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!