Friday, December 18, 2009


Because I want to be a proper Africanist I have to speak French; not only the language of love, but also the language that is spoken in 31 African countries. I forgot most of my high school French so here I am, taking classes for two weeks in Montpellier, France.

Montpellier is a gorgeous city from the Early Middle Ages first mentioned
in a document of 985. The city - the capital of the "Languedoc-Roussillon" region - is relatively small with around 250,000 inhabitants. Thank you Wikipedia. I've been here now for about two weeks; unfortunately with very limited internet connection. Hereby some pros and cons of Montpellier:

pro: walking
I love to walk around late at night when there is nobody on the street (it clears my head and makes me think). Montpellier is perfect for this with its many small narrow streets, old buildings, etc.

pro: books
I found two really massive bookshops! One of them even has a large amount of second-hand books. This all in addition to many antique bookshops I've seen. Hurrah!

con: pooh
Unfortunately Montpellier kept one bad Medieval habit: there is pooh lying all over the place.

con: closing times
My school here - Accent Francais - closes at 6pm. And the internet cafe - together with most other shops in Montpellier - closes at 8pm. How I miss New York.

Do I have nothing to say about Montpellier's culture, nearby-located villages, etc.? Actually, no. I'm taking the ‘intensive’ package here: class in the morning, (private) class in the afternoon, dinner with hostess in the evening to practice speaking, and homework after that. Of course, work for Columbia continues, so I try to do that at night.

In a few hours I hop on a bus that brings me to Muenchen, Germany (arriving the next morning). From there I take a train to Jenbach in Austria where I plan to meet up with my family (mom, dad, brothers, aunts, uncles, granny, cousins, etc.) to spend a week together in Austria. Can't wait.

Au revoir la France! Hallo Ă–sterreich!

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