I am a mortified American in Bordeaux

Bx Collage

This Week: This last week, the students from our program and I have been subjected to what I call French Grammar Boot Camp, in preparation for the upcoming semester. This means that we had six hours of grammar each day for the past week. That should help right? But the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. There are expressions upon expressions which I am only now getting familiarized with.

Embarrassment: So I go into a “Pharmacie” (they are everywhere in Bordeaux and actually look like American dispensaries) because I heard from someone that you can get a razor there. However, upon arriving to this small corner store, I realized that I wasn’t really sure how to say “razor,” which sadly is a cognate in French, meaning it’s a similar word with a French pronunciation. So I ended up miming shaving my legs to the poor woman who looked at me like I was crazy. After finally understanding that I wasn’t looking for shaving cream or wax strips, she directed me to the market across the street because they don’t sell razors. Yeah.

LES SOLDES: So in the US, we have a special day called Black Friday where we get deals and deals and deals. In Bordeaux, this special time is called Les Soldes (the sales). However, they don’t last for a day, or two or a week or even two weeks. Les Soldes last for six weeks! Each week the discount increases! I’ve been looking around to get an idea of what I can find and where, but I’m not quite ready to spend big bucks—or euros, just yet. Five more weeks to go, because they only started this week.

Campus: I am still in the process of choosing my schedule, but it looks like I will be studying on the Bordeaux 3 campus. There are four campuses and a Science Po here in Bordeaux. The Bordeaux 3 campus is not big, but it does have a café, a sandwich shop  a cafeteria.

Tram: Bordeaux is great for public transportation. First of all, it is not a huge city, but rather a town. Second, there are many buses and a tram which hits all the major points of Bordeaux, so we can walk anywhere from that. However, the tram can be crowded, especially in the morning. People are quieter and keep to themselves. But after classes when the trams are full of students, it’s livelier with more chatter.

Rain comes and goes in Bordeaux. Each time I hear raindrops hitting my window I get a little excited.

More to share soon.


(Casually awesome)

Public Garden

(Bordeaux Public Garden. They have geese, ducks and swans)

Thank you, You're Welcome



  1. Dina · January 12, 2013

    Where are all the other people from? Not from Berkeley…

    • Nika · January 13, 2013

      Yeah, most are from Berkeley


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