Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Nicest Girl in Angers

Drew Carter is a junior International Studies student at the Croft Institute, University of Mississippi. He is currently spending the spring semester studying abroad in France and blogging about his experiences there.

Email Drew at jac3238@gmail.com

We arrived in Angers via the TGV (France’s high speed train) and met up with Gwenn, the nicest girl in Angers. She studied at Ole Miss the previous semester and helped us coordinate our living situation with our coloc, Benji. Gwenn kindly let us stay in her apartment while our apartment was getting prepped for me to reach the final destination for my gigantic Samsonite suitcase, brown leather duffel and overpacked rucksack.

Gwenn met us at the train station, and she gave us a general tour of the city I would soon love, Angers. We mapped out the two areas of focus ––  Université Catholique de l’Ouest and Rue Bressigny and the centre-ville. Gwenn introduced us to her friends and boyfriend, Yohann. I really like Gwenn’s friends and I have been hanging out with Yohann a lot lately, a seriously cool dude. He is from Strasbourg, and he’s studying computer science in Angers. He is a big Justice, Breakbot and Daft Punk fan. He even has a Daft Punk tattoo on his lower arm. Total badass.

Chez Yohann, we listen to some epic and exclusive electronic music on vinyl and have tried some cool French beers. Yohann showed me the extent of his DJ equipment, and I was blown away. The diamond point on his turntable enables him to scratch but leave a detrimental mark on the vinyl. He has a trackpad reminiscent of the trackpad made famous by Madeon, a fellow DJ from Nantes.

Gwenn and Yohann showed us the best kebab restaurant in Angers ––  the Louis XVI of French drunk food… It’s a thinly sliced pork sandwich on really great bread with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, fries and your choice in exotic sauces. I always choose Algerian sauce because it is spicy and tastes really similar to buffalo sauce.

We stayed at Gwenn’s studio for three nights before hauling our luggage across town to our humble abode. We are a little far from the centre-ville but we’re closer to campus. It takes about 15 minutes to walk to UCO and about 25 to get to the centre-ville, Rue Bressigny in particular, where Yohann lives. Rue Bressigny is the “rue du soif” where all the bars and late night kebab restaurants are located.

We’re all moved in and it is fantastic. I love the French life. Our apartment is located on rue Gustave Mareau, near the train station in Angers. It is an old military building (modeled like a Soviet KGB office building). I love it haha. Despite it’s formidible appearance, it is a pretty chic place.

Our apartment is furnished, a godsend to Susan and I, equipped with every single thing we could have ever needed. We have a nice balcony and a separate back porch for our washing machine and our clothes line –– there aren’t many dryers in Francyland. I really like my room, but my bed is a little uncomfortable on my back. I have a desk, chest, dresser, nightstand, badass Indian tapestry rug and even a small lime green shelf to put my books and adventure souvenirs.

Our living room is really cool and I was all too excited to hang my world atlas tapestry. It looks great across the room from Benji’s British and Spanish flag (he studied in Spain last semester). Susan’s room is obnoxiously pink, and I think she agrees with me about that. Benji has the master suite with a very modern room, but it has terrible wifi connection (opportunity cost, sucka)!

All French kitchens are very modern and our is too with a really nice oven and stove and a little bar area where Benji, Susan and I eat breakfast almost every morning. We have a nice table in the living room where we eat other meals.

Benji is really cool and I am glad to have him as a roommate. He studies English, Spanish and Russian at UCO. He’s been really fun to hang out with and talk to. He’s especially funny because he has a diehard British accent when he speaks English. It took Susan and I aback when we first heard it because it is like we’re talking to two different people when he speaks English and then switches to French. All in all, I really like the guy and this semester is one for the books with Benji, because he always seems to know where in Angers the party is raging. He is just getting back from Spain and he is re-experiencing Angers with Susan and I, for example, driving around Angers to see the city and different food staples around the centre-ville.

 

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