Jan. 23rd, 2012

yuji: (Phoenix Wright)
So last, last weekend (Jan. 15), I was taken to the mountainside by my host parents. 

The grandma, the mom of my host mom, I believe, lives in a chateau near Saint Emilion (vineyards). Actually, I'm not sure if I spoke about this earlier, but the EAP students got to go on an excursion to Saint Emilion that weekend (on Friday) as well. It was pretty cool, we got to learn the history of the patron saint of Saint Emilion. We also went into an underground cathedral/monolithic church (apparently the biggest in EU?). 

It was very cold. Very, very cold. But still really cool looking. We weren't allowed to take any pictures (though, really it's not all that pretty since it's cold and damp underground), but it was really interesting to be there. Afterwards they took us to a vineyard where we got to do some wine tasting. :) I bought back a bottle for 10.50 Euros, though I have yet to try it. 

But anyway, back to my story! 

I'm pretty convinced that my host parents are loaded because we literally went to a chateau in the middle of nowhere near Saint Emilion. I felt like I was in Downton Abbey (not nearly as decorative/big/or pretty), but the atmosphere was about right. They own around 62 acres of vineyards and just open fields. There were 6 horses, a couple of goats, and 2 dogs. 

I had a large meal and met...basically...the whole family which was awkward. I spoke to the grandma a lot, who was very sweet and tried to make me feel at home. Everyone spoke at once, however, and I got lost pretty quickly in the conversation. Also, I'm not very good at conversing to begin with, so it was an awkward family dinner all around. >> 

My host parents are hilarious though. They have a habit of not telling me what's happening and what's going on, so in the morning I basically got stuffed into a car with no idea what was happening. We reached a small farmers market midway (in Libourne?) between our final destination and our home, where the car suddenly stops near a bunch of wooden boxes, and my host mom proceeds to take around 20 and stuff them in the trunk. 

Me: um...what's with the boxes? (in french).
Host Dad: It's for the cheminée
Me: ....I don't understand. 

-- and here my host dad tries to explain what a cheminée is, which I finally figured out is a fireplace. But mind you, this is how he explained it.- 

Host Dad: Oh like...we're taking these boxes and setting them on fire. 
Me: O__O fire?? Fire fire? Boxes and FIRE? 
Host Dad: yeah like....it's cold outside. 
Me: ....what. 
Host Dad: Huh...um..like there's a place in the house to burn boxes. 

And yeah, so we finally reached fire place from there. But in the beginning while they were trying to explain it to me, I was just freaked out by the idea of fire and boxes and being near a place with boxes on fire. 

May 2012

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