I can’t believe that 2/3 of my time here has already passed! I keep thinking back to where I was after two weeks in Tours, and it’s so bittersweet that I only have two weeks left. My fourth week was productive, but classes returned to the normal schedule and were not oral comprehension focused, so I definitely felt my improvement slowing down. The most interesting thing is that I find myself often mixing French words into my English when I am speaking. Translating between languages is very difficult, but somehow I manage to do this on a regular basis, especially when speaking with my host about life in the United States. I learned Chinese when I was younger from my parents and language schools, and in order to keep it up, I often call home and make myself speak only Chinese with my parents. Recently though, I have begun mixing French into some things I say. I find this hilarious, but mainly an indication of how my brain is working to translate between the languages that are familiar for me as I form ideas.
I have spent some time exploring Tours more as well. Some interesting sites I visited have included the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, Cathedrale de Tours, and the Jardin Botanique. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours has a beautiful and well-curated collection from mainly French, Dutch, and Belgian artists. I have a deep appreciation for the arts, so I really enjoyed my visit there. The Cathedrale is also magnificent and has beautiful stained glass windows. I hope to be able to attend a mass sometime, which I intended to do much sooner but my house is a significant distance away. The Jardin Botanique was absolutely beautiful. Some friends and I wandered around for two hours looking at the different plant species before we eventually sat down for a picnic.
I am trying to make the most of my time here, and hopefully will be visiting some Loire Valley chateaux in the next few days! I will also be posting about traditional foods. There are many good eats here, which is something I’ll definitely miss.