Tuesday night I left off arguing with some guys from high school about Miley Cyrus and went to the airport. 13 hours of travel and 6 hours of time change later, I arrived in Lyon, France, where I'll be spending the next nine months or so. (By the way does anyone know how to get Kinja to change time zones?)

It's kind of bizarre being here. I plan on being somewhat confused for the foreseeable future. My host parents seem nice, though. I have two host brothers (ages 11 and 15) and one very energetic sister (8); both parents and the oldest boy speak at least some English, which is good because my French mainly consists of "bonjour", the names of sports, a song about the weather, and assorted phrases relating to politics and the environment. (Screw you, fancy school. I need to know how to ask where the forks are, not how to talk about water pollution.) The boys like watching Doctor Who and the little girl likes looking at baby animal pictures on my computer and speaking very quickly.

Oh, and there's a tiny cat. His name is Noun (pronounced "noon"). He likes exploring and being adorable.

My first real moment of culture shock was probably when my host dad said "This is your room" and I wasn't sure if he was joking. Holy fuck, this room is huge. And there's a piece of tree hanging from my ceiling. (Not pictured: another set of square shelves, a double bed, a dresser, and a desk. Yes, in addition to the table.)

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So far today I've eaten a proper French breakfast (bread and Nutella), taken a shower without hosing down the room Mia Thermopolis-style, and played with my host sister. I've barely been outside—later today I need to go explore and find things like shampoo, but that'll probably happen after my advisor has stopped by to drop some things off. But this is the view from my balcony (!). Just the street is an old cathedral that I can hear but not see.

I'll be in and out here as usual, though I'll be asleep when I'd usually be online the most. (Now I know how all of you in the UK feel!) I suspect I'll be relying on the Daily Dump more than I used to. I also apparently have a lot of catching up to do re: NinjaCate.

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And I'll probably post pictures occasionally, if that's cool. Noun is very photogenic.