Lyon Week 2: Espresso, Carbs and Soccer, I Mean Football.
I've settled in to quite the routine here in Lyon. My mornings begin with a shot of espresso from Sylviane's compact
Nespresso machine. I often tacking on another shot on my way to school and pair it with a flakey croissant or pain au chocolat. What? I'm in France and I can eat butter and carbs for breakfast every day if I want. If it's my destiny to get fat in France, then so be it.
Classes are progressing quickly. Our two week UMKC bubble is about to be popped by students arriving from all over there world. Based on initial performance, the Lyon II professors have placed us by skill level and language comprehension skills to determine our choice of classes. I was placed in 3 (B1) and I mean, it's only the second highest level possible so it's no big deal. I don't want to brag about it or anything.
Now, in addition to my grammar and my culture class with Professor Khelouz, I will be taking classes about varying topics such as, "Allez les Bleus" (the French football chant and a class all about 'le sport'), "Le France et moi" and "Le Cyberjournalisme." I'm most shocked that I'm taking a sports class. What is life?
Given that my life in Lyon almost entirely revolves around the question of what delicious morsel is going to change my life next, I should discuss the surprising café near Lyon II that has quickly become a regular lunch spot. At least three days a week, we use our two hour lunch break (no I'm not kidding, two hours) to meander around town to Chères Cousines
the most scrumptious bagel shop in all of Lyon.
Yes, you read that right: bagel shop. Random I know, but I've ordered the same salad every time and I die and go to heaven with every bite. It comes with fresh mixed greens and arugula, salty prosciutto, both sundried and freshly picked tomatoes, tangy chèvre and an herby pesto dressing. Here's my hypothesis, if soulmates exists, then this salad is probably mine. Bonus, the salad comes with a side of freshly baked bagel. Do I need the carbs? No. Do I eat the whole thing? Absolutely.
One unique aspect of spending this summer in Europe, is the occurrence of UEFA EURO 2016. For you plebs who don't know what the UEFA is and why the coincidence of being here for the EURO is so incredible, I'll elaborate. (Completely kidding, I'm the biggest pleb of all because I didn't know this was happening until I got here and saw soccer balls everywhere.)
The UEFA European Championship, known informally as the Euros, is the preeminent football competition played by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and it determines the continental football champions in Europe. Long story short, the Euros have been held every four years since 1960 and this year they happen to be taking place in France. Because Lyon is one of the country's largest cities and has its own football stadium, le Parc Olympique Lyonnais, or Groupama Stadium; many of the preliminary games are taking place HERE.
Not that I was a diehard football fan before coming to France or anything, but it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement of living in the host country, and the reverie of advancement after each French victory. Additionally, the games bring a sense of vibrancy exaltation to the city that I've never seen anywhere else. Football is a religious experience for these people, so that would make the Euros, what,
like Christmas/Easter/Hanukkah/Guy Fawkes Day all in one?
What's most incredible is the dedication of the football fans to their respective teams. I swear, this city was inhabited by the entire country of Northern Ireland my first week here, disbelievingly proud that their underdog team made it this far. This week it's the fans from Wales that fill the plazas daily with jolly songs and chants. They are genuinely kind to everyone and absolutely loving life. I'm admittedly not a big sports person, But this who Euro thing is making Lyon extra boisterous.