A few days ago, on my way to the supermarket, I discovered a row of designer shops; Mango, Zara, Banana Republic, name it. I actually went close to one of the windows to check the prices on display, and I admonished myself to look away, as my income cannot support such expenditures right now. Anyway, after that I decided to check online for random places where clothing can be purchased at reasonable prices, and I found out a number of things. One of them is that in this city (don’t know about the rest of France), they have markets that hold on specific days of the week – food markets, book markets, clothes/accessories markets, etc – and at these markets, stuff are sold at bargain prices. Of course the clothes/accessories market sounded more than interesting to me, being that I left more than half of my already deficient wardrobe in Nigeria, because of luggage weight constraints *side eye at Lufthansa*.
Yes, so one of the clothes/accessories market days was today, I didn’t have classes, so I decided to go have a look. The one I went to was held on a major ‘cours’* – and they blocked the entire road for the whole morning (the markets are usually only in the mornings, & by 12 they start packing up). I wouldn’t say the things sold at this market are at rock bottom prices, because they’re mostly not (at least not when I convert to NGN). But they’re affordable, and there’s something for everyone. Other than clothes, there are shoes, bed linen, scarves, makeup, bags, etc., and prices range from 2€ (for baby clothes, mostly) to 100€. I actually bought a number of reasonable stuff, and all I spent was </= 20€. All in all, it was a good experience, I wouldn’t mind going back with a little more money, but one has to live within one’s means, so… *sigh. One day I will enter a designer shop and sit down and have a cup of cocoa, while my personal shopper runs around looking for what exactly would suit my taste. That’s all.
*This particular ‘cours’ is a wide road. ‘Wide’ roads are unusual in this city, I have no idea why. Like what would be 1 lane in Nigeria is actually 2 lanes here.
Today, my first lecture holds. For 6 hours. The first time I looked at the course schedule and saw the time length, I wondered if there was some sort of mistake or something. Turns out there’s no mistake, I really do have classes from 9.00 – 16.15 (there’s a 1 hour, 15 minutes break for lunch by 12). I tried to prepare for this class by reading and going to bed early last night. Didn’t work. By 2am, I was wide awake, and stayed that way till about 4am. I wake up at 6.30am, prepare and get out by 8.15. I expect the 1st bus to come at 8.20, and the 2nd bus to come at 8.31. Turns out that’s too close, you don’t time buses in France like that, because they’re hardly ever early. Long and short is I get to school at 9.35am. Very poor start, I’m ashamed of myself. Anyway, the lecturer is just introducing the course, so I haven’t missed much – and best of all, he isn’t boring at all. I find myself giggling more than a few times during the lecture. He also gives us breaks every 1.5 hours, which is good. I guess he also needs the break himself, who wants to die during a lecture?
I actually learn a lot during the course of this lecture, things I won’t forget in a hurry. I wonder what the difference is between this lecturer and the ones I had in undergrad, because back then, try as I might to concentrate on the lecture, as soon as it is over, I forget everything. This one is a lot different, perhaps because he discusses things he actually lives out daily, he provides too many examples, and encourages participation. Also, I find that my classmates are really knowledgeable (sadly, this also means I have some serious catching up to do).
After the lecture, I head back home and take a nap, wake up and go over what I learnt in school (catching up begins now!), and then decide to cook some jollof rice. French rice apparently has a way it likes to be cooked, and will not get done any other way. How so? I decide to make the sauce for the rice first, and then pour it over the parboiled rice, because I don’t have the time or patience to do it any other way. Biggest. Mistake. Ever. This rice does not get done, even after cooking for 1 hour. Note that the rice I’m used to takes like 30 minutes, if I’m cooking for about 5 people. This night, I am cooking for just me. Oh well, in the end I have to content myself with cookies and milk, and of course I discard the rice. This adjusting process isn’t easy at all, but somehow I never get frustrated, I wonder why. I haven’t even experienced the ‘culture shock’ that people always talk about, or the attendant depression. What’s that? I’m the 7th letter of the alphabet mehn, I can’t experience such :p
PS: These French guys like fountains A LOT! Like everyday I see a new one. I think the town has a lot of water flowing underneath, so they decided to aestheticize (the word doesn’t exist, but I don’t know what other word to use) it…I mean, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Oh well…
That’s the fountain at the city centre. Will take pictures of more, and post here.