Bonjour! I now have a bit of free time and internet in my lovely dorm room, so I will update you all on how week 1 went.
First impressions: Strasbourg is lovely.
French people eat a lot of bread. I had the best white wine of my life last night (Alsacien Pinot Gris), and the bottle was 5 euros at the nearest grocery store. The tram and bus system here is very good and inexpensive, except when you get stuck in a part of town beyond where the tram goes and without a lot of buses…at night. It is an awesome biking city! Very flat, and lots of bike-only paths and lanes. However, French drivers here in the north seem just as insane as they are in the south, and will absolutely not stop for you.
I have the most awesome host English teacher (she’s one of the ~8 English teachers I am working with), and she took me and a few others on a hike in the Vosges Mountains. Before the hike, we walked around a very picturesque, Alsacien town called Turkheim:
Next we drove up into the mountains, and hiked to a WWI battlefield, the Linge. The trenches are still there, and there’s a museum and a memorial dedicated to the nearly 20,000 soldiers killed there over a period of three months.
We ended the day with cake. Because duh.
I had my TAPIF assistant de langue orientation on Monday and Tuesday. Not terribly interesting. But I got to meet some of the other language assistants in the region which was nice. And today was my first day in front of a classroom of twenty 17-year-old French boys. It went alright. More on the French education system, cafeteria food, teaching, and my specific lycée (high school) and collège (middle school) later.