Teaching English to the French

Lillebonne Travel Blog

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Tessa in Honfleur

I moved on to a very small town in Normandy, France, by the name of Lillebonne. My American friend, Tessa, is currently working as an English assistant at the local school. Her apartment is actually on school grounds, so I arrived on Friday evening and went straight to a staff party. The event was a 'gallette' cake party, traditionally held the first Sunday after Christmas. Gallette cakes are flaky tarts with apple or almond in the centre. If you find the small king or queen figurine hidden in the cake, you get to wear a crown.

The funniest thing I've discovered at this school is the smoking policy. While Italy has now banned smoking in all bars and restaurants, it seems that smoking remains a popular activity in France.

My version of the main tourist photo
The school accepts that teenagers are full-time smokers and has divided the school quadrangle into smoking and non-smoking areas. But what's even more amazing is that the kids actually observe the division and stand in the appropriate section. This mixture of obedience and rebellion is very strange.

Tessa and I did a day trip to a nearby port town, Honfleur, on the Seine River. We were blessed with good weather and walked through all the small streets with quaint, old buildings and shops. Unfortunately, the trip was too much for Tessa's poor little car and we were forced to take the only bus out of Lillebonne for all other travels.

On Monday at 8am, while it was still pitch black outside, I joined Tessa for her English language class. The class was on stereotypes, so we tried to engage the students by considering stereotypes about the French, Americans and Australians. The only problem was that the students knew basically nothing about Australia, other than Nicole Kidman and that there are lots of big spiders and sharks. I told them a few things about my country and they were quite impressed that I had travelled 20 hours by plane to come to Europe. 

Vikram says:
Nicole Kidman only? You mean none of the students knew of Kylie or Neighbours? SHAME!
Posted on: Apr 08, 2006
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Tessa in Honfleur
Tessa in Honfleur
My version of the main tourist pho…
My version of the main tourist ph…
Tessa and me
Tessa and me
The old church tower
The old church tower
Me with the Seine River behind
Me with the Seine River behind
Small streets of Honfleur
Small streets of Honfleur
Tessa making her famous cookies!!
Tessa making her famous cookies!!
Rodrigo, Lucia, Tess and Lindsey d…
Rodrigo, Lucia, Tess and Lindsey …
Tessa and Lindsey
Tessa and Lindsey
Tessa and me
Tessa and me
At the pub
At the pub
The Roman ampitheatre in Lillebonne
The Roman ampitheatre in Lillebonne
Me
Me
Rodrigo
Rodrigo
Lucia
Lucia
Lindsey
Lindsey
Lillebonne
photo by: mel_kay