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07 January 2012 @ 10:00 am
I'm Not Actually Blogging in Chronological Order Because This Happened a While Ago  
 So, I've been in Bordeaux for around a week now, and with my host family for around 4 days. The first couple of days (2 days) with my host family was pretty lonely. I would hear all these stories from other people in my ILP classes who talk about how interested in their own lives their host family was, and how willing they are to show them around the city, etc. and how much they want to learn about American culture in return. I think that since my home stay family has hosted so many students before them, they don't care that much about American culture because they've asked questions to their previous host-ees. So, yeah, they don't really talk to me THAT much. Only if I say something first, they haven't tried to engage a conversation. 

I'm very lucky in that while I'm in a home stay, it's independent enough that it feels like an apartment. My host parents are gone till around 8 pm every day, and the 3 other french high schoolers that live here constantly have their room doors shut (thus making me feel like I shouldn't bother them just because I'm...quite...frankly...a...bit...bored sometimes). So basically, a lot of times it feels like I can't/don't interact with anyone in my home stay until dinner time, which is always (though not recently! the fewer people their are at the dinner table, the easer it is to communicate, thus less boredom!) an awkward affair. 

But things got a LOT better after the third day. Which was awesome because I was starting to think that it would be awkward and bleh for a while. I was chatting with the host mom while she was making dinner, and through some questions, she revealed that J. can actually speaks English because he studied abroad in America for a year. Queue me instantly going (WTF, THEN WHY DOESN'T HE TALK TO ME.) Haha, after that revelation, I went up to J's room and asked him if he spoke English (in French), to which he responded with (Yeah, in English). 

Me (in English): WHAT. WAIT WHAT? Then why don't you talk to me?  D: D: D: D:
J (in English): huh? like in English?
Me (English): oh...wait what, we don't even talk in French!
J: ....
Me (in French): will you practice French with me?

-- Queue to awesome first, legit, long conversation (ever really) I've had in French the entire time I've been here to the home stay (so 3 days in). And after that things started getting better. :) J. is a really cool 17 year old in his last year of high school, who wants to go to business school and travel around. Was in Kansas for a year doing a study abroad program, and went to 1934034123480134 states. Likes SF and NY like a boss. Also loves sports, but not basketball.

I still need to get A. to warm up to me, but it's very hard because he speaks no english. At all. And he speaks French at 212343 miles per hour. Or km, I guess now that I'm here and he's French. I can't understand a word he says because he slurs his words together a lot and uses slang. I'm pretty sure my face is in perpetual confusion when he says something to me. We can only interact when he talks to me as if I were an infant. Which, I'm sure, makes him less amicable to want to talk to me. (The other A. lives in another building across the backyard, so I never see her until dinner time, so basically we don't interact). 

Awkward conversations I've had at the dinner table where I embarrass myself in some way:

R (youngest son, ~24, in French): How old is your brother? 
Me: uhhh....vingt-deux, vingt-trois? (22/23?)
R: ?? you don't know the right age?? What year was he born?
Me: UHHH why are you asking me about dates? it's almost the hardest thing to say...mille....mille....huit-cent... quatre-vingt dix-neuf wait what, that is not right at all...
Me: D: D: D: 
(Eventually we hit the right date, but um, yeah, my brother was most definitely not born in the 19th century). 


A: *Tells his WHOLE life story that is around a 45 minute spiel,where the host parents interject with their own thoughts; basically only J. is listening because this is new information to him, and he actually understands it*
Me: Zoning out because I was lost within the first phrase. 
Host Dad (French): Do you understand anything? 
Me: No. 
Everyone: ... 
Me: ....
A: *continues with his story* 

(Seriously, that day, I wanted to just take a nap at the dinner table. His life though is extremely interesting, I caught bits and pieces of bits of sentences, and can place together that there is some sort of sad/tragic/childhood past going on there.)


We're all playing around with the iPad 2
Host Dad (in French): I want the sketchbook app!
A/J: *helps him download it*
Me: oooooohhhh
Application: All the instructions are in English!
A: *reads aloud the English instructions*
Host Dad (in French): He reads it but doesn't understand a word of it!
A: *wide grin* 


Host Dad (French): Where are you going out tonight?
Me: Umm...UM...je sortirai avec des amis! Je vais EXPLORER LA VILLE~

(I thought saying that I will explore the city wasn't that strange of a sentence, but everyone burst into laughter for the longest time and I have no idea. IT'S NOT THAT WEIRD THAT I WANT TO EXPLORE THE CITY!!) 

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