ERASMUS/Study Abroad – Settling In

It is day 3 of my YA in Lyon, France. Me and my partner have both had continous, painful headaches pretty much since we arrived, which was a real pain, and we’ve deduced that they were from caffeine withdrawl because when we drank Pepsi today with lunch they both stopped. We normally drink a lot of tea at home so it makes sense, how funny!

The weather here is cooler at the moment, around 20 degree celcius, and it’s been raining on and off since yesterday. I hate the rain but the cooler weather is a nice break from the 30+ degree heat!

The journey here was a bit of a nightmare, our first plane was so delayed that we missed our connecting flight and so had to spend 4 hours waiting for the next one in Frankfurt airport and arrived at Lyon late so most of the shops were closed. Our guinea pigs seemed to be well looked after in transit by the team at Frankfurt aiport though, because they had been given extra hay and had their carrier door cable-tied to make it extra, EXTRA secure. The more skittish of the two was clearly upset at the experience but within about 2 hours of being in our flat was nicely settled in, and the more confident of the two acted like air travel and being looked after by strangers in airports was nothing at all out of the ordinary, he wasn’t phased at ALL! They are brave, hardy little things, bless them. They are having difficulty adjusting to the heat here I think, but other than that they are very happy and relaxed, they have settled in far quicker than we have!

So far we have mosty been sleeping to recover from the journey (on Saturday we left my parents’ house at about 6.20am and didn’t arrive at our flat in Lyon until about 8pm!), and also shopping and sorting out our flat. I definitely under-estimated how expensive it would be to establish ourselves in a new flat from scratch again to live comfortably. We are trying not to buy unnecessary things, but stuff like a toaster will make our life much easier so we have also decided not to be too stingy. Hopefully I should get my student finance through soon – I was supposed to get it today but my home Uni won’t let me register online as it says I owe them a debt from last year (I definitely don’t :S), so I don’t think will get it until that is sorted. I do have an overdraft though, and so does my partner, so we can manage on that for awhile or with our (very) small amount of savings.

A nice surprise so far: We have wifi in our flat! Our rent was only supposed to cover ethernet dial-up internet, but the lady at reception couldn’t find a netgear box for us to use so we could both be plugged in at the same time, but could only find a wifi box, so she kindly just brought us that so we have wifi! It is quite slow but good enough, although our upload speed is VERY VERY slow so when we skyped my parents earlier they couldn’t really see us much because of all the pixels. Hehe.

A bad surprise so far: We bought the cheapest tea that Simply (a supermarket) sell because the rest of the teas (Twinings, Tetley etc) were REALLY expensive compared to back home. Unfortunately this cheap tea tastes gross, sort of similar to Morrison’s own brand tea bags, the only other tea bags I’ve ever turned my nose up at. I think we are going to try and get used to them first though because there really is a huge price difference. 😦

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