Thursday, June 3, 2010

Joe-2 1st Weekend

The weekend started on Saturday at 11 am when we meet at the Place de la Comedie to meet as a group. We then went to the Monoprix to get water and snacks. I got my second pan au chocolat to start my day. Afterwords we got on the tram and I used my transportation pass for the first time of my stay. It works by putting the outside of the card, the side without the picture, against a flat monitor where it is read and a beeping sound is made. Once we were on we went on had a twenty or so minute ride till we reached Port Marianne. From there we had to wait some time for bus 106. While we were worried there would be no space on the bus as we had an empty bus come, so despite a large group of French people we had plenty of room and were again able to pay with the pass.
Once we got to the beach, we laid out the towels in an effort to cover as much space as possible. At the beach there were long peninsulas of rocks that jutted out into the sea. It was a rather clean and beautiful beach, with lots of people laying a game involving two rackets and a ball that is hit back and forth. This is a picture of Brandon and Sherel playing.
Despite Rebecca continuingly reminding people to drink water and put more sunscreen on, I unfortunately burned my entire back, which made sleeping an interesting and painful exercise for the next few days.
As some people where getting tired and hungry we decided to leave about 4 pm or as 16:00 as it appears locally. As we were walking to the bus stop, we saw the bus pull away. Kyla went to the sign and told us the next bus should come in about ten minutes, but it turned out as she discovered she had accidentally read the wrong bus schedule and the next bus was an hour away. So we all sat tired and burnt on the ground for another 45 minutes waiting for the bus to arrive. Once it did, there was thankfully enough room and every got on alright and soon we were waiting for the tram. The tram turned into another interesting endeavor. As the tram arrived and we all, foolishly, went towards one door, I was the farthest back. As the tram doors began to close I was still on the platform and the group had crowded into the doorway leaving no more room to enter. In a way I am glad this happened as it gave me my first, and likely my only, experience in riding the tram alone. I merely waited about another six minutes till the next tram arrived, rode it to the Comedie where part of the group that was still staying was sitting.
This reveals one of the problems I have with Montpellier and it comes from me being an American. In America, if you feel like having dinner at about 5:30 and you want to go out, there are plenty of options to choose from. As we found out, in Montpellier where dinner is at about 8:00 pm, 20:00, our choices were limited to some sandwich shops and McDonalds. So I and three others went to McDonalds. I luckily made it back to my host woman to let her I would not be eating dinner with them before she had started to cook. I then went laid down and by 8:30 I was asleep for the day.
The next day proved to be a long tiring and not to beneficial day. We met at a bus place at 1:30 where we went off to Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, a small town about 40 minutes away from Montpellier. There we toured a church and had a tasting of something that I was not impressed with. The church would have been interesting but Jeremy only speaks French so I understood nothing. We did see the supposed bones of Saint Guilhem and a piece of the true cross. Afterwards,, while some went on a hike, I followed a group that went looking for ice cream and got a cone of chocolate sorbet that was amazing. Along the walk I saw something that depressed me, a crushed McDonalds fry container on the side of the town. Afterwards we got back on the bus and went back to town with Jeremy singing songs while playing the guitar.

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