Well, Dear Diary, I am doing it again, taking yet again another French course. I was very disappointed with the course I had in Aix en Provence and didn’t know if I would ever find something good. I heard about St Anne’s University in Nova Scotia, A French University, and it sounded really good but I just couldn’t face a cold April in an area north of cold New York, way north. I think it might have been fun but in another month. A friend recommended The Institute Francaise in Villefranche sur Mer, a small place situated between Nice and Monaco, not too shabby.
I’m very lucky to get this opportunity. Maurice is going to visit me on the weekends but only if he can control speaking to me in English. We will see.
I’m renting a nearby apartment just a two minute walk from the school. When I went to see the director to give a key deposit he said, “Don’t tell anyone, but you got an upgrade. The woman who was supposed to rent your place cancelled at the last minute and and had to pay the extra it would have cost you.” I had thought it was really nice when I walked in, very roomy and with a fabulous view of the bay. It doesn’t need much, and it is rather bare, with a huge window to take in the view. I have no complaints.
So, Dear Diary, the first day of school proved to be very interesting. It started with a small breakfast in the usual French fashion with bread and confiture and coffee or tea. What I found interesting were the people at my table. There were two Russians, an Australian, two Swiss, a beautiful Norwegian girl and moi. There was also a man from Bulgaria who had been in France for two years and couldn’t speak any French which made me feel a little better. We could all speak English at the table except for one Russian lady, but kept plugging along in French. We were told later that starting tomorrow we could only speak French. We would be fined one euro if they caught us speaking English and the collection of fines would be used to buy champagne for the last day.
We took tests and will find out our placement tomorrow. The Professeur explaned their system of teaching and why it was different from many others. It sounds like just what I need. They get you speaking French easily without hours of the drudgery that I am used to. There is some grammar, etc, but just a little different approach.
So, Dear Diary, we begin tomorrow. Should be interesting but a lot of work.