Tag Archives: bordeaux

Can’t wait to play my RPG

I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer, and I have decided to divide it into phases. Yes, phases, like in a game. I’m still not quite sure what will make one phase different from the other, or how they are going to work. But let’s use RPG games as a metaphor.

In a Role Playing Game you assume the role of a character in a certain setting and created scenario. The players must take responsibility for acting out these roles within the narrative. Being in charge of the decision-making and character development, while undertaking quests that will help him discover his purpose in action, and also achieve his final goal and destination. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines that are given to the player. But of course there can be interpretation of the rules or free form decision making within them.

In the world of RPG games there are also the NPCs. Non-player characters that have a role as the “supporting cast” or “extras” of a roleplaying narrative. Non-player characters populate the fictional world of the game, and can fill any role not occupied by a player character. And just like in real life NPCs might your be allies, bystanders or competitors. One way or another, these characters are fundamental in anyone’s life, as they inspire, teach and helpll help us achieve our goals and complete phases.

The main objective of an RPG is for players to get their characters from one adventure to the next, learning and seeing as much as they can throughout each phase. Now that, my friends, sounds like real life to me! The difference is that I’ll create my own narrative, and I won’t do it sitting on a couch all summer.

Still following? Not too complicated.

The scenario this time is Europe.

The phases I still don’t know. t is like in real life, I guess, one never knows what lies ahead. What I do know is that I am ready for whatever is up next.

The most important are the rules. I have mentioned them before, but I’ll remind you what they are. It’s quite simple.

  • Be First
  • Be on Purpose
  • Be Grateful
  • Be of Service
  • Be Here Now
  • Be Curious, not judgmental!
  • Well, Be a Phoenix, will you?

I hope I can see many of my friends again. I hope to meet many NPCs that will help me throughout my journey. I hope to see a lot and learn as much as I can. For that, I’ll fly like a Phoenix.

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Can’t hitchhike to Paris

Well, school is over, I’m done with DEFLE, I left my apartment exactly a week ago and for the past week I have been hiding in a Rotarian’s attic. And now, finally, it is time to leave the nest and throw myself into the world once again.

At first I didn’t think I was gonna do it alone, I had plans to travel in groups or with friends, but not everything works how we want it to. Once again, I’ll get 2 months to travel by myself, visit some friends, meet new people, discover new cities and countries where I don’t speak a bit of the language. This would be terrifying, but after being in Athens, and hearing greek for the first time, nothing else scares me.

Packing and leaving Bordeaux wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I did make great friends there, Rotary exchange students, Rotex, DEFLE students, and of course, some French people. but I have gotten pretty used to the idea of leaving, and like the title says; Sorry, I can’t stay long. That along with the idea of what lays ahead of me this summer just thrills me. I was so excited, but so excited, that I decided to leave the Aquitaine hitchhiking.

Hitchhiking aint easy in Europe, not because it is dangerous, it’s not! I mean, I’m from South America for crying out loud, I did a 1000km in two days with a backpack in my back and no fear in my heart. The problem here is that no one stops for you. As I have learned earlier, the french are just not as welcoming, caring and helping as the South Americans. Of course I am generalizing, which is unfair, but I feel like that is one of the main cultural differences between us Brazilians and the French. But today I did have 7 awesome french people that helped me immensely on my 1st day of traveling.

The first one of them is Christine Schieber; the Rotarian that hosted me for this past week. The last one is Thierry Chappe; the french with whom I’m Couch Surfing tonight in Paris. In between I have these 5 awesome french that picked me up on the road and drove me for 607 KM today.

So this is how it went:

  • At 8:10 I left the house in Talance
  • At 9:30 Lift my thumb for the first time this morning
  • At 10:00-10:10 My first ride drove me from Bordeaux to Carbon Blanc (10,6 km)
  • At 13:00-13:50 Second one and hardest to get; Carbon Blanc – Saintes (107 km)
  • At 14:40-14:50 Third one; Saintes – St Jean Angely (27,3 km)
  • At 15:15-15:25 The fourth one took me to main important spot at A10; St Jean Angely – Niort (49,3 km)
  • At 15:50-19:50 Last and most important, 5th driver took me from Niort all the way to Paris (413 km)
  • At 20:50 I Arrived at Couch Surfer’s house. WIN!

Rough day? Pff, YES! At some points I didn’t think I was gonna make it to Paris, or even leave my second city. Other times I even had it figured out in my mind my possible sleeping places, because I thought no one would pick me up. But here I am, in Paris for the night, enjoying my cup of tea and admiring the Eiffel Tower. Tomorrow I’m going to Troyes, to see Chloe Soto-Mayor after an entire year, this time I’m taking a train.

PS: 2/5 drivers that picked me up on the A10 road said they only stopped because I had my Brazilian flag out. One was married to a brazilian, the other one had been in Brazil just last week.

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Je ne peux pas vivre par ces commandements


Ce sont les 10 commandements et plus afin d’avoir une année couronnée de succès, ou non!

– Tu sortiras tous les soirs

– Tu ne parleras pas anglais quand les professeures t’ecouteront

– Tu piqueniqueras tous les Dimanche

– Tu boiras du Bordeaux

– Tu n’iras pas en cours trop ivre

– Tu manqueras les cours et tu diras que tu étais malade

– Tu feras tes devoirs le soir au dernier moment

– Tu adoreras les Google Translators comme un dieu

– Tu ne reviseras rien aprés le cours

– Tu oublieras toujours les jous des examens

– Tu passeras les examen à la fin du semestre

– Tu partiras en vacances le soir aprés le dernier cours

  • Photo: Piqui-nique
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Can’t settle

I admit that I never quite know where I am going next, but a funny fact is that in the past two and a half years I have lived in 7 different houses, in 6 different cities, in 3 different countries.

I am always packing and unpacking and I’ve gotten quite good at that. That is the easy part, the hard part is getting used to a new place over and over again. I just finished my second week of classes at the University of Bordeaux 3 – Defle, and I feel like I got a pretty good routing going on already.

I have 16 hours of class every week, 3 pretty easy going teachers and a few good friends at Defle. About 3 or 4 times a week, Australians Jess and Jenny, Swedish Hillevi and I have dinner together, always alternating between our dorms. Cooking and eating in a group is great, it is always more fun and even healthier in our case. On our table there is always some bread, cheese, veggies and meat. Not forgetting the most important of all; the wine. Our dinners are long, most times we start cooking 18:30 and always chill around afterwards, drinking wine and munching on some good fresh made baguette with Camembert.

A couple times a week we go to the grocery store, usually on Mondays, since that is our day off. Thursdays and Fridays we go out for a drink or just get together again. We’ve even met up to go jogging together, even if that means just running up to the bakery, getting some bread, and running back home.

Occasionally I go out with Rotex and Rotary Exchange Students, those are still fundamental in my life, I don’t know what I would do without my Rotary Family.

Routines are not always a good thing, I have always been afraid of falling into them. But in a foreign country, where I can’t speak much of the native language, having a routine means safety for me. If I’m having fun and enjoying my time throughout my week, why not just repeat it until I go back home?

Not gonna lie, I could really get used to this pretty easily.

  • Post’s photo: Moving out of the Petrie’s with Roch’s help, December, 2011.
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Can’t compare

21 days and counting. I have been in France for 3 weeks now and I still get mixed feelings about it.

It is impossible to compare this with my year as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Before I left Brazil, I actually thought this would be easier than going abroad two and a half years ago.  This is not as intense, it is just a lot harder and different. When I first went to the United States, I already knew enough english to get around; I could communicate with others and express myself however I wanted to. Now, in Bordeaux, I can barely introduce myself in french and carrying a conversation is out of the question. The fact that I haven’t learned a language since Middle School doesn’t help either, I learned english and spanish as I was growing up, and later it was just a matter of improving those skills.

French is what I came here to learn, so I’ll work on it, I’m not scared. When I first arrived in Bordeaux, I took tests and had interviews that measured my ability to write, read, listen and speak the language. I got placed on the second level for beginners, which isn’t bad, considering I’ve only had one semester of french. So I am right where I should be.

  • Post’s Photo: My first essay in french. Embarrassing? Maybe, but definitely memorable.
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