What caught my attention in the host country
I’m on Erasmus in Toulouse, and the thing that caught most
my attention was the friendliness and openness from students, habitants, people
in bars… When you enter a bus, everyone says hello to the driver and when
people leave the bus they shout “merci au revoir’. It’s something I miss in
Belgium, because a simple hello can make someones day better. Also in the shops,
when you leave the owners will always say goodbye.
Also, people are always asking where I come from and what I’m
doing here. Once I was at the hairdressers and she seemed really interested and
gave some advice of how Toulouse is and what else you can do here.
Then another thing is that people who live in south of
France are really “à l’aise”, they are almost never hurried or they don’t need to
plan stuff they just see how things go. Sometimes it bothered me because I
wanted to know about upcoming things and I wanted to plan. Even the official
institutions, they can never tell you exactly what you have to or when something
will be ready. For example, I was getting my bike repaired and he said that it
would be ready by 18h, so at 17h55 I was in the bike shop to pick my bike up. And
he said like ohh hello, I will just start fixing your bike and while he was working
on it he kept talking with other people. But I had to hurry to go to a concert
but he didn’t had any hurry at all, by 18h20 my bike was fixed.
Maybe we should also be a little more less busy and hurried.