Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grenoble Adventure

This morning (Wed 22 Oct 2008, well yesterday, France time), I went to the Préfecture and submitted my documents, yay! I guess I should mention that the staff was nice lol. Anyway, the Grenoble adventure started this afternoon!

Three British assistants (two girls and a guy from England), an American guy (some assistants from the Annecy trip) and I left Chambéry on the 12:49pm train to Grenoble. The weather wasn't nice today; it rained and there was a lot of breeze! Yes, I was freezing! We walked around a bit in Grenoble, took the tram to the shopping centre, and met up with a British language assistant who teaches in Grenoble. Since Chambéry does not have a FNAC store, I made it my duty to visit a branch in Grenoble. I considered buying a printer, but eventually didn't bother. Guess I'll wait till I receive my pay cheque (wooo hooo!! I can't wait!), or maybe I'll order it online to avoid having to tote it home on the train.

After the shopping centre, it was unfortunately still raining and cold! Nevertheless, one of the British girls had a France book with places to visit in Grenoble, so we headed for a chocolat place. However, it wasn't opened as yet when we arrived. So we went to a café next door, where we spent about an hour drinking hot chocolate and chatting. That was relaxing and it surely was welcoming being in a nice warm place. The chocolate place opened at 6pm, so we went there then. But lo and behold lol, it was no longer a chocolate place like stated in the book. The lady there told us that last year they changed the menu: cocktails, etc. no hot chocolate, sigh! Anyway, she was nice enough to suggest a place for us to visit: Le Hasard, a bar nearby which serves hot chocolate, etc. Le Hasard is a unique kinda bar; I guess you can describe it as a political bar: lots of pictures on the wall, e.g. Che Guevara. The hot chocolate there was really delicious. Another place of interest in the France book was La Fondue, a fondue restaurant in Grenoble. Well that too was closeby, but since it opened at 7pm, we stayed in Le Hasard till then.

Fondue! I had fondue aux fines herbes. Yum yum! At first I was unsure about fondue since I never had it before... but I'm so glad I did! Small bits of bread to dip into a hot pot of melted cheese and herbs... oooh, good stuff!! The fondue had to be shared between two persons. Since there were 6 of us, there were 3 different types of fondue. We also played a nice game of Truth or Dare! lol. Basically, if your bread fell into the fondue pot you had to choose either truth or dare. The very first time I dipped a chunk of bread into the fondue it fell! Luckily, since it was my first fondue experience they let me off the Truth or Dare lol. One guy was particularly unlucky lol, and had to answer a string of Truth questions. Good entertainment for us at the table! There was one question that we all had to answer though... lol, "choosing from the six of us, who would you marry, kiss, shag, touch inappropriately, or kill? And why?". Haha, interesting answers which made the evening light and fun. So our evening at La Fondue included fondue, fun conversation, red wine, water, chocolate fondue with fruits for dessert, and a small weird drink the waitress gave us each at the end (tasted fine on the first sip, but then it was like perfume/medicine/lol, not too tasty/time to just gulp it down! lol). Oh, La Fondue also had a very interesting toilet, with a ladybird design on the seat lol.

We left La Fondue at about 9:35pm. Then we said goodbye to the assistant from Grenoble, and then the rest of us took a tram to the train station in hopes of catching the last train back to Chambéry at 10pm (yes, that was cutting it close, especially since the British guy and I both hadn't bought our tickets as yet). We reached to the station about 9:47pm, ran to buy our tickets from the machines, and got through with that on time. We had to wait a while for the platform for the train to Chambéry to be announced, but soon enough it was and we made our way to voie B. Waiting patiently on platform B, in the cold lol, there was suddenly a message on the PA system: because of la présence des animaux sur la voie the train had been delayed indefinitely! Huh? Animals on the tracks? What kind of animals? What were they doing there?! Lol! The French word for "delay" is retard, and it was kinda funny that the screens in the station kept flashing "retard" next to the Chambéry train (ok joke in English lol). We eventually had to go to the hall in the train station to wait for more announcements about the train. That was the last train departing the Grenoble train station that night, so there weren't too many people at the station. Some trains that were arriving were also delayed because of the animals lol. I'm not sure what happened with people on the train, who couldn't arrive because of the animals. Apparently the train was 10km away. Well, we eventually didn't take the train, never saw it actually! The SNCF people arranged for those of us going to Chambéry to get taxis home, yay! Ok, well rather taxis to the train station in Chambéry. At about 11:25pm, the five of us Chambéry assistants got into a big taxi along with a French girl (who described the "animals/waiting in the station" situation as la méga-galère, and the "taxis" as la classe! lol) and someone else who I didn't quite see who was in the passenger seat.

We arrived at Chambéry at about 12:05am (Thurs 23 Oct 2008). Fortunately, the five of us assistants dropped out close to les Eléphants, so in less than 5 minutes I was back in my apartment!! Overall, it was a great day, in spite of the weather, and I enjoyed myself! Must get more fondue!! lol

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