It was a one day trip which later turned into an adventure to a city called Chauvigny which is towards the east of Poitiers at a distance of 30km from the city of Poitiers, France. It commands a view of Vienne river which is one of the important rivers in south-western France. I was accompanied by my friends – Jayanth, Mahantesh, Syed, Jogi, Lalithya, Mukta and Namratha.
It was a cool Saturday morning, all of us got ready with few snack in our bags. We reached Poitiers city and boarded a bus to Chauvigny. En route to chauvigny, it was a great treat to our eyes with the nature beauty all around. We got down on the main street of chauvigny. All were very hungry and started searching for restaurants.
It was difficult to search for a vegetarian food. Finally, we decided to eat pizza and fries. Later we visited the ancient castle known as ‘château baronnial’ of the 11th century which was 15 minutes walk from the city center. The roads were such that we were hiking.
We then proceeded to visit ‘La Collégiale Saint-Pierre’ church built in the 12th century which had a bell tower. Then we were walking around exploring the different buildings and old city streets which seemed to be a different experience.
Then we rested for a while. We then returned to the city center and had a coffee, well, ya that was refreshing! Then was the time to leave the city. We went to the bus stop to check the bus timings. Surprise! For our bad luck, the last bus back home was already gone! As it was in the initial days in France we didn’t know much of French to ask someone for help for finding the alternatives. Then we went to a nearby shop to ask for an help, they suggested us to ask for a hitch hike. We wrote ‘POITIERS SVP’ on a paper. SVP being Sil Vous plait which is please in French.
In the hopes of getting a drop to the city, we were standing by the main road with the board. Minutes went, none of the cars stopped, maybe no one was heading towards our city or they didn’t have enough place for all of us. After almost an hour the same person who gave us the idea of Hitch-hiking came to us and looking at our situation he said he will drop us to a place where we can get a bus to our residence. He called up his friend for another car as we were 8 people. That moment, one of the happiest moment for us, being international students in France and the way he helped us, We can never forget him. His name was Mr.Bouddone. Here is a picture with him.
Finally, we reached our home after all the circus. It was a day to be remembered.
Well, It was my first visit to a foreign country and it is France which is a region of medieval cities, peaceful villages, calm rivers, and beaches of Mediterranean. It was for my higher studies. New place, new life, new people, new language, totally it was a different and new beginning for me. I was really excited about it. I landed in Paris in September 2015. It was hard to come to France leaving my loved ones and home country.
I was accompanied by few of my friends hence I didn’t feel much lonely after coming here. I reside in the city of Poitiers which is a riverside city in the west of France. My hostel is in city outskirts. It’s a peaceful place!
First few months were really adventurous. It was fun discovering new things, roaming around knowing just ‘Bonjour’, ‘Merci’ and ‘Au Revoir’ (Hello, Thank you and bye) in French. Another most used sentence was ‘Vous parle Anglais?’ meaning ‘ Do you speak English?’. The course work here was very different from my previous education held. Initially, it was difficult to adjust to it. But as time lapsed things became easier. I used to go out with friends for outing, parties and night outs. It wasn’t difficult for me to get adjusted to the French food as I was a Non-vegetarian.
There are things to like about France. The way they wish everyone seems good. They are always calm and has an interesting lifestyle. They don’t work too much but they do what is required. They spend their weekends and holidays well. There are a couple of things to learn from French people.
Day by day I started learning French language and also about the French culture. It’s exciting to learn French. We invite French people for dinner or lunch with Indian special dishes. Few of them like spicy food while few just cry! It feels good interacting with the French people. They are very calm and helpful in nature.
There is a beautiful river named ‘Le Clain‘ near our residence. We usually go there on weekends. We play football in the nearby ground later we have food near the river.
The city I live in is not a happening city. But that doesn’t limit my entertainment. I go to different countries for the trip during semester breaks and holidays. So far I visited Paris, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Vatican City and San Marino. It will be refreshing after a tiresome course work. Here are few clicks from Paris.
Daily Skype calls to parents, group video chats with friends in the weekend, preparing and having special Indian dishes, receiving a parcel from India, celebrating birthdays, outing with friends are some of the happiest moments here. The snacks we receive in the parcels won’t even last for a week.
I also frequently visit a nearby village which is Martigny. I go there for running. This village always brings a feeling of my own village back in India. I like to run around the fields. I click few pics often and send them to my father who is an agriculturist as he frequently asks me about the French agriculture.
There is a lake near my residence. I just go there in the evenings. Sit for a while alone there. The view will be spectacular. The vehicle reflection on the water is the best part. I feel relieved after a walk around the lake. I do meet few local residents near the lake. It feels good. In the weekends few families come for camping near the lake. It feels good to see the families there.
Here are few pictures which I took in and around my city.
Now I can speak some manageable French. I have learned a few things after coming here. Life in France is so far good.
Yes, although I have come here for strong reasons for the betterment of my life, Sometimes, I do miss my parents, friends, family occasions and my village. But at the end of the day, I need to work hard and bring a meaning to my travel to a far place from my country. I am not the same person who I was when I came here. Life in France has taught me about the value of parents, people, money and time. I hope the rest of my life in France goes well.