Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: auchan

Plunging back into work

Back in Bordeaux, we’re in our third work week of 2011. According to 680 News, yesterday (Monday) was the most depressing day of the year. I wasn’t all that depressed, but I certainly felt unusually tired for most of the day, to a point where I was almost sure that I’d fall asleep in the lab.

Work as a PhD student was starting to pick up slowly and surely before the winter holidays, but as soon as I returned to work from the break, stress and workload escalated exponentially. Before Christmas, I already felt the sense of impending doom as I planned the big experiments to perform in the new year. Then came two weeks of indulgence in festivities and now, that foreshadowed impending doom is manifesting. All of a sudden, I am not bored anymore. Tasks and responsibilities began to pour upon me like Niagara Falls, and for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I’m being productive, if that is even possible in France.

Since being busy means that I haven’t had much time to go around and take new photos (and in turn, update on time), I will be putting up some previously acquired photos for the next few weeks. Today’s set of photos were taken throughout the winter holidays, and incidentally, these were all taken by my cell phone. You’ll notice that a few of them are related to a Christmas gathering that was held at the Bordeaux Church on December 24th, 2010, of which I was one of the organizers along with my Christian fellowship. Click here for photos of the actual event.

Here’s a guy cutting up cheese at Auchan, the local mega-supermarket. THOSE WERE GIGANTIC HUNKS OF CHEESE! Greatly amusing. This reminds me that maybe I should resume the wine and cheese tasting, the regularity of which has declined since December.

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J’ai déménagé!

Yes, after weeks and weeks of delay, I have finally moved into my own little apartment. Now, instead of saying “going back to the residence”, I can comfortably say “going home”. Instead of walking 15 minutes to the bus stop every morning, I can simply hop onto a tram (which remains my favourite mode of transportation in Bordeaux) right downstairs. I’m also within 5 minutes walking distance to Auchan, which is equivalent to a giant-mega-super-Walmart. Of course, it is located within Meriadeck, a shopping mall very much like a bigger Scarborough Town Centre. Yup, I’m pretty happy.

On Friday, my supervisor and colleague took me to IKEA where I bought some furniture for the apartment, since it came unfurnished. My two biggest worries were already taken care of – a colleague offered to give me a single bed, and the landlord already installed a very nice table attached to the wall. It’s quite true what my pastor said the other day: you don’t really have to worry about furniture, they just come along.

So, the only thing I really needed was a dresser of some sort to put clothes and pretty much everything else, and I went to IKEA with that precise goal. IKEA in France is exactly the same as in Canada. However, while prices are rather high (in my opinion) in Canadian IKEAs, they are considered low here in France. I was a little hesitant when my supervisor suggested going to IKEA, telling her that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on furniture, but she assured me, “No, no! Things are cheap at IKEA! We always find nice, inexpensive furniture there.”

And she was right. The price of individual items are definitely cheaper than in Canada, though of course in Euros. However, when you take into consideration that I am also earning a salary in Euros, it doesn’t make sense to convert everything back to Canadian dollars every time I want to purchase something.

I picked up a bunch of random items for the apartment – a dresser, which was my main priority, a coat rack, hangers, bed sheets, a pillow and cover, a blanket and cover, pots and pans, a white chair, a black chair, a broom, and a dustpan. I love house-shopping. I could spend a day in IKEA, or in Auchan, picking out neat little things for my cozy home that look nifty but that I probably don’t need. I would be wasting a lot of money…but it’s so much fun. Anyway, here’s a look at the final settlement.

They tell me that this place is approximately 30 m2, but I think it is slightly smaller than that. However, it is plenty of room for one person to live, and it feels rather cozy. I am satisfied with the outcome though, especially because I didn’t have to go through the process of looking for accommodation myself. As far as I know, house-hunting in Bordeaux is very, very painful…

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