02 October 2009

New friends

Today was a fun, productive day! I spent nearly the entire day with Elli, an Australian who will also be teaching English in Metz primary schools.  We located the Inspection Acédemique, where we would be having our orientation the following day, and enjoyed the lovely sights of the city on the way, pausing to admire the Cathédrale Saint-Etienne, the Esplanade, St-Pierre-aux-Nonnains (the oldest church in France), and getting a better feel of the city.  We also were finally able to locate a Supermarché where we stocked up on necessities. I had been looking for a supermarket in Metz for days, and no wonder I was unsuccessful; it's underground at Centre Saint-Jacques!  

We met Elli's friend Katie for a delicious lunch of exotic salads and tartes aux framboises (raspberry pastries!) in the picturesque park behind le Temple Neuf on Belle Ile in the middle of the Moselle River. 

We were able to secure a cell phone for Elli, and I was able to set up my French bank account at Banque Populaire, which was remarkably simple.  The people at the bank were LOVELY and so helpful, and Antoine, who set up my account, spoke to us for an hour afterwards about France, traveling the world, and encouraging our language abilities.  It's funny how the two things I feared the most (getting a cell phone and a bank account) were two of the easiest accomplishments so far!  

Dinner was superb! We met another primary language assistant, Michelle, for dinner in Place Saint-Jacques. At night Place Saint-Jacques is the place to be in Metz, and we enjoyed dining outdoors in a lovely brasserie, serenaded by street buskers. We splurged on a sumptuous three course dinner of traditional food in the Lorraine region of France.  In France, you need to budget at least two hours for a sit-down dinner, which is something I can truly appreciate, coming from the fast-paced USA.  The French take time to savor each course, to enjoy each other's company, and the bill doesn't come until they ask for it.  Food is not mere sustenance, but a way of life that must be appreciated. It was lovely to have conversation with other assistants, and it truly boosted my morale after feeling so isolated.  Afterward, we strolled past the brilliantly lit Cathédrale Saint-Etienne on our way back to our foyer for a good night's sleep before our orientation tomorrow!

Quiche Lorraine, a regional specialty made from egg, cream custard, and smoked bacon.

L'assiette Lorraine, consisting of potatoes, pâté, ham, and fresh cream

Tiramisù à la Mirabelle, which is traditional Tiramisù, 
but with yellow Mirabelle plums 

Elli, Michelle, et moi!

1 comment:

  1. i'm glad that you're loving metz, its really lovely! good luck with primaire!


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