Archive for June, 2013

PostHeaderIcon La vie en France: Week 9

Marineland, Antibes.
Monday, 17 June 2013.

Organised by Campus France and accompanied by six lecturers from IUT Nice and IUT Sophia, this excursion is part of the monthlong Immersion Malaisienne Programme which aims to facilitate our integration here in France and at our IUT’s.

Though it has nothing to do with engineering studies, it is after all le must de la Côte d’Azur. So it’s okay. No problems, no complaints.
I mean, just look how excited these guys are.

Here, have some relevant photos. I have no idea what to say, therefore I hope short captions would do.

First show of the day: Seals and sealions.

A couple of impressive sea lions.

Waiting for the orcas…

And three come out, these swaggering creatures.

One of the trainers warn the people in the lower rows, especially those with cameras (and generally other electronic devices), to move up or risk of being splashed by the orcas. He then invites les plus courageux (the most courageous) to take the risk.

Upon closer inspection, I then realise that one of “the most courageous” is one of us, holding a water-proof GoPro.

Smart dolphins and their trainers doing quite a few tricks.

On Wednesday, we had a small get-together for the Malaysians in Nice and the professors of both of the said IUT at Carras Beach near the airport. The petite soirée started at seven in the evening and lasted for a couple of hours.

And two days later it was la Fête de la Musique, the day when people enjoy live music performed by amateurs and professionals alike in the streets and public spaces. I initially thought that the event would start early in the morning and last all day long, so I was rather disappointed to find out that there was practically no live music at all until late in the evening. Despite that, I took a walk around Vieux Nice and Place Masséna just after sunset to savour the joy of music, met up with a few friends, strolled along the beach on the Promenade des Anglais, bumped into an ex-housemate, and only returned home after midnight.

Besides that, I can’t remember anything else.

PostHeaderIcon La vie en France: Week 8

Not much to talk about for this week. French lessons, as usual, started at 0900 everyday, and after lunch we had to take Bus 230 to Sophia Antipolis for some classes specially tailored for us les Malaisiens at the IUT.

On Tuesday, I went to the Official OGC Nice Store to do a friend a favor and buy her something she had asked for. An elderly man there decided to start a conversation with me, and I eventually asked him for how long he had been a supporter of OGC Nice. He said ça fait longtemps – it has been a long time – and then proceeded to show me some of the black and white photos of the glorious team that had won four Ligue 1 titles in the 50’s. “I was there”, he claimed while pointing at one of those photos, “and it was our second league title in as many years.”. The date on it marked 1952 – over sixty years ago. Until now the team had never been able to reach the heights they did during that golden decade. But this old man kept on supporting them, and that spoke volumes about passion and loyalty. Cette année on a fait une belle saison, he later remarked, given that the 2012/2013 season concluded with Nice finishing fourth in the league – their greatest finish in 37 years.

When I told him I was a foreigner and that I did not speak French really well, he gave me an absolutely fantastic advice: Pour bien apprendre le français, il faut d’abord trouver une copine niçoise! 😆

Anyway, my pre-ordered Animal Crossing: New Leaf game arrived on Thursday (a day earlier than the official release date) and I spent virtually the whole weekend playing it! The game is very nostalgic and calming, it’s become rather addicting.

Today this note was posted on the notice board in the in-game town:

Maybe you dare not usually say “I love you” to your father, but at least make an effort today! He deserves it!” – literal translation, yeah.

Well, Happy Father’s Day then!

Limesong of the Day: Cat StevensFather and Son, one of my all-time favourites!

PostHeaderIcon Doctor Who: Monster Invasion

Doctor Who is one of the coolest TV series ever in the whole universe. It’s simple. I don’t need to expand on that. And coincidentally I received an equally cool thing yesterday…

This supercool tin box gets me excited!

Look at that. FIVE awesome booster packs!

The Doctor and his allies.

Villains and Monsters.

Adventure Cards.

And super rare holographic cards!

Very cool indeed.

PostHeaderIcon A Work in Progress…

Have I told you that the landlady is an experienced painter?

PostHeaderIcon La vie en France: Week 7

It’s really getting somewhat gloomier here. The mood has been at least a little bit drier.

Everyone has left. All three of them. Jessie on Sunday, Laura two days later and Saverio the Italian two days ago. I did have the opportunity to say goodbye to Jessie in the morning just before she left, but not to the other two.

Laura left at about the same time as Jessie did 48 hours earlier, but she was so swift and deft that I, having just taken a morning shower, didn’t even realise that she was leaving. I heard the door shut and then silence. Gone she was. Very quick I tell you. But it’s okay though, because she will come back later in the month before departing for the USA for good.

The last one was rather confusing. Although we were not home when Saverio left on Friday, I believe he did it acrimoniously. Uhuh. Ah well, let’s not touch on matters that we’re not sure of, okay?

What I’m 100 per cent sure of is that Sophia Antipolis is a really cool place. There are trees everywhere, very much like a countryside. My preparation classes at the Institut universitaire de technologie (IUT) Sophia commenced this week and will last for a month until the summer break. On Thursday we had an English language evaluation test comprising 100 listening questions and another 100 on grammar/comprehension/vocabulary, all MCQ. That was not fun at all.

The view from the IUT

The next day my French teacher praised my (very) short essay on a painting by Edouard Manet which he described as “presque parfait” (almost perfect). That did lift, albeit not that much, my already dwindling spirit.

Frankly speaking, there’s not much left to say about this week. Maybe. I don’t know.

PostHeaderIcon Tout le monde s’en va

Ouais, tout le monde s’en va.

À partir de la semaine prochaine, il n’y aura que nous là, perpetuant la vie dans cette petite maison qui autrefois abritait dix personnes d’origines diverses. Demain, ce sera le tour des Américaines de rentrer chez eux. Puis, celui de l’Italien. Le temps passe si vite que l’on a du mal à comprendre ce qui s’est passé, ce qui se passe, et ce qui se passera. Je me sens… comme si je ne les avais rencontrés que pour la première fois hier.

Quand on vit, on se fait connaissance et on se dit adieu.
C’est normal. C’est exactement comme ça que le monde tourne.

Et donc, adieu les amis. Songez à ne pas passer votre vie à haïr et à avoir peur.