I thought I’d better post some proof of the temperature here at the moment, so here’s something I found at the castle on Friday. It’s still freezing, too. The snow still hasn’t melted from last week. The upside of this is that the building’s heating is still on.
I seem to be making some headway with the students, finally. On my way out of the school some of them stopped me to ask if I’d like to play cards and asked me how me day had gone, mocking each others’ English the whole time. With a younger class I did a quiz on Australia, which got the class really wound up and competitive – it’s nice to have a class who actually want to speak, rather than having to pull teeth just to get a “good morning”. Most of these pupils are in the chemistry class I work with are in that class, so I’m starting to get to know them a bit better. It’s really horrible not knowing anyone’s names.
Tomorrow, as announced, everyone employed by the government – librarians, teachers, civil servants, train drivers, etc. are going on strike.
…so I’m not going to work tomorrow. I might go along to the “manifestation”, if I don’t sleep through my alarm. After asking a teacher if she was indeed striking in the morning, she said yes, and that we didn’t have class together. Then, she said “See you tomorrow!”, which I assume means at the demonstration. It’s at 9am though. If you’re going to go on strike you might as well take the opportunity to lie in.
After school I went to the post office, and walked past a shop full of interesting-looking things, some of them being Matryoshka. Then I looked closer. All the products were labelled in Cyrillic. In Russian. I went inside. It’s a little corner of Russia in this small town. The shop owner came over and chatted with me about the products I was looking at, and said she’d love to speak some Russian with me in my free hours if I would also speak some French with her. In the shop I found dill, kvass, kasha and sushka, amongst a million other Russian products I didn’t recognise. This place is amazing.
She also didn’t let me out of the shop before she’d offered me everything else she had to taste, which included sugary things that were a bit like Wotsits but without the cheese, and also some neon spun sugar which was so sweet it hurt. I was also very lucky to manage to buy kvass, which I was reminded numerous time was “not like any French drinks, you know…”. I only convinced her when I said I wasn’t French either and I wanted to try it. It’s like a cross between lager and cola, but is made from fermented bread. Weird.
Finally, I had Chinese class today, which is still pretty interesting from the Chinese-French front. I’m also getting a very different language-learning experience because the other people in the class are not used to studying languages, and they’re generally older than me. As such, it’s taking quite a lot of time to get through things, but I think the pace is going to pick up as the teacher seems quite impatient too!
That’s all for now, I have to be up early in the morning so I can be on time for the mouvement sociale…