For the academic year, I’m teaching English language at the University of Angers, in western France. Awesome, right? So after the headache of leasing an apartment from thousands of miles away (sending many e-mails in broken French to my landlord, who is really quite nice), making a day trip to Chicago from New York to get a visa (long story), and packing a suitcase with month’s worth of stuff while finishing the final chapter of my dissertation (natch), on Sunday I got to Angers.
It was totally worth it.
On Tuesday I met the other lecteurs at the university, who are also delightful folks. One described the “poppy field effect” that Angers has on people, because of the pleasant-but-narcotizing feeling of well-being that you get from living here. I can see what she means. The city is somewhat small but picturesque, with loads of greenery and a lot of students. Basically, it’s a college town–in fact, it reminds me a little of Berkeley. Up until today, the weather was sunny and warm, with clear blue skies.
Last night it rained, and today is cooler and mostly cloudy, but all weekend Angers will be celebrating les Accroche-Cœurs, a weekend-long arts festival that coincides with back-to-school. It’s supposed to be amazing, so more on that later. In the meantime, enjoy the charm of the Loire Valley as channeled through some mediocre iPhone photos!