Some Travels, Mostly Tribulations

As of tonight, I’ve officially lived in Bordeaux for two weeks, and my tribulations are piling high. But in my moments of despair, I remind myself that none of the courses I’m taking will factor into my GPA and that I live in an actual UNESCO World Heritage site (Port de la Lune, Bordeaux).  Nonetheless, I’d like to use this small anniversary to commemorate some of my most memorable epic fails from the last 14 days.

    • Bathroom Troubles. No, not the kind you think. Upon finally landing in Bordeaux, I was greeted by my incredibly lovely host family (I am sure to be singing further praises in future posts) who picked me up from the airport and drove me to their, and now my, home. All was well, except for the mild stress of suddenly needing to speak French all the time and forgetting how to say ‘door’ and ‘car’ for a brief moment. Fast forward to 2 a.m. local time when I somehow managed to lock myself in the bathroom and promptly break the lock. I am including a visual aid here to demonstrate the high level of skill required to break something as simple and self-explanatory as the lock on my host family’s bathroom door.
      The infamous verrou looks like this. Or it did until my host father used the force of his entire body to knock it off its hinges.

      My host father ultimately had to
      break down the door to liberate me after I spent about ten minutes silently struggling in the bathroom in order not to wake the family up. I was only discovered because my host mother had to use the bathroom herself; else, I would have continued to suffer for fear of imposing and destroying the family’s property on my first night. Hilariously enough, I had no idea how to say lock in French or to explain what had occurred, so Caroline and I spent several minutes communicating through the door as I explained that “the round thing has separated from the door and I cannot leave.” I am happy to report that the lock has since been replaced and the door repaired, and that I never to go to the bathroom without my phone now, just in case.
      Fun fact about French bathrooms: there is la toilette, where you find the toilet and potentially a sink and then there is la salle de bain where you shower and brush your teeth. The French word for lock is le verrou by the way. I will never forget that now.

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