For the first time ever, Le Projet Culturel is being written from France! I’m spending the first semester of my Year Abroad in Lille, located in the north near Belgium. I moved here a week ago (which is why I haven’t written a post for the while) and it’s been incredible so far. This week has been a surreal mix of melancholic feelings, spontaneous outings and conversations in broken French and English. Moving to a different country isn’t easy, but it’s not as difficult as I expected either. The following are some interesting moments I’ve experienced so far:
- La Braderie – a market which takes over the city. Essentially, it’s an excuse for people to unearth their weirdest belongings and sell them to anyone who’s interested.
- Mussels – a delicacy which was everywhere during La Braderie. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. We even walked past a family who’d set up tables along the pavement and were hosting a little feast at 10 o’clock at night.
- A gig in a disused train station – Gare Saint Sauveur. It was intense inside but people spilled out onto the cool tarmac carpark, drinking beer in clusters and speaking with impossible speed.
- Flicking through old postcards in a church – part of La Braderie, we found a church full of old books for sale; I bought one from the 1960s about geography and the earth.
- Animals, dead and alive – a visit to a beautiful natural history museum with an impressive taxidermy selection but also some tanks containing various insects, I didn’t like that part.
- Creeping around – I live in beautiful French house with a lot of character, but there’s a spindly wooden staircase which is particularly noisy in the middle of the night.
- Rushing to the cinema – trying to find a cinema in a new city, in the dark with seconds to spare before the film starts is a stressful experience, but worthwhile.
Some of the posts I’ll be publishing in September were supposed to be for August, so there is a slight summer theme, but perhaps view it as a last burst of sun before the nights close in.
Image: a digital collage I made using photos I took in the museum.