On Location French – 25 Feb 2013

130225-roseSalut tout le monde! It’s Rose here with another blog post from France. This article comes after realising how quickly my year abroad here in St Brieuc is going in. It’s already nearing the end of February, and my contract at school finishes in April. With this in mind, myself and a few friends decided il faut profiter du temps qui nous reste – we have to make the most of the time left to us. So, last weekend we visited the coastal town of Perros Guirec. Further north in Brittany than Saint Brieuc, Perros Guirec is well known for le granit rose, the pink-coloured rocks that make up the beach and coast here. It was nice to spend a calm weekend here, and opened my eyes to different environments. It’s easy to think weekends away have to involve visiting somewhere bigger, but sometimes escaping to a nearly deserted beach can do the world of good.

Just as we arrived on Friday evening though, my phone ran out of credit. Being a small town, I couldn’t hunt down a phone shop on Saturday, and as everything is closed on Sundays here, it was after school on Monday afternoon before I could finally top up my phone. When I arrived in France I bought a cheap mobile phone, un portable. There was no point taking out a contract – un abonnement, as I’m only here for seven to eight months. Instead I opted for “pay as you go” top-ups, les recharges. You can pick different amounts but I usually opt for the one with SMS et appels illimités, unlimited texts and minutes. Making sure my phone is topped up tends to be the least of my worries though. Instead, deciphering texts from my French friends and flat mates can be a lengthy and painstaking process. Just as we have ‘text-speak’ in English, so too in French exist acronyms such as Slt in place of salut, or c rather than c’est. Tkt is one that particularly puzzled me until I was forced to ask my friend what she meant when she kept using it. It’s short for t’inquiète pas – don’t worry, or no problem. Finally, you’re not worth your salt if you don’t finish a text in French without Bz, short for bisous or kisses, like leaving an X at the end of a text in English.

School has also been quite busy for me the past few weeks for two reasons. Firstly, my final year students will sit their baccalaureat, or bac for short, in June, exams which determine if they can go onto university. This week they have been doing what is called les bacs blancs. This literally means ‘the white baccalaureat,’or practice exams. Secondly, the whole school has been busy preparing for la semaine des portes ouvertes, open-doors week at the school. This occurs around the same time every year in France, where prospective pupils and parents can visit schools in the area. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and à la prochaine!

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