandra who is applying for Melbourne University for July 2006. Melb Uni are snobs and they won't take her unless her letter is 'kick ass' good. That happens to be the expression I used upon reading the letter I spent 2 hours writing for her this morning....I quite liked it, both the expression and the letter! I should have been studying for my FLE test (doesn’t count by anyway) instead of letter writing but I agreed to do it and also if it tok me 2 hours how long ould it have taken her! And even more time for us to correct it together! Also, I have this big dream/fantasy of driving to Melbourne Airport to pick up Alexandra and her boyfriend Nathan in June/July! YAY! I cannot think of anything I'd rather do!

So yeah, I spend the morning sneaking around uni with my computer trying to find unoccupied rooms. I was late for my FLE class...only by an hour…eeek! because I was letter writing and then had to do a test on the 'condition'. Who knows what that is and hence me thinks I won’t be doing very well! Then I photocopied the corrections I missed (how studious!) in class at the international office. I often take advantage of their mass disorganisation in this way. Because they have no idea what is going on they can’t possibly tell that things are being photocopying!

So right now I am going to go do research on Portugal and the European Union because I have a presentation on Monday and have to hand in a dissertation (I don't know if that word is French or brain is often confused in this way)! I am trying to pick a night next week for a soiree Japonaise/ Japanese evening with my Japanese friends. I need to write a CV and send it to Italy for the winter job in Italy that I applying for at the Irish Igloo (I already sent an email with heaps of info but the man wants more! And since I have so much time/desperately want the job I said ‘Sure, I’d love to write you another…just like that…sugary sweet!). I need to pick a date and theme and make and give out invitations for my birthday party (Dec 10th-Eevryone is invited). Still need to send notes to Marton in England and Claire’s family in province thanking them for their hospitality. I got back from the post office yesterday (it took the time of 1 song to walk there and another 5 waiting in line! I swear they employ the dead, deceased or dying only) very happy to cross that off my list of things to do (which by the way just keeps growing) to have Ben give me a new slip and say ‘guess you’ll be going back then’ (said in such classic Ben style!) Oh, la poste! Try tomorrow! I bought a ‘pass de culture’ which allows me go see 7 events in Lyon….haven’t even touched it yet and have to go book things for it. I also need to be transport to Austria ASAP before it is full and/or expensive. (If you have actually read this far please incorperate the words “pink elephants” in your comment…’cos you will of course comment!) I need to summarise my French classes and get on top of them because there is quite a lot to remember and unfortunately I love languages but do not have a natural affinity for learning them. Maybe accents are not so bad for me to try and mimic because mine changes on a regular basis. I need to study for my European Integration exam next week. I also have to start thinking about advertising my things (bike, computer, apartment) so I don’t get stuck with them before I leave! I must change my flights sometime and decide how long I am staying in Thailand (I am going Mum...sorry...but if it makes you feel better keep suggesting alternatives)…and all I did the whole day yesterday was fix the flat tyre on my bike!

Have you ever changed a bike tyre? I know I certainly haven’t and had no clue…however hence fourth and forver I shall be known as ‘Cara bike tyre changing expert’. Please address me in this manner! It shall now be my formal title. Someone send me a change of name form quickly...before I come to my senses! (You need a spoon for all those crying out 'How did she do it?' and I cannot take all the credit for the fab tyre changing). However, the question did come to mind ‘How many exchange students does it take to change a bicycle tyre’ as I was going to inlist the 4th exchange student, Carston (USA) on my bicycle tyre chaning mission. I needed him to figure out how to work his own ‘modern’ style bike pump (modern is another word for needlessly complicated and probably cheaply made both in plastic and in China) while Andy and Sebastian (UK) wrestled with the upside down bike in the laundry of their building! The problem is that is you gave Carston a can of corn and said ‘Carston, you’re life depends on it, make corn’ he might die! Even with a can opener! But he probably would manage to form a sentence including the conjunction y'all. So then comes the question ‘How many exchange students does it take to use a bike pump and it must be more then four or that was my response anyway as my bike and I strolled to the gas/petrol station to use the ‘air up there’! Okay well I am going to go eat my off or not yogurt (it is 12 little pots for 1 Euro hence I eat that almost non stop!). And at this point, bringing my own cheap yogurt lunch and eating it in McDonalds whilst using their internet is the least of my worries! =)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cult Cluny Camp!

After our tutorat geographique on Tuesday Alisa told me about a trip to Cluny with the Student Association from our university! We went to see if I could go too or if I was too late! 'Luckily' ( or so I thought!) there was space for me too. I had organised a dinner for Friday so Alisa and I researched and found that I could take a train and a bus to meet up with them in Cluny. Free food and accommodation and a weekend get away right? on....

Friday night dinner:
Top: Kate, my random USA Ballett dancer friend whom I met in McDonalds on the net, Claires French friends-Cecil and Alice
Front: Appley, Cara, Rita, Alex, Claire

Yes, that says that it's one degree! When I went to buy my ticket for Cluny it said this and 2 hours later when I went to catch my said the same thing! At 11:54am it was still that cold!

A very very cute Christmas market in Perrache, Lyon. At the market you can buy trinckets (such as wind up toys (no way! I collect those!) or jewelery) or the more popular items like spiced bread, biscuits, hot drinks. I hung out here (or rather froze my bum off here) for 2 hours while I waited for the train. Go figure that there was a 4 hour gap in the train times and I arrived in the middle! As I was walking/ shiv-vi-vi-vi-ering around, chunks of snow were melting and falling off the little roofs!

Scenery on the train! Snow Snow Snow! More then in Lyon and more visible too as it doesn't just melt on the roads!

Being silly on the bus to Cluny! Tourists!

I arrived in Cluny and Alisa was there to meet me. She immediately told me things were not as she thought they would be. She was happy I was there but worried it wouldn't be what I thought it would be either...she was right.

It all very average/normal... until the evening when the student association had their party. It was wild. All the men were bearded. They were wearing cloaks. We had dinner and tried to mingle a little bit but the smoke (Oh la, La France) was so heavy Alisa didn't last long. It was aournd this time the Men did a cult/solidier like formaion or performance in the courtyard in the middle of the party. Alisa and I were freaking was weird.

I escorted her home, went back to the party to chat a bit and improve my French (got hit on by Laurent...a handsome French clut member) and then went off to bed. Weird.

The next day we learned more about the Association and all their weird rules and structures. Like how new members are not allowed to speak to older members (unless they are spoken too) for the first year. We got a tour of Cluny's famous Abbey by the Assoication. It was freezing and to Alisa's horror, I had taken a shower that morning and washed my hair to get the smell of smoke out of it...something you do not do when it is snowing outside...I am still learning. Oh the advantages of being Canadian (Alisa is from Vancouver)! Needless to say I was cold and Alisa told me it was probably my winter coat from California. She proposed we swapped coats...and her's was much warmer. She told me 'Oh Cara, this coat is cold' and kept shivering. I told her we should swap back but she wouldn't have it! I didn't feel like such a whiner/wimp after that.

The famous Abbey.

Alisa and I are back in Lyon, safely in the centre of the city! We are alive! This is truly how we felt. We got off the bus and parted ways from the Association and hugged, and giggled and talked about how crazy a weekend we had just had.

The first snow!

Okay, so I got really excited and amazed by the first snow in Lyon and the first snow that I think I have ever seen actually in motion, falling! I was ridding home and things started falling from the first I thought it must be dirt or ash or something because my fingertips were numb when I tried to feel if it was cold. Then I had to actually stop right then and there and ask someone if it was now. She happened to be a Lyon 3 uni student from the Ukraine and thought I was very cute being amazed. I then asked her to take a photo of me being amazed before rushing home and yelling 'Ben, IT'S SNOWING!' We then both ran to the window and pressed our noses against the glass!

The view from my window + snow!

Looking North at the Saone + snow! Look at all the white roofs! How cute! However the ground is pretty slippery in some places so can't wait to get my hiking boots! I think they will be essential here in winter! If you continue walking along the river my apartment is on the left!

That the Fourviere (beautiful Church) on the hill and straight ahead is Vieux Lyon metro station + snow!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Congrats all 'round

HAPPY BABY! Congratulations to Gabby
& Mark on the birth of their baby girl!
Madison Coffey was born at 3am
yesterday! She was over 9 pounds, 2
weeks over due, induced and brought into
the world by caesarean. Speedy recovery
Gabby and YAY for the happy
grandparents Barbara & Kevin!I received a
call in Lyon about the news and felt very

(it’s not supposed to occur until Jan/Feb
and even then just for a week total! Cheers
to a cold winter!)


Random dinner on Tuesday!

TUESDAY, Nov 22nd, 2005:

Ben, Sandra (Germany), Ruldolphe (France), Vincent (France), Cara, Frank (Guadeloupe) and Kathryn (Canada). I met Ruldolphe and Vincent at dinner with the Melbourne University exchnage co-ordinateur. They are coming to Melbourne University to study next semester! I met Kathryn's Mum, Honey, in Annecy on my way to Italy and we swapped details. P.S. Ben likes Sandra (I can say this because she doesnt know the blog exists!)

Last Weekend:


Friday night: Dinner at Alexandra's place! Alexandra, Alisa, Cara and Jean Remey (a friend of Alexandra's boyfriend Nathan). We dined on salad with amazing dressing (one aspect of good French cusine) and had rivoli baked with bashamel (white sauce) and cheese. Yum!


'And we all fall down' bowling pins! Here is Alisa and I bowling with the French! Beryl (Canada is in there too).

Seb (UK), Andy (UK) and Niki (Aust) at the back with Cara, Alisa (Canada) and Beryl (Canada) at the front (all English speakers!): After bowling it was back to my place for dinner with Seb (UK). We originally planned to watch 'Lost in Translation' (student style-on the lap top).I asked Beryl at bowling if she wanted to come, then Niki and Andy turned up with Frank (German) and David (French) sent Ben a message saying 'Are you at your place? Good me too!'. So 2 became 8!

We laughed and laughed and laughed! Mostly at Alisa's comments! They were SO good people started writing them down! Here is Beryl wiritng down yet another

'Was he Canadian?' 'No, he was just our boss.'
'My bed is long. It's really long. No it really is. All I'm saying is it's really. It is so long I can't roll over.'
AND the all time favourite and definetly highlight of the night which had everyone in histerics:
'If I got rammed from behind right, now I wouldn't get whiplash'

David and Cara (French)...could we smile any more?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

My world map!

My personal world map

visited 7 countries-
like to visit all other countries

Create your own world map

I quite like this world map idea! Although for my liking my map is not nearly dark blue enough! I will have to do another one at the end of my trip! I didn't select any for 'would like to visit' as it was too difficult to pick every box....I did start but got discouraged after Africa! Thanks Jayan!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Warning: this post contains over us of the word COLD:

It became considerably COLDER here while I was in London. I am really noticing the COLD now. I would like to ride to uni in a balaclava and/or a ski mask! I currently have gloves without fingertips to allow me to do things. However, I think I will have to retire these to ‘inside gloves’ (yes, it may be necessary) as I can do things but soon I will not have fingertips either. Hence, I think I will be investing in another pair! The other day after I stopped riding my fingertips actually felt like they were burning. Not good I’m sure but a nice change ice cubes/blocks right? I keep having these random thoughts, wondering if it’s possible to get frostbite with the wind factor while on a bike or for someone who is not used to the cold.

I feel slightly better after talking to my Czech neighbour. He said that it is not usually this cold in Lyon at this time of year and that were are experiencing a taste of January/February’s weather. He thinks it will get warmer. I am glad I am not staying here for all of January and not here at all in February….maybe I will be working in the snow…hahaha….much better! Oh, and every time I mention my Czech neighbour’s optimistic opinion everyone say’s ‘No, my friends say it’s normal’ Not good!

I had breakfast Saturday morning with Sebastian (English) and we made the mistake of buying pastry from one of the best bakeries in Lyon (or so I’ve been told) but doesn’t have any seating (indoor seating is now a requirement). So after chatting for 2 hours outside, I returned home and had to wash my feet in hot water in the sink. They were freezing inside my shoes! I have never worn footwear and had to consider that my feet might be COLD. Usually if I consider anything it is related to how easy the shoes are to walk in or weather the shoes are good for rain or if it is windy will they allow wind to make my feet cold. But here it is necessary to consider that your feet might just be COLD because outside it is COLD!

We have not had to use the heater yet. My apartment is surprisingly warm. However I can’t say the same for the shower….I am currently considering taking showers at the university gym facilities…I guess that doesn’t say much for my ‘warm apartment’! There is no place to hang a shower curtain in our house and even if we were to buy one and hooks to stick onto the wall, basically the bathroom is divided by a single wall from the kitchen but it doesn’t reach the ceiling. So ‘au revoir’ heat! A while ago after taking a shower I actually went and got into my sleeping bag afterwards!

Alisa advised me to stop riding when my eyes start watering from the COLD wind and when I responded with ‘Uhhh, that’s already happening’ she just said “Ohhh…okay…well maybe you might need to take the metro then”. I may have to buy a train pass for winter. I was hoping to just get through it. How COLD can it get right? I have since reconsidered.

Last night (Saturday) I asked Niki “This is as cold as it gets in Australia yeah?” She responded speedily and with a look of disgust “I don’t think it gets this cold in Australia!” as she was putting on her fourth layer of clothing. And remember folks….it’s only November.

Today (Sunday) I rode somewhere with 5 layers on! Strap top, long sleeve polyester under layer (both tucked), jumper/sweater, fleece vest, jacket and a coat. My core was warm but my legs were COLD.

I also said to Ben that I was COLD! This is something I have said many times but on this particular occasion he replied ‘Of course you’re cold you live in Australia and you were born in California! It’s not in your genes!’. I rebutted this with ‘But my grandma is Swedish and my grandpa was Czech (dad’s side) and on the other side they are Italian, Irish and the list goes on but those are European, colder-ish countries!’. He replied ‘Just keep telling yourself that.’ I then asked what we were going to do later in winter and he shrugged…he doesn’t have a good coat yet! I however, have made a game plan….better gloves, better shoes, better scarf, beanie and stockings/tights or long underwear under jeans…yep….no problems. I may not be able to move as I am laden down with so much clothing I could rival any department store but never mind!

Enough of the COLD and onto other news:

I have given prices for all our things to a postgraduate student/student who may want to take the apartment after us. That we be really good because I don’t want to have squash my mattress back down the stairs! At the moment I am considering using rope and trying to lower out of my 4th story window not a good idea I am sure but if…..

Ben and I have a pretty good relationship. We both just buy random food for the house and it all seems to work. I am not sure if I am contributing enough. I traveled to England and other places and therefore didn’t consume the food in our house for ages and so now I honestly don’t know.

I have two dinners planned for next week. Tuesday is French dinner with the Frenchies and Friday in ‘English dinner’ basically for an excuse to have dinner with my new friend Corey who I met at McDonalds while using the internet. He is an American over here dancing with the ballet and is really nice. I will be inviting French people who want to practice their English as there are a lot! There should be about 10 people each night…not that we have more the 6 chairs…but hey…who’s counting?

P.S. What am I complaining about? I spoke to a girl (New Zealand) who said when she was on exchange in Poland it was so cold they could feel the cold ground through their shoes while inside a church! Oh Lyon is looking good now baby!

Friday, November 18, 2005


If you are in Europe or coming to Europe (Lisa, Emily, Kris) this is not for you. I realise we need to organise things.



So therefore.........








Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Photos: Us and our free internet

Ben and I eating our first dinner together in ages. Between my travels, his working and our different schedules cooking a meal together was quite novel! YAY for travelling. P.S. We has veggies in a creamy sauce, green beans on the side and was yummy and Ben has taught me the best way ever to cook rice!!!

Okay, so it appears we can sometimes get free wirless internet thanks to the hotel across the road! Thank you internet gods! It works best if you are at the window however...hummm. So here I am resting my laptop in the planter box at the living room window sill! Rugged up in gloves (Thanks Lisa, great going away present!), several layers of jumpers, a scarf and my blanket! P.S. The towel is doing wonders to stop the cold air coming in from that window which extends to the ceiling *joke*!

Ben thinks its a bit nippy too! lol! The life of a student!

Photos: Cara spends a weekend in Camaret with Claire's family !

Thursday: Cara, Alice and Claire on the 2:19pm train to Orange!

Dinner with the family on Thursday night. We ate 'Endives du Jambon' which is like Lettuce wrapped in ham in a white sauce. Followed by cheese (yum!) and then dessert- ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream and 2 types nougat. The dark nougat that we ate is traditionally eaten here at Christmas time.

Friday: Claire and Cara with l'arc de Tiromphe from approx 20 AD.

Sunset at the ruins Cheateauneuf.

Yannick, Claire and Cara at Yannick's house in Chateauneuf. First we visited 'le cave' of Yannick's father where we saw the barrels of wine and tasted 3 different wines. His family makes the brand of wine called 'Chateauneuf'. Then we went to his house, chatted and drank 'Clairette de Die' with his Parents. Clairette is a drink just like champagne or sparkling apple/grape juice only slighty better and a little alcoholic (about 7%). Cara has a new favourite drink! I was given a wine glass with Chateauneuf printed on it! Awesome souvenir!

Pizza and Tarte aux pommes (apple tart) with lots of friends at Cecile's house in Bollegne: Cecille, Youness, Claire and Cara.

Saturday: La raclette for lunch! This was one of my favourite meals! Alright, so the storey goes, raclette is a cheese best eaten melted or so I was told when I randomly picked it at the suprmarket several months ago. I melted it into risotto and loved it. When I went to visit Claire she looked at my journal and told me that was not the way to eat raclette. She told her Mum and low and behold on Saturday lunch, raclette! So nice! So you melt the raclette in a tiny little pan (you can see one to the left) under a special grill (seen at the back in the middle of the table) specifically for raclette and then poor it onto veggies (we had potatoes and lettuce) and meat. So yum! Melted cheese! My favourite!

Saturday: Claire's mum, Cara and Claire at le Palais des Papes in Avignon. Avignon is city enclosed by ramparts and is famous in a song for 'dancing on le Point d'Avignon'. Le Point d'Avignon is a bridge....or rather half a bridge on the Rhone, half destroyed in the second world war. That's one thing you notice being in Europe, everywhere you go there are reminders of the war.

Lyon again!

Returned form Camaret with Claire and her housemate Alice on Sunday night. Due to the threat of rioting, all public transport within Lyon finished at 6pm (you should have seen the queues for taxis outside the station) and so I stayed at Claire and Alice's apartment. We walked to their house, ate 8 veggie soup, watched a dramatic episode of ER in French and then went to bed. In the morning I returned to my cute little apartment in Vieux Lyon feeling like I had been absent for ages. I ate breakie, unpacked my things and then went to uni for my Translation class at 2pm followed Theories of European Integration from 3-6pm. Theories of European Integration is my only class in English which I ended up taking reluctantly because I needed more points or credits in my degree. I like the professor for that class. He is nice, humorous and we sometimes go off on tangents. I have never studied anything at uni like this before and hence talking about trade unions and the structure of the European Union is a bit confusing/interesting. After class I met up with Carston, an exchange student from Georgia, USA. He spoke with me last week about wanting to improve his French. I suggested he find French friends and maybe have a dinner. So I said I would come for dinner on Monday with his French friends. So it was Monday and we went shopping together, I decided what to make since he has no clue….how did I get myself in this deep? We went back to his residence (the same residence as Niki (Aust) and Andy (England))> all the while I was thinking ‘oh better hurry and start cooking’, after walking into Carston's that turned into better hurry and start cleaning’! It was habitable but there were dirty dishes and random things everywhere, no space to cook and the floor was dirty. Carston started borrowing chairs and I dived into to Andy’s to ask for help! ‘Andy, Have you eaten? No? Good! You’re eating with us! Carston’s place is a disaster come quick!’ That’s when Andy said the magical words ‘Why don’t you juts have it here!’ The best idea in the world! So we had my friend Claire and her housemate Alice plus Carston’s 2 French friends (women of course) Marie Claire and umm I forget, Andy and his friend Sebastian who decided to pop in and ended up staying after a carrot was thrust into his hand and he was told to grate! So we ate salad to start with a main of pesto pasta and the biscuits for dessert. Andy, Seb and I did the dishes and clearing while Carston (remember this is his diner!) wooed the 2 Frenchies back to his room! Seb and I walked home, I insist I am walking him as I have a bike and therefore he needs protection as he is on foot and he insists it is I who need the protecting with my long blonde hair, accent and way of attracting attention. We chatted until late as we always do and the parted ways. I go north and he goes south.

P.S. Thank you god of internet who allows the hotel's internet across the road to work in my apartment...sometimes...but none the less it is working now!

P.P.S. I went to the effort of spellchecking this Mum.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Today I awoke (a bit late) and had lunch with Claire's family. Lunch consisted of seasoned cucumbers and tomatoes, veal in cream and mushroom sauce, cheese and posh desserts. After that we did a tour of Orange and saw l'arc de triomphe up close and the theatre. Walked the streets a bit and saw all of Orange fromthe top of the hill. After that we drove to Chateau Neuf (a chateau and also a town) to meet Claire's friend Yannick. We saw the sunset from the chateau which is situated on a hill. Beautiful!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Provence for the weekend with a French family!!!

I am in the region of Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur (south of Lyon and 130kms north of Marseille) for the weekend with my French friend Claire. I am staying with her family, in Camaret, and it is great so far. We arrived by train in the town of Orange this afternoon and they are so nice. Sight southern French accent is interesting to hear! We are going to sight see a bit over the weekend. She is going to take me places as my guide! YAY! We are going to visit Avignon (very famous) and see other things here! Orange has 2 of the 'greatest Roman monuments in Europe' (so says my guide book) right in the centre of town which I find amazing. I have seen both already in a quick tour with Calire and her Mum when we first arrived! One is a huge Roman Theatre from the 1st century AD. It is similar to the one in Lyon but more intact with an exterior wall. The second is the 'Triumphal Arch' or 'l'Arc de Triomphe' (not the one in Paris obviously) dating from about 20AD. They are right in the middle of town!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


To everyone:

I am fine. I have not heard hardly anything about the rioting. I returned form England on Sunday and didn't know anything about it until my Mum called, worried of course. I think there has been a little bit of trouble in Lyon actually but I have seen nothing. I live in one of the nicest, if not the nicest, areas of Lyon and it has all been very normal.
Apparently there have been incidents in Place de Terreaux which is slightly north and across the river from me and in Venissiseux (south Lyon). Venissiseux is location of the first Youth Hostel that I stayed in and hated! I suspected it was not a good area and now it is confirmed!

I was trying to explain to my Mum that rioting over here is more common in my opinion. The French are very good at rioting and strikes and do both with a higher frequency then in Australia and America I think. When the French want something they do something about it. In the riots of Mai 1968, French students rioted over the arrests of other students/heavy handedness of police and brought the country to a standstill. The students involved the teachers and workers unions and rioted until dawn on May 10th, 1968. Burning cars, throwing paving stones and hundreds of arrests and injuries. 1 miilion people marched in the streets in protest and a week later
ten million, or roughly two-thirds of the French workforce was on strike. They would never put up with the education reforms currently occuring in Australian Universities. So it is in France's history to riot. (More info:

Another problem it seems is the government’s lack of solution for this problem. Nothing is being done so the rioting continues. No promises are being made to the rioters, not that the government should succumb to rioting pressure but there is a huge social issue at hand that requires attention and has for sometime. The Immigrant population makes up a huge percentage of the poor in France and to be honest France doesn’t seem to have many programs, opportunities or aid. They are ignored and the anger currently being expressed has been simmering for decades. There is a huge unemployment rate here (30% of people 21-29 unemployed) and a lot of beggars on the streets. The areas affected by the rioting are the poor areas. Basically, the rioters are poor and victims of discrimination who are burning, well everything (cars, buses, schools) and lashing out (especially at authority figures who they resent due to the treatment they have received and lack of respect). They are not specifically targeting rich areas, property or people as far as I know. A interior minister, Mr Sarkozy, called the youth 'scum' and pledged a 'war without mercy' against them (apparently to get attention as he is keen to be the next president) but unfortunately as you can guess that only made the riots worse and didn't address the issues at hand.

I may go to Aix-Province which is an hour by train (still in France...not leaving again yet!) for the weekend with my French friend Claire, so I won't have to worry's pretty small and supposed to be very nice. In the mean time I am living my life normally and keeping an eye out for anything abnormal. I will not venture into poorer areas as I have no reason to. As we all know I never want to go back to Venissiseux anyway. Never ever, with or without rioting. In fact if Venissiseux was the only place without rioting I don’t know if I would go. Currently, during the evenings my main goals are to get home from uni, find something to eat, get some work done (yes, actually working!), rest (I am avoiding a cold) sort out my life (usually on the computer- still fighting for subject approval with Melbourne University as at the moment my subjects are still unapproved) and/or visit friends so I will not be on the streets.

Never fear my loved ones!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


My Mother is on my back about my spelling! Sometimes it is appalling I know but it is bad spelling or no post a lot of the time and if you prefer no post you will have to take that up with me via email….and I may not get back to you on that one! Also, I am using French and English keyboards so my fingers are constantly confused. On French keyboards the 'a' is in a different spot! Bizarre, and that’s just the start of it!!! Also, I am not writing in English THAT often so my spelling is getting worse and sometimes French! Like appartment- not 2 p’s! So yeah....sorry guys but the spelling is not a priority currently!

Feel like some London Photos?

My guide and I in Paris. Yep, thats the Seine in the background....behind that boat!

Cara arriving in London at 6am! I took bus 52 from South Kensington Station to meet Dhivya at Albery Hall! She lives just around the corner at Beit Hall, Imperial College London!

After arrving, Div and I eat breakfast (tea and English) in her kitchen. This is for Dhivya's family!

Div and Cara sightseeing London on my first day. That's westmininster and Big Ben in the background!

Oh yes! It's Cara in a telephone box! YAYAYA! Essential tourist photo!

Say "English house party!!!". I would give names left to right but the fact of the matter is I am really not sure...alright, from left to right: probably first year science students at Imperial with us Aussie gals!

Hanging with the boys! The original reason for going to London was to celebrate Marton's (met during random travels) 40th birthday. Here is half the party (there were couples and kids that met us there) catching the train to 'South-end-on-Sea' where he put us up in a hotel and we went out to dinner Tex Mex style to celebrate his birthday. After we went clubbing for a bit and then hung out the next day at 'South-end'. Thanks for a great time guys!

Cara and Div in front of Buckingham Place laughing at Ben (Div's friend) taking the photo!

Dhivya and Cara celebrating Diwali (Indian Christmas) at Dhivy's relatives house in London. It was really special to be included and food was amazing! We did fireworks in the backyard. Yes, thats right, fireworks are legal here, they were going off all over the suburbs and these were pretty impressive.

It's Cara and Big Ben!!! Its the classic photo that you have to have! I just could not get over seeing Big Ben in person!!! For me it is one of the bets things I have seen so far! Maybe because I always knew I would see the Eiffle tower but Big Ben was even more incredible....P.S. I saw both in less then 12 hours! How amazing is that! I think that's great! That would have to be on the list of things to do in a lifetime! P.S. When asked to take photos of people try not to cut off the top of the landmark....this is the best of 4 photos and not bad but the others are shocking!

Spontaneous Travelling!

Okay, so due to lack of time I have not posted any info on both my London trip, Italy trip and my Nice+Marseille trip. Well here the thing...I am taking advantage of every opportunity and now letting anything stop me!

THE NICE TRIP: I decided to go with the girls in a class at uni with a days notice! Little bit spur of the moment you think? Just wait till you hear the rest!

THE ITALY TRIP was INSANE! I met Sarah (Irish) through uni and her friend Ciara (Irish) escaped from Annecy on exchange because she hated it. When she escaped, she asked a fellow exchanger to take her to Lyon . This was Julian (German) who proceeded to stay in Lyon for a bit and then I sought a lift back to Annecy with him. I tried to get a hold of him all of Wed night and Thurs morning. Finally I got a call from Sarah to say he was leaving for Annecy and if I wanted a ride to be at her house in 20 mins. Well, I live 12 mins form Sarah's by bike and that 12 mins is in the middle of the night with no traffic. So, what was I to do? In my kitchen, in my pajamas and leopard slippers (house warming present) washing dishes, the laundry going and 8 minutes to pack and leave! Well of course I dropped everything I was doing, threw things into a nag and bikes like a mad person to get this lift! The idea was to get to Annecy and then decide what to do next. Niki and I obviously decided to go to Italy on Friday morning after staying at Julian’s and going out a the only club in Annecy which played good music and some 'French classics' which we has no idea what was going on but all the French people were very excited and started singing and dancing!


London was slightly better and yet not, definitely rivaling Italy for second place! I decided to leave at 12:20pm and had to be on a 2pm train to Paris and a bus from London to Paris (no trains available)! Heaps of time you say? Me too! I was packed and ready to go (complete with food) by 1:10! Amazing. All I had to do was make a baguette to take with me and leave! But where was my baguette? Forgot it downstairs. Went to get the baguette and proceeded to lock myself out! Asked by Czech neighbor on the first floor to help me....he proceeded to try to shove random household items into the lock to try and help me (he is so nice!). Tried throwing my body up against up the door. Failing that, tried to melt though the door. My only option was to find Ben (housemate). I rode to Aura's (Finish) in singlet top, track pants and leopard slippers to get his number. She wasn’t home. Rode to the building that Niki (Australian who I stayed with when I had nowhere to live) lives in. She wasn’t home. Andy (English) our now mutual friend wasn't home. Sarah (Irish who helped my get to Annecy) let me use her phone. Ben was just getting home. Cara bikes across Lyon again. Grabs stuff and heads for a new train. Meets random guy with an aboriginal flag t-shirt in line for tickets. We sit next to each other on the train. He shows me around Paris for the 3 hours between the train and my bus to London. Saw the Seine, Sorbonne, a monument where famous French dead are buried and Notre Dame! He gave me transport tickets too! Cara catches train to gare de l'est (East station) waits for the bus. Take to the bus to England at 10pm. Off at 3am to go through customs and catch the ferry from Calais to Dover. Back on the bus and arrive in England at 5:50am. The first 4 things I see: rain, a pub, the old style taxis and another pub (the second in 5 mins), this one was called the Shakespeare! Fantastic!

P.S. Cara doesn’t purposely travel spontaneously…it all just ends up that way! You can’t always plan ahead because you don’t now your options! I didn’t know that the girls were going to Nice and Marseille and that it was feasible for me! I didn’t know I could get a lift to Annecy! I didn’t know that last Tues was a holiday and I could spend 10 days in England with only missing 3 classes!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Random English/London facts coming your way!

Random English/London facts coming your way!

-Language: lads, chaps, 'Oh that's rubbish', 'I'm knackered', 'You're a star', 'theres 'loads' of good biscuits here 'man', well good, to down a drink, sick is like you're vomiting and ill means sick, tippex is whiteout, a quidd is a pound, a p is a pence (1 cent), a fiver or a tenner is 5 dollars or 10 dollars.
-Cabs are cute here. They a an older style of car and I am told they are deliberately made with a very small turining about that now...I am up with it!
-Museums are free here! Hooray for that! There are so manny! The British museum has 4kms of corridoors alone!
-The have good biscuits/cookies here!
-Picidally Circus has big screens that are really bright like time square in New York.
-Mary Poppins, Notitng Hill, Bridget Jones Diary, Love Actually, Bed Knobs and broomsticks.
-6 lane roundabouts with double decker buses!
-Dhivya likes London because "whenever you sit on a bus or a train the person next to you won't be speaking English". She says it has "this buzz and energy"...I agree mate. I agree.
-There are so many buses here! 1 stop can have as many as 12 bus routes going through it! And you have to haiul the buses which is very practical otherwise they would be stopping all the time for no reason.
-The 2 most common pub names in Britain are the Kings Arms and the Red Lion. plus here are some others: The Shakespear, Ye Olde London, The Old Bell, The Coal Hole, Ye Olde Cock Tavern, The George, Crown and Sugar Loaf, The Kings head, A bunch of Grapes, The Greyhound, Pitcher on Piano, The Queen's Arms,
-If you drive in central London between the hours of 8am and 6pm there is a congesiton charge of £8 to minimise traffic.
-The radio here sounds exactly the same as it does in Australia. Exactly! Another example of copying a formula and respitting it out to the general formula.
-Neighbours (an Aussie soap worshipped by the English populagion) is shown twice a day here! 1:30pm and 5:30pm
-Young people her eare pretty good looking on average...lots of cute boys and very pretty know what happens as the population ages however....maybe their genetics are getitng cuter and this is the cuter generation....that or they all become average.
-Movies come out later here just like in France! And we thought Australia was behind...
-Apparently you used to be able to just hop off the back of the buses here while they were in motion but they put a stop to that.....
-There is a tea museum and also today I saw a whole Twinings (tea) shop. A whole shop dedicated to tea! Oh the English...gotta love it. At the hotel I stayed at in South end on Sea there was a kettel in everyroom with tea, milk, sugar etc...all the essentials!
-Ben's cookies are the best thing ever! Mushy, gooey cookie goodness!
-Double Decker buses rock my world!
-London is not as good as France when it cpomes to power and water saving.
-The lifts here sepak with English accents 'Going up.'
-There is lined paper seriously's all graph paper in France! All!
-There is a bigger shopping culture here. You can actually go shopping here and get discount stuff and not pay an absolute fortune. Can't say the same for Lyon eve if it is the second biggest ciy in France!
-P.S. If you buy a pin/badge here it will cost you a pound whereas in Australia you would pay 1 AUD and in the USA it would be 1USD. We are all being ripped off cos it is all made in China but English people are being ripped off big time.
-I want to live and work in England. I also want to earn pounds so for once I can convert the OTHER way and feel rich when on holiday!
-In winter it can get dark here as early as 3pm but in summer you can party in the light until 10pm!!! Yes yes oh yay!
-Fashion is better here then in Lyon...shhh....don't tell the French...
-I am going through withdraws here without fresh markets...I am used to seeing them everywhere and London needs some...visiting Portobello market on Sat.
-There is a big emphasis here on the theatre and shows. Advertisements are everywhere and there are 'loads' of different musicals. The same in Lyon, there are so many theatre groups....makes Melbourne look devoid and we are suppoed to be the culture capital of Australia.
-Most poeple stop for you at pedestrian corssings (such a novel thing) which are marked by black and white stipped poles with round lights on the top. Also, somtimes when pedestrians can cross the road it makes this scary beeping noise like something is horribly worn! The roads have 'Look Right' and 'Look Left' painted by the cross walk becasue all the Europeans are confused as England drives on the left had side of the road.
-There is a naughty lingeray 'Anne Summers' shop which sells all sorts of crazy stuff and had girls in knee high boots and tiny outfits giving out catalogues...meanwile in France they arent waering skirts above the knee!
-In the showers in the residece here there is a sign that says 'Fixed shower head Do no attempt to adjust'...I wantto know how many of Britain finesta nd brightest sctific minds have tried to rip it off the wall...a bit of a worry!!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Halloween Boat Party on the Thames!!!

To celebrate Halloween Beit Hall, a hall of residence/collage/dorm at Imperial Collage London had a boat party! We sailed down the Thames!!!! We sailed under London Bridge!!! YAY!!!!

Here are wild photos of the wild party:

Select Halloween Boat Party!!!! I am in the photo 22rows down!!! How fun!!! I am now making freinds with a whole bunch of random English science students!!!! YAY!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

I am in London!!!

I am staying in London with my friend Dhivya at Imperial College, Beit Hall! Red double decker buses! Cup-o-tea! Biscuits! Big Ben! The London eye! Jaffa Cakes! Red telephone boxes! People speaking english again! The London Underground! Car's driving on the left hand side of the road. again! South end on sea!

It's so much fun here. I love it! I have changed/found another flight to stay here until Sunday morning! My flight cost me 00.01 GBP (unfortunately plus tax) but how cool is that! I like it here! I like it!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Photos of my wonderful day

My friend Alexandra on the left (French) et Alisa (Canadian) on the right

The second 'natural curiosity' for the day. A cross between a giant pile of rocks and a curious! I like it!

The group atop the second 'natural curiosity' (left to right): Alisa, Jens, Moi, Sebastian et Mathise. This shot looks like a post card with everyone placed so nicely.

The most beautiful Autumn leaves I've ever seen. This is the part where we all stopped and got out of the car with our cameras.

The thrid 'natural curiosity'. A cascade/waterfall. Look at the hillsides behind us, covered in colours. This waterfall was extraodinary and different to any others that I have seen. Tired in levels and 'fat' if you can describe a waterfall as overweight.

Alisa and Cara is a castel built atop this jagged rock in the background. Incredible! I've never seen anything like it and Alisa siad it was Mordor from Lord of the Rings.

The last town we stopped at night on our way home. It's amazing. I've never seen anything like it. A church perched on a giant rock or as I like to say a rocky outcrop that goes up instead of out!

The Cara at night in her natural habitat.