Today I’m at my desk and I’m asked to write my last Willamette World News post. I look out the window of my Uaps apartment, it’s sunny out, the petals of the blooming flowers this flash Spring brought are already falling, and there he is, in the distance: the Golden Man —Looking west.
Ah, France, the land of bread, cheese and wine! Right? Oh but much more than that too.
December 14, noon, I’m done with my last final, and starting a 4-week long break. A month! That’s long, I thought, when I saw the academic calendar at the beginning of the semester. In my home country, France, most universities, as well as lower education schools, have a 2-week-long Christmas break. It is long enough to include both Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but short enough so that your work rhythm isn’t broken by a month of nothingness (in terms of studying). In some institutions, such as Blaise Pascal University, where I spent my first year of college, they spoil everything by putting the finals after the break. So you spend your pseudo-vacations studying. In others, they are considerate enough to have the finals before.
The French republic has changed its constitutions 5 times. Each time the constitution changed, the republic changed too. France is therefore in its 5th republic. The current constitution was put into effect in 1958. The 10 biggest cities in France, in terms of population, are Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lille. […]
So, my name is Baptiste, and it is said Batist (Bah-tist), but you can say it the way you want. I was born in Bayonne in the South West of France, and I grew up in that same region, in the Bordeaux country-side. When I was 14, I moved to the city, and even though it was very hard for me at the time to leave the country-side and my home and all I knew, it is also part of the things that started my wandering around the planet. I am a traveler and an adventurer. I traveled within France with my parents a lot, and twice outside of the country (Greece and Tunisia). I mostly traveled by myself, though, starting with England at the age of 14.