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Britta: Bienvenue à Montpellier

May 21, 2010

Montpellier greeted me with absolutely beautiful weather, beautiful people, and wonderful cuisine.

It was a long stressful trip from Minneapolis to Paris, Paris to Montpellier but the first hours here make it utterly worth it. My last experience abroad was in Spain, so my first instinct being back on the narrow, quaint, winding streets with little tabacs and cafés is: Spanish. However I instead hear French drifting through the streets and it swiftly brought to my attention that I need to know how to order the nem de chevré au miel and confit de concard pommes sautées.

Surprisingly, the French have been very friendly, but I am disappointed when I muster up my French speaking skills and am reciprocated with English. It brings a sense of embarrassment they can so easily speak my language and I have not so easily learned theirs. But I cannot give up so easily, hopefully with a little more practice and immersion I’ll be more confident in ordering my confit of duck “with the sauce on the side.”

Montpellier is crawling with students and has a lot of cultural diversity. Meandering the streets today there were graffiti artists in action, a beat box competition, jazz street performers, and a North African traditional dance. Bicycles zip by left and right and the tram misses you just by a ¼ of an inch.

After a long day of travel, settling into our home for the next two days (hotel ibis), wandering the old town of Montpellier, and eating a true French dinner, every sensation is satisfied.

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