My first weekend day in Le Mans! I spent three hours attempting French, my last crash course class. For lunch I experienced my first French dorm food (cheap, amazing French fries, good food) with some other international kids. Then, after my third visit to a bank and waiting two hours, I successfully opened a bank account! I’m pretty sure that waiting is my new unofficial hobby; I’ll be in the minor leagues with my patience skills when I get back to Texas, hopefully. Another couple of hours of schedule forming, totaling a good thirty hours of schedule prep so far for this semester, and it isn’t finished yet.
Then I left campus for first time since I arrived! I met up with an odd but fantastic mix of Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Czechs, English, Americans, Germans and one Romanian and all thirty something of us took the tram to the Place de la République, which is the downtown. I followed the masses into my first French bar, which of course was actually an Irish pub called Mulligan’s. I was supposed to meet up with Chloe soon afterwards, so a couple of Americans and I just stopped in and then met up with her.
She took us to the famous Cathedral Saint Julien, the only catholic church that makes up for its solidarity with its intense and massive presence. I saw my first son-et-lumiére show, which is basically an awesome laser light show projected on the outside walls of the cathedral. These shows are all the rage at castles, especially during the summer, so I was so excited to see one before they were gone for the year. There were six different displays, two of which I didn’t see, and we spent about an hour and a half watching living art, a dragon slaying, interpretive dance and angels singing on the walls of some buildings dating as far back as the fifth century. Incredible.
Then Chloe wanted to show us her favorite place to go out at night, and it happened to be the place we had visited earlier. We stayed until the last tram was leaving for the night, for an hour or two, and I tried some cocktail called la planteur. Still intrigued that anything with alcohol in public costs less than water, soda or juice. My favorite moment was when Queen’s “We Will Rock You” came on the radio, and admired the medley of people from so many places, united in an Irish pub in France, pounding tables to a song from a British band.