Day 5, three students give their stories:
//Rebecca Lindberg 16VO
A Sunday in France
I woke up before my host family, so for once it was not too late to do homework. At eleven o’clock, my exchange student, Benjamin, knocked on my door to let me know breakfast was ready. Finally. The breakfast consisted of milk in a cup, in which I mixed something similar to instant coffee, but it tastes more like chocolate. After that, I pour in Day Break. It is basically small pillows of oatmeal filled with Nutella. After finishing my chocolate and filled oatmeal pillows I put ecological Nutella on two pieces of toast, and eat them as well. To this breakfast, I also add a glass of orange juice, which is much more common down here.
The plan for today was to explore Lyon some more. We took the car to the nearest subway station to take the subway to central Lyon. When we arrived we started by going to the city hall of Lyon. On the wall of the entrance of the city hall, there were “rulers” which had once upon a time been the definition of various measurements. Other countries came to Lyon to make sure their measures were the same size as the ones in Lyon to make sure everyone used the same measurements. On the inside the city hall was enormous, and the interior made Swedish castles look like ordinary homes. There was room after room with crystal chandeliers and huge fireplaces. The wallpapers were exclusive fleur-de-lis wallpapers and the walls were so full of decorations there was no wall only covered in wallpaper. In the ceiling, there were many paintings and decorations and there was at least one chandelier in every room.
After seeing the city hall we had planned to see the theatre on the other side of the street. Unfortunately, it was closed due to La Biennale, a dancing parade that goes through the streets of Lyon. Instead of the museum, we started looking for somewhere to eat, since it was time for lunch or rather passed lunch. We decided to eat at Paul, which is a qualitative restaurant that mostly serves baguettes with different fillings. I ordered a baguette with tuna, salad and tomato and a Tartelette au citron meringuée for dessert, which is a pie with lemon filling and a soft meringue coating.
After that, we agreed to go to old Lyon since there were supposed to be shops there that were open. When we got to old Lyon we saw a street artist painting impressive paintings using spray paint. We stopped and looked until he had finished the painting he had started, and then we continued. After a while, I found a shop that printed their own T-shirts, and I bought one for my brother as a present.
After some more shopping, we visited a museum in old Lyon that was actually open. The museum displayed the history of Lyon, and there was also a room that focused on printing. In a monitor, you could see the manufacturing of playing cards. In another room, there was a giant, programmable loom, which was programmed using paper strips with holes in it. There were many other rooms as well, with exhibitions that I cannot remember. It was getting late, and an employee at the museum told us they were closing up soon. We saw a few more rooms but then headed for the subway to return home.
When we came home it was around eight o’clock, and Benjamin’s parents started making dinner: French barbeque. The dinner consisted of french fries shaped like a v instead of the ordinary square shape, a turkey sausage, and two chorizos. To that, they served salad, three kinds of mustard, barbeque sauce and Heinz tomato ketchup in a very nice bottle. For dessert, we had Fromage Blanc, which is similar to Swedish “kvarg” (quark), with sugar and whipped cream.
After dinner, I had a shower and went to bed. It was now almost eleven o’clock.
It was a very good day.
/ Simon Gutgesell 17TE
16/9 – 18
9:30 I woke up after a late night playing laser game and going to McDonald’s. I got up and had breakfast with my Frenchman, Malo, and his mother, while they asked me what I wanted to do today and gave some suggestions like swimming, staying at home and later going to Lyon to see some kind of festival. For breakfast, I had a small yogurt, a sandwich with avocado and a croissant with marmalade. After breakfast, both Malo and I had to study, so that is what we have been doing until now, 12:23. Every day, we have had some entree, a main course and some kind of dessert (often yogurt).
Today, we had tomato, feta cheese, and melon, which they thought we didn’t have in Sweden. There is always a baguette and a bottle of balsamic vinegar to the entree. Then they served fish and mashed potatoes. They don’t put salt and pepper on the food, they put in on the table instead. Today, there were several smaller desserts. First, they asked if I wanted yogurt and put out four different kinds of yogurt with condiments. After that, they served many different sorts of fruit followed by some type of sponge cake and coffee. This is one of the bigger differences from everyday life at home, they split every meal into several small meals one after the other. Now it is 13:41 and we are getting ready to go to central Lyon, which takes about half an hour by car from the suburb Meyzieu.
We arrived at the parade around 14:45 and the first thing we met when arriving in the city was security guards because the festival was right above us. They went through our bags because of the fear of an attack. The mother of my family even told us that last time they had this festival, in 2016, they were in an arena with even higher security.
The festival is called ”Un Défilé Pour La Paix”, which means a parade for peace and they have it every second year. The parade is about showing the working class neighborhood and their inhabitants. They want to show that everyone has a place regardless of nationality, sexuality, age, or handicap and to do so they use dancing and costumes. The parade has about 4500 dancers from more than 500 municipalities in the Auvergne-Rhône–Alp region, in the ages between 10 and 80. The choreography is a cooperation between 250 sponsored artists.
The parade is also used for political reasons since every dance has its own message which you can see in the picture. During this dance, everyone was dressed as military and had military vehicles who showed the different cities and its distance from Lyon.
When the parade finishes all performers gather on a stage in the big square, Place Bellecour and dance. We only saw five of the different performances and didn’t have the energy to stay longer because of the crowds and the heat. I like the concept very much and was very impressed because it opened up new ways of looking at things. I also became a huge fan of the artist who drew the pictures for the protocol, Étienne Guiol.
We got back home again at 16:30 and had a small snack consisting of a cookie and juice. After that, we studied some more before heading out on a bicycle tour around the lake, Le Grand Large.
/Johanna Ulfves 17TE