Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Le géant toulousain

That’s to say, the Toulousain giant, which you can interpret one of two ways. (I’m an English major—double entendres is what I do.) It could refer to me—even at five foot six, which is pretty average in America, I tower over my host mother, my host mother’s daughter, and most other adult French women I see.

This is a generalization, of course, but it’s the weirdest feeling to be a full head taller than someone. I’m not even the tallest student here!

Or Toulouse itself could be the giant. Every once in awhile, when I actually let myself think about the fact that I’m going to be living here for a year, taking university courses in a language I only partially speak, not seeing my friends or family until December, (I’m planning on coming back during les vacances d’hiver) I start to panic.

I don’t know if I can do this. This is bigger than anything I’ve ever done before.

And I’ve never been good at giving pep talks to myself—I’m either too cynical or too pragmatic, depending on who you talk to—so I’m just trying not to think about it. I got here in one piece, met my house mother and got unpacked. Good. I’m starting to learn my way around Toulouse a little—I found my way home from a place I haven’t been before, and I’m buying the stuff that I need. Tonight, I’m cooking dinner for myself, which actually means microwaving frozen Quiche Lorraine that I bought from the grocery store on Avenue de la Gloire.

I’m not really going to think about it beyond that.


P.S. Because numbers are fun:
2- bottles of Orangina consumed so far
5- times I’ve tripped over the storage ottoman near my room
7- estimated hours I’ve spent walking places
20- days until classes start at ICT


  1. Man, thats so cool. I hope you have a good time over there. I will encourage the not thinking about it and just focusing on it day by day, cause your days seem very interesting.

  2. Oh, wow. This is pretty serious.

    Looking forward to seeing what comes of it!

  3. You're doing great and will continue to do so. You make us provincial, American animals proud. And check out some of the locaux d'escrime, while you're there ;)

    From West of the Mississippi. -don

  4. Alyssa - do check out Octave and enjoy the best glace in Toulouse. It's one of the cafes directly across from the main entrance to the Capitol. I am so envious of the fact that you get to spend a year there. My two weeks were way too short. Hope my son Zack has put you in touch with a few of his friends.