First week in France

Logo dela Republique francaise

Well, I did it. I managed to sign all possible and impossible papers, to explain all real facts for stupid accountants and other fat-ass jerks in the department of bureaucracy and finally to get my visa (that actually was the easiest part).

Now I am in France. Actually I planned to post something just after my arrival. Things, however, went independently on my plan so I had to follow them and to forget about free time for a week. Now it’s my 8th day here. It’s only a small part of my internship left behind but I have experienced lots of things. I’ll try to describe them in this post. You, however, should expect that there will be a long text to read :).

Chapter 1. The Butthurt 

It started to appear in Zürich (It was cheaper to go Kyiv-Zürich-Nice rather than Kyiv-Nice). The flight went quite well. It was Boeing 737 and for me that was a great aircraft in compare to Yak 42 I have flight in before :). However, things started going strange just after I left the plane. There was a gate connected to the airplane. In Kyiv I had to wait in the bus that was working and to breath with exhaust gas it was producing. I had to wait that way until the latest passenger is registered. OK, I’m a healthy man and I can wait that way but there were women with small babies. Babies had to breath with the gas and women had to carry them all the time. And that wasn’t an old terminal.

The terminal in Zürich is huge. I had to take an underground train to get right to my gate. In Boryspil terminals are small but they aren’t very close to each other. So if a passenger arrives to a terminal B and need to depart from terminal F he needs to walk about 5 minutes (if he knows where that terminal is). It’s ok if he has enough time between planes but sometimes he won’t be able to register in time (and you remember the bus — you cannot get to the plane if the bus has departed). It’s a good idea to run a small train that goes between terminals in Boryspil but I don’t think this will ever happen.

Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport. Source: Wikipedia, Zurich Airport article

When I got on the board of the Zurich-Nice plain I was surprised how friendly the flight attendants were. They spoke English, Deutsch and Français just perfectly and they welcome each passenger separately. I compared them to flight attendants at Ukrainian International Airlines who speak Ukrussian, look a bit wasted and read and English text written using Russian letters. Ladies, you are the first Ukrainians who are seen by foreigners. You represent your country. The president doesn’t blemish Ukraine as much as you do this.

The flight to Nice went well too. That was a big AirBus. What I noticed is that unlike Ukrainians, Europeans don’t unstrap safety belts during all the flight. I don’t think that’s really very bad for Ukrainians :).

I left the airport in Nice, took a taxi and went to the Hotel. Holly fucking shit! I could not believe that I was on the same planet. Streets are clean, lawns look great, trees look like there is a separate gardener for each one, car drivers don’t break the laws. Why cannot we do that in Ukraine? Bad government? Bad president? Maybe bad funding? If you really think these ones are the main reasons then please go to the nearest river and drown yourself. The real reason is YOU. You drive car too fast, you bribe your teachers instead of studying, you throw trash to the ground. You do all the crap you don’t like. To fix the problem you have to upgrade you mind, you stupid jerk.

I think I should stop complaining at this point and start describing the great things I have experiences here :).
Chapter 2. Weather and climate.

There’s no snow here too. However it’s +15 – +17˚C during a day, it’s sunny and date palms and tangerines grow here :). Actually all Nice is covered by date palms. I am the lover of dates so it’s quite hard to look at them when I’m hungry.

Photo of a tangerine tree

A tangerine tree on Promenade des Anglais

A photo of a date palm

A date palm on Promenade des Anglais

I didn’t take all my summer clothes so I’ll have to buy it here because it’s going to be even warmer in the nearest future. It looks like there were no autumn and winter because all grass is green and there are lots of flowers. This photo was taken a few days ago:

Photo: Flowers

Flowers at l'Armente garden.

It’s quite hard to believe that it’s January now because it was snowing in Zürich that isn’t too far from Nice. The reason, I think, is that Côte d’Azur  is been warmed by Mediterranean sea from the South and is been protected against cold air by Alps. Although it is quite warm in January it should not be very hot in the summer. The sea should make the air more cool when the weather is very hot.
Chapter 3. Food.

One of the things France is well known for is it’s food. Of course it’s not possible to try out all the dishes in one week but I have already tried cuisses de grenouille, croque monsieur/madame, crêpes sucrée/salée and croissants. Now I can add French cuisine to the a small list of cuisines I like :).

Photo: Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur. Unfortunately I have already eaten a quarter of the sandwich and almost all salad 🙂

Photo: Crepe jambon fromage

Crêpe œuf jambon fromage. Source: http://cafetriskell.com/foto1/page7.html

Photo: Cuisses de grenouilles

Cuisses de grenouilles

Nice is a city full of tourists. That’s why streets are full of restaurants, cafes and bars. Every time I visit a restaurant I have a feeling that all French know each other. It’s ok to have a friendly chat with a waiter or with people around. There is a menu in every restaurant but if you don’t like a specific ingredient in a dish you can ask to get rid of it or even to add some extra ingredients. You should speak French for that :). Unfortunately my French includes just a few words and phrases so first time the only extra ingredient for all dishes for me was hum. I have tried crêpes with hum, some italian sandwiches with hum, some hot dishes with hum… Now I can order extra fish, eggs, and cheese :). The interesting fact is that the word “fish” is been translated to French like “poisson” that is quite similar to the English word “poison”. This word in a menu is still fun for me :).

What is very noticeable for me as a guy from Kharkiv is the size of dishes. I got used to estimate that I will be given a small cutlet, if I order a cutlet. That’s not the case here. If you order a cutlet you will be given a big cutlet, a big side dish and several pieces of baguette. The reason I have not tried a dessert yet it that I just cannot eat so much. Now I totally understand why it takes French people an hour or two to have a dinner. Just imagine that the croque monsieur above is about 25x15x3 cm in size and weights about 400-500 grams. And it’s a small breakfast! What about a dinner, you ask? Just check out this photo:

Photo: big dinner

Escalope a la crème champignonne

All the dishes are been cooked for you. There are not just reheated. However it doesn’t take so long to get them cooked, unlike restaurants in Kharkiv (Pivobar, IT-Cafe, etc…) where you can wait an hour.

If you try to compare local salaries (the average net salary in France is about $4K) with prices for food, you’ll see that food is very cheap. You can have a good breakfast for 3-10 euro and a good dinner for 15-25 euro.

Photo: Brushetta

Brushetta.

Looks like it’s small, right? Compare it to the size of my hand:

Photo: Brushetta and my hand

Brushetta and my hand

Photo:

Côte de Bœuf -- my favorite meat here

French love coffee that’s why every morning should be started with a cup of coffee.

Photo: Caffe latte

Caffe latte

In general — I like French food. However, I miss borscht, dyruny and varenyky :).
Chapter 4. Côte d’Azur.

If you want to fuck your girlfriend, just walk around Promenade des Anglais or around other great places on Côte d’Azur and you’ll get a blow job you will never forget. This place is awesome. Just look at these photos:

Photo: promenade des anglais

Promenade des Anglais

Photo: Castle

Nice castle

Photo: Strange trees

Strange trees

Of course I will post new photos as soon as I have more :).
Summary.

I like this place. Every time I think about all that red tape and all that crap in my Uni I don’t want to get back more and more. However, I miss my usual communications with the assholes I usually drink beer, play video games and do crazy things 🙂 However Mr. Internet will help me to be connected to my friends and parents. I hope I see you soon in Europe, guys :).

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2 responses to “First week in France”

  1. Ruslan Kiyanchuk (@Zoresvit) says :

    Familiar impressions, man… 🙂 Have a high time there!

    I’m wondering if the French people are okay with you talking English? Some teachers from my department were complaining on people ignoring them because of their English (and at least one of teachers has great accent, so it’s not because of юкрейниенз спик дифферент 🙂

    About The Butthurt:
    No comments, you’ve said it, man ))) The first thing I heard in Ukraine after coming back from US was “Следующий! Куда вы за линию заходите, вы что, не видите?! Заранее готовьте документы!”.

    About The climate:
    Looks like it’s just perfect, you are lucky. My first visit to Israel: +40 in shade, about 85% humidity in Tel-Aviv (since it’s near the sea), so no comments, I felt like in bath 🙂 Still I prefer that to -15 cold ))

    About the food size:
    Is that some shit, common to all foreign countries? After meeting my host family in US we went to the restaurant. I was starving after flying half the planet. So I ordered some stuff. And got like 5 times more than I’ve expected. We asked to put about the half of my order in doggie packs 🙂

    About Côte d’Azur:
    Okay, man, you can get an unforgettable blow job just for putting some candles on the table, creating romantic atmosphere and preparing great supper in a small hostel room with discusting weather and ugly building areas outside 🙂 So I can’t even imagine, what you should expect after walking there xD

    • Roman Prykhodchenko says :

      You need French here. I had a problem with buying a SIM card. I found the only one Orange store where I could explain what I need — there was a man who speaks English “a little” :). I spent 5 minutes for explaining that I’d like to add an engraving on my iPod at the Apple Store.

      You cannot switch language in the menu of the call center (even though Orange is an international carrier).

      However, you won’t be ignored. People usually try to help you even if they don’t speak English at all. I spent about an hour to buy rechargeable batteries for my camera but I did it.

      There are some waiters that speak English good at every restaurant at popular places. However, I have problems with buying a sandwich at a student cafeteria every time :).

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