Two and a half weeks ago I finished my five-month work placement at Sogedicom. Saying goodbye was actually much harder than I had thought it would be, as my colleagues had all been so lovely and welcoming; not to mention extremely helpful with improving my French. It’s safe to say that I didn’t realise what I had got until it was gone!
Thankfully Dan was there to begin the celebrations, and we did more tourist things like the Arc de Triomphe and the Musée d’Orsay. Unfortunately Paris was not entirely on board with our plans, as the flooded Seine meant that we couldn’t do a river cruise and the repairs being done to the Eiffel Tower meant that the top floor was closed. Maybe next time…
My final farewell meal and drinks at Nouvel Institut quickly turned into a night out, which did not make the process of packing at all appealing the next day! My Dad arrived and was, understandably so, mortified at the amount of luggage that we needed to transport from Paris to Laval.
I am grateful for my constant need to double-check everything, as with 10 minutes until our train departed I realised that the helpers at Montparnasse had actually put us on the wrong train… Somehow Dad managed to keep his cool, moved all of my stuff onto the right train and within an hour and a half we arrived in Laval.
My first impressions were that the town is much bigger than I was expecting and there seemed to be lots of people around – thankfully. We arrived at the Habitat Jeune, a type of accommodation for young people which consists of individual studios and communal areas such as a cafeteria and a common room, and were shown to my new flat. Lovely and clean, spacious and with plenty of natural light thanks to the two big windows. An en suite shower room, a kitchenette, a desk and a dining table. One of the best bits? A bed that isn’t boxed in between three walls! Laval is spoiling me.
I met Alex, who would be starting as a newbie with me, as well as the other two placement students who will soon be leaving us to take over their positions. Surprisingly Laval has lots to offer – a cinema and a couple of museums, plenty of bars and restaurants, a few salons de thé and a good variety of shops. The bus links make it really easy to visit big retail areas around the outskirts of the town and the train station allows for weekend trips to some bigger cities.
I have completed a week and a half in my new job but I will save the update on all of that for another day, as for now I need to start ticking off some of the restaurants on my must-try list!