My first weekend was a success. Saturday morning my host that I will be staying with, Daniela, was kind enough to pick me up in the morning from the hotel so I didn't have to worry about my luggage. She dropped both, Hilal and I off in the center and we continued our exploration of the city. We walked all over. I loved walking through all the little side streets. we spent most of the day walking. since we were already in the city we decided it would be the best time to do some food shopping so we have something we can eat for the next week or so.
Grocery shopping turned into a bigger deal than planned. Trying to shop for groceries with someone who does not cook or go grocery shopping is very difficult. Trying to explain to him what to buy with what and different things that we needed was crazy. It was like shopping with a child. As we started to check out, he realized that they did not just put everything in bags as they do in the U.S.,instead you have to have your own bag, which lucky for me I brought the one I received from my pre-departure orientation (Thanks Edgewood). We finally had everything together and left for the bus. What we did not realize is that there was a big musical event setting up in the center so all the surrounding streets were blocked off which also meant we could not get on the bus we needed. So we began trying to find the next bus stop available where the buses could stop. We then found where we needed to be and got on the correct bus number but as we were busy trying to figure out where we needed to get off, we did not realize it was going the opposite direction we needed. Since it wasn't too long until it stopped and turned around, we decided to stay on and wait for it to turned around instead of getting off and then waiting for the other bus with our groceries. We then think we are good to go, but it didn't turn out that way. Because we had to get on another bus to get us out where we are staying we needed to know again where to get off. Daniela had shown me once before when driving us one morning but because I did not remember the name of the stop I asked Hilal, since she had also showed him. We were both mistaken and got off at the wrong spot and got to enjoy a lot more walking. After we finally got back, I was happy to just relax from the craziness of the day. Even though it was a long day it was a good learning experience for us both.
We then get to Sunday. Since most markets and other shops are closed on Sundays in Aix, we decided to sleep in and enjoy the morning. After having a relaxing morning, Daniela dropped us off in the center so we could view a few places for us to go see since there will be fewer people. After viewing some gardens we came across a "bazaar". What we didn't know is that this bazaar only happens a few times a year. It was kind of like a large rummage sale. There were many people lined up and down one of the streets. it was fun walking through and seeing all the different things they were selling. Once were finished, Daniela came to pick us up to take us to a near by village. She told us that her husband, Jean, and his theater group will be doing acting in a small village near by called Ventrabren. As we arrived, all I could do was take in the wonderful scenery. The theater group had multiple little skits which was a treat to watch. They were very interactive, I was even pulled up to participate with Daniela, which was a ton of fun.
All in all I would say it was a successful first weekend. It was a little crazy at first but it turned out to be great. Once we got back Sunday night we were able to relax and rest up for our first morning of classes the following day.