Hello –

So you must be thinking: you travel a lot! We get the abroad part, but are you actually studying? What goes on during the week?

That in all honesty is a fair question. While I’m usually out of town Thursday night through Sunday, I do actually spend some time in downtown Metz and stay on top of my school work. Since everyone here is in this “go, go, go” mindset of seeing everything Europe has to offer, I think that the teachers have eased up a bit here in comparison to studying in the States. I also believe that part of the lack of stress on the school front here is because aside from classes, I don’t really have the same commitments I did back in school. In Boulder I was working several jobs, a part of multiple extracurriculars, and tried to balance a way heavier class load which my classes here don’t really compare to. Don’t get me wrong, my classes are still intellectually challenging, and I have coursework and projects to complete, but I am a lot less stressed than I am when I am back home. Another nice part is that each class is only twice a week, which gives me time to do all of the other things I’ve described in past blogs.

This past week I decided it was probably in my best interest to travel less. I’ve been pretty exhausted – and so is my bank account, especially after planning and reserving everything for the month of April. Also this past week I had a fairly large portion of my CS project due, and so I spent most of Friday and Saturday working on my code. Saturday morning I was planning on taking a Flixbus to Paris but when I woke up at 6am and saw that there was a train later at night for cheap, I canceled my bus and spent the rest of the day doing homework. It was really nice because my friend Taylor stayed back in Metz most of the weekend too, so we got dinner downtown before my train left. We ate at this burrito place which was actually pretty good… nothing compared to burritos back in the States, but a good temporary replacement. The reason I went to Paris that evening was because my boyfriend Danny is on his spring break, and I was going to meet him Sunday afternoon, so I thought I’d make a little day trip out of it. I stayed in a hostel that was fairly nice, but I have never in my life experienced that much noise from other people at night. The man underneath me was snoring so loudly I thought he might die, and the girl in the bed that was connected to mine kept moving so intensely that all the beds collectively shook. It was quite challenging to stay asleep. Especially when the entire 8 person room all woke at the same time at approximately 4am and started packing up their stuff, “quietly” whispering to each other, and stomping out. I tried to sleep in since check out was at 12pm, but woke up to the cleaning ladies stripping the beds at 9am. It was a truly bizarre experience, but I hopped out of bed and made my way to a breakfast place.

After my açai bowl experience in Lisbon last week I kind of had to relive it. But the açai bowl I had in Paris was nowhere near the fresh taste or cheap price that I had had in Lisbon. Regardless, it was pretty yummy, and I headed to a nice park where I finished my book I’ve been reading and then bought some new jeans at a mall nearby. I promised myself I would finish the book before buying a new one so after some lunch (I had a burger of course, at Steak-n-shake, which I found out they have in Paris) I headed to Shakespeare and Company to buy another book. I ended up getting the book Boomerang by Michael Lewis, which is the same author as the book I had read before (Flash Boys, would recommend). Once I bought the book I grabbed some boba next door and headed to the train station where I met Danny, and we trained back home to Metz.

It was finally nice to have a laid back weekend, especially because the month of April will be very travel-heavy for me.

Love, Noa