When the words “student exchange to Europe” came to my mind, I figured that it involved a lot of social activities, pubs, and clubs. Thanks to my fellow seniors who feed that ideas into me. So, being a little introvert myself, I sort of wish that I can mix into the groups. Imagine some Whites talking to me, a short asian girls, somehow rather, it is out of my comfort zone. I supposed you don’t wish for something not to happen, because your wish might just come true. Apparently, Nancy turns up to be extremely peaceful. I am not saying it as it is a bad thing; it is good, but not so good if you wanna open your eyes.
I got the whole apartment all by myself for the one month exchange. Cool apartment, because it fully equipped. Name it, air-con, microwave, hot shower, TV, wifi, basically anything. I am such an idiot for taking one week to figure out that the same glass window can open all different direction. Wow. Can you imagine having such an apartment as your birthday present? My Local Officer must come from a rich family. Have I mention that she is very nice. Pick me up from the station, help me to buy the stuff I needed, settle all the documentation for me, showed me around town and then disappeared for the next three weeks.
I get the idea that French people are a little bit of arrogant. Well, the bus drivers greet “bonjour” every morning; the people on the street greet “bonjour” even though I am just a random passenger, everyone in the hospital wishes each other. Just that sometimes I just miss the smile. People just greet like a habit. It gives me the feeling that I was living alone. Perhaps because I can’t speak French, and they can’t speak English, we can’t actually communicate. So a piece of advice, learn French, the local will be very please to help you.
I have no idea why there were only 5 people exchanged to Nancy. One was a total workaholic from Portugal, who took the exchange very seriously. She can speak French and therefore became our tourist guide (like I say, learn French and people ll be friendly to you). I had this feeling that she walked around the whole globe already, as she seems to be able to tell you anything from anywhere. Another two were from Romania, fun and just like us, lost. Me and yy went to Strassboug with the Romanian girls. And that was the only social programme I have. Compared to pubs and clubs, come on, maybe I just have no chance with alcohol. oh and the food there, great! That was the one thing i look forward to everyday. Nice food.
Being in surgical department (I reckoned that that is the place where I can speak less French), I don’t quite talked to any of them. The nurses don’t speak English. Most senior doctors don’t speak English either. So we are just like two statues staring at operation in action. Well, at least some young doctors (houseman) do speak English to us, and explain what was going on. I was thinking, how nice to be able to stay in a country where you use your mother tongue to communicate all the time. I have got no opportunity to use mother tongue (Chinese) in my own country (Malay).
For the record, the surgeries I seen, cholecystectomy laparoscopic, hernia inguinal bilateral reduction, lobectomy, duodenosplenopancreatectomy, gastrectomy, thyroidectomy, VAC Fournier Gangrene, Barre de Nuss removal of pectus excavatum, endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, and gastric bypass. And I can make a conclusion that, in these three weeks, most disease comes from metabolic disorder, obesity, and cancer. Lifestyle is the main issue here. In the place I study, communicable disease sits the first place. Well at least I get to see surgeries that I don’t get to see here. Doubt I ll be learning anything about Fournier gangrene. Luckily some doctors are really nice to explain to us, and some nurses are really nice to lend us the stairs to stand right behind the surgeons, for better view.
Almost a month in Nancy, a true experience.