Literally. CERAM is on a mountain. And I have to hike up wooden steps through the forest to get to my school. yeaaaaah… So yes. it takes an hour to get to my school from the time I leave the residence, then we take one bus to get to Antibes centre, and then another through the mountains to Sophia Antipolis where CERAM is located… so it is kind of like VT, except that where we are in a valley in VT, CERAM is the reverse. Orientation was… normal… I met a few interesting people… Marishka, a tall blonde model-type from Lituania who was very nice and spoke pretty good English, a girl from the Faroe islands (I wondered why she was so pale if she was from an island but she said it is pretty cold all year round, but still sunny in the winter… a bit… I think it is up near greenland) a girl from Norway who was very sweet, and a girl from Seattle, WA who was pretty cool and was fluent in French. There were actually a lot of exchange students from the States, but they were all first years and a bit too much into the party scene… and it looked like they were not going to even attempt to speak French… So at orientation we were basically informed of the history of CERAM (founded in 1969 and is now merging with another top business school to become one of the top 5 business schools in France, and should have a location in the United States next year) and then I had to take a surprise French test to see where I would place into which level of French. It’s not a big deal, but I think I forgot to flip the page over.. ha.  =)  so then we went to the cafeteria for a free lunch… (I love VT food compared to this – it wasn’t bad, just not much of a selection) and seriously, 2 of our guides for orientation day were actually STILL hung over from partying the night before. I was wondering what was going on because whenever I would try to ask something in French he would massage his temples and then I would ask in English and he would still do it and ask for me to repeat and he just kept looking out of it and blinking a lot haha so finally I said “Are you tired?” and he gave me a weird guilty face and suddenly it came to me and so I half-shouted “oh! you’re STILL hung over??” hahaha and he laughed pretty hard and said “yes…” and another guy who was one of our guides was the same and that’s what they had been jabbering on about in French earlier. So you know, orientation is off to a good start… ha. At least all the clubs were giving out free chocolate croissants… mmmm…. So a few of the clubs organize trips around France, the Cote d’Azur (where we are located) and etc and they sound pretty fun but I think they are pretty expensive. ha. so you know what’s funny? trying to meet up with people with only one cell phone. I don’t know how we managed back in the day without them. And now, if people find out that a place doesn’t have internet access, they gasp and say “no good.” How technologically needy we have become. And yet, I am split half and half – because I know that the world has changed so much that we do need this technology in many parts of the world to get by.

So I got my French social security, got a free calculator(with functions!) and a sexy CERAM baseball cap woo! anybody want it? I also have a lanyard =) and an orange CERAM bachelors laptop/messenger bag. sweeeet. Oh! I also got  a French bank account! And they give me 50 Euro when I sign with them and perhaps 24 more if I qualify for something which I think I do. woo. money back to pay for all these stupid bus fares. So yeah, then after that I met up with Hazel and Sasha and we went back to Antibes and hung around looking for various elements… like phones… shoes? umm… food… and just looking around because we had a while before Olga Maria (our 4th roommate) was to arrive and Hazel had not yet seen central Antibes. So that was fun =)  And then we got back and met Olga! She is Mexican, the youngest of our group, at 20 yrs, but mature for her age. =) She speaks English fluently but you can still hear her accent. So finally all the roommates  are together! And to celebrate, I made some linguini with salmon that I got the other day, cherry tomatoes and spices, wine, butter, butter, and more butter (we ARE in France after all) and basil from my plant. I forget if I have told you about my basil plant and its suicide attempts? Basically, I got a basil plant and it had been trying to reach out its leaves towards the sun (so I think) and it fell over, but it is on the balcony so it is very close to the edge. Each day it tries to fall over. He wilts, then he livens up, and does it all over. He is kind of emo.  No, I did not name this one. But Basil is a pretty cool name. Has anyone seen The Great Mouse Detective? That’s the main character’s name… anyhow. I think it works.  And so we had that and some lovely salad Sasha prepared and some wine, bread, cheese. We actually took a picture with all of us and the dinner but I am yet to get that picture and others. I will though =)  hahaha so… I got this little wine journal from the World Market at Christie’s suggestion before I left and it is very useful. I was writing down what wine it was that we were drinking and any traits about it – aroma, taste, body, vintage, etc and I asked for their opinion on “what does this smell like?” and this is what I got as a response: From Olga: “Smells like cheese”  and from Hazel: “Smells like wine”  and then from Sasha: “Smells like a hang over” as you can tell they are a very sarcastic bunch but it is the kind of sarcasm I like so it all works out =) lol. I will tell you more about my roommates throughout my posts, I think it is better that way, as my first impressions are one thing, but I love discovering more about people, and more into their character.  Ha ha but my first impressions were pretty much the same- they seemed very similar to what I already guessed from emailing them for months. =) So I am off to bed but I shall post again tomorrow and attempt to catch up! woo! Bon nuit, I love and miss you all. ♥