Louis – Exchange to Catholic University of Lyon, France
Semester 2, 2016
There are Australian traditions and weekly rituals that my family or me carries out that have stuck with me and been practiced since early memory. These traditions are fond to me, and I have been practicing them ever since my arrival in Lyon, as a means of connecting to home and feeling comfortable during my study abroad! These have included:
1. Pizza night!
As far as my memory stretches, every Friday night has been pizza night! After a long week of studying or just grinding it out, I have always looked forward to Friday nights, which have always included pizza and movies amongst the family and of course the dog! Every Friday in Lyon I have celebrated and kept this tradition alive by heading down to town and enjoying a huge margarita pizza all to myself with or without the company of my new friends. I have search far and wide for the best pizza in town and have found a gorgeous Italian restaurant serving up the most gourmet pizza straight from Naples! I sit there and reminisce, and have for just a brief moment, a feeling of home.
2. Beer o clock!
There is no ‘Aussier’ time for Australian men than 5 o clock in the afternoon. It is at this time I can leave the stress or busyness of the day behind and indulge myself in a nice cold bev! (But be warned that in Europe, most supermarkets/ stores do not sell beer in fridges, so make sure you pre-prepare for the week by putting a carton of beer in your fridge!). Although I have not found a French beer that correlates well to Australian beer, Lyon is an incredibly multicultural city and I have found stocks and stocks of diverse beers from around the globe! Regardless, its always been nice to unwind around 5 o clock and have a little taste of home!
A major issue right now is that I am running out of vegemite…. I brought one big tub with me thinking it would last the whole four months, only to see it almost empty today (Tip: when travelling abroad bring not small but massive stocks of your favourite foods or cosmetics because they will certainly run out fast!). Nevertheless, my traditional breakfast has always been vegemite on toast of course, and it is only logical that I have continued this trend while overseas. A lot of my morning classes are at 8am (dying), and its always been very fun in a way to jump out of bed, run down to the toaster, spread my vegemite, and do the beautiful walk to University crunching on my toast! This tradition has always reminded me that my day has started and that I can feel confident going in to it. Of course, do not even try to share your vegemite with the French as I have done once, they will immediately spit it out and scream, “Comment pouvez-vous manger cela!” (How can you eat this!).
While some of these ‘traditions’ seem a bit silly, it really is the little things, or the small connections to home that make your stay so much more enjoyable and stabilized! Some things you refuse to never give up, even when engrossed in another culture!