It has been one week here in Lyon and I have felt like i’ve done so much! It’s true, I swear. Back home you would never see me do so much in one day. It’s crazy! I guess since it’s a new city and a new way of life, i’m just getting adjusted to it. (I really do believe that the days and nights in France are longer than your average 24 hours!). One thing I have noticed is that the French are very, very social. Their culture allows them and helps them to be, but back in the states, we need our alone time – our time to relax, procrastinate, maybe watch some Netflix (P.S. Netflix works here and I am so happy for that but no do not worry, I am watching in French!). When you’re trying to figure out a city, it is hard to stay at home and be antisocial. Spoiler Alert: You have to go out and explore.
In the past week, I have been to about three museums, a plaza on the middle of town, hung out by the riverbank and slept at two different places (my friend’s houses from the program) other than my host family’s place. And don’t even get me started on all the walking i’ve done! (Totally losing weight and gaining muscle *insert arm muscle emoji*).
An experience that really struck me was the one I had Thursday night with my friends, Taylor and Manny. We walked by the river and saw a huge amount of people hanging out by the berges (riverbank). We decided to join them and it was such an eye-opening experience. There were people playing the drums, others playing the trumpet, and others singing. The riverbank by Le Rhône looks exceptional and tranquil at night. Seeing these people resembles seeing people sitting around a campfire singing and laughing – having fun, but on a much bigger and better level! There was probably hundreds of people there. Again, the French are very social.
Another thing I’ve learned this week is that the French are very serious when it comes to food. They love their food! Typically, the French spends about an hour to two eating diner. My host mother explained to me the reason why they take so long to eat and how important it is to have diner together as a family. When you compare that to our busy American lives, it is hard to do that every single night. I learned in my psychology class that a variety of eastern countries are very social and put lots of importance to family and those responsibilities compared to western countries which are more egocentric and based on individuality. I agree.
All in all, it has been a great first week here in Lyon, although it rained (on my parade :P) a couple of times this week, it did not stop me because i’m in France!! I can’t let a little rain bring me down.