Skiing: Despite living most of my life near a beautiful ski-area, I have never skied in my life. I had an image of skiing that included going straight down a mountain littered with paralysis-causing trees. The nice thing about always expecting the worse is that things usually go better than you expected. I was delighted to discover that the beginner course had no trees, you were supposed to zig-zag down, and that there was a way to stop. Skiing was terrifying, but also oddly relaxing for me because I didn’t have the capacity to worry about anything except avoiding trees and small children (who were universally better and braver than me about skiing)
The roommates: The people I went with were fantastic. You know you’re with nice people when you arrive late and you still get the biggest bed to yourself. Either that or you really should have remembered to pack deodorant. Also, I will admit that I had a tendency to stay on a course and enjoy the decreasing degree of terror rather continuing to challenge myself. So in retrospect, I’m grateful both that the other people peer-pressured into doing first a green and then a red slope, and that they stayed with me even when I started babbling about how I didn’t want to be vegetable while three year olds happily zoomed past me.
The ski resort: The ski resort was right on the border between Italy and France. My roommates, all who have been skiing since infancy, went skiing in Italy a lot, which seems worth just to be able to casually mention that you spent the afternoon skiing in Italy. There was a lot of posh English, German and French spoken, so it was fun to try to imitate that. Tomas, a guy who was stuck with me for the majority of the ski-trip due to an inability to ski away, said that my accent ending up sounding like that of a vampire, which is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my accent.
The food: We mostly ate a ridiculous amount of cheese and bread. They take cheese very seriously here. The grocery store had a large collection and a lot of signs telling to ask if you have any questions about which cheese to buy for certain dishes. I was with a French girl and two Belgian boys who wish they were French (correction: both Belgian boys are very, very, very proud of being Belgium - I apologize for misstating their preferred nationality), so it was an hour and 100 euros later when we left with more cheese than the entire Chinese population probably eats in a year. We, however, managed to eat it in a week.