A great little excursion this evening with my fellow French students in Montpellier. We went bowling with the ILA French language school! I absolutely love this unusual game. After 20 or so years using the barriers I still feel strangely proud every time I manage to hit anything. Some people are little less enthusiastic about the game itself but most still agree it’s a good old bit of fun. Even if you are just going for the social side during a French language stay in France it’s a good laugh as you all get to chuckle at how bad you are. Also it was great to get out there and put the French learned in class to good use.
Getting to Bowling with ILA French school in Montpellier
There are two bowling allies in Montpellier each with their own qualities but we headed over to the more southerly of the two. BowlingStar. It’s a short little journey from the ILA French school over to the alley but we were greeted by the wonderful Angelique right outside the ILA doors. Angelique is one of the awesome French teachers at the ILA French language school who very kindly offered to take us all out for the evening. It was great having a casual out of class chat with her, obviously as it’s a French immersion course.
We had a lovely little meet and greet and I was surprised that there were quite a few of my fellow students I hadn’t even seen stomping the halls of the ILA French immersion school in Montpellier. It just goes to show how big and dynamic the school is. Some are in residences and some are with host families, it was great hearing the contrasting experiences. So me and my fellow French students headed off into the autumn evening.
It was a very short walk which gave us a bit of time to have a chat and get to know each other and then we hopped onto the No. 11 bus heading south to Tournezy and got off at the stop ‘Industrie’. After that it’s within eye sight, super easy.
The Shoe Sizes are Different in France!
First thing that struck us when we went in was that it was ENORMOUS. They had two sets of lanes that we could see far in the distance but first and foremost there was a little stage area where a guitarist was just plugging in and tuning up. They also had an outside area for when it’s a bit warmer but we were eager to get inside and into a pair of those legendary shoes.
I’d forgotten about the European shoe sizes, so the guy behind the desk greeted me with a suspicious look when I told him I was a size 12. I think that’s probably the equivalent to a 3 year old size here. So I’d recommend having a check before you head up to the desk.
Let the Games Begin
We divided up into groups of three and spread ourselves out over a few lanes. This turned out to be a good idea as it meant the games were more fast paced and we could do more bowling! My lane consisted of Angelique, a middle-aged German man named Roland and myself, alongside us were three extremely competitive Swiss who were so confident they were laying down bets. Only for popcorn mind you. There was an ‘interesting’ array of techniques on display. Some were extremely elegant involving legs sweeping to the side and holding the pose until impact, others (like mine) involved just heaving the ball with all your strength and accompanying it with a lot hope. All of us agreed that there was some sort of supernatural force at work that for some reason loved steering the balls into the gutters.
We had two rounds in total. This had the added benefit of giving me a chance to redeem an absolutely shocking first round. A chance that was wasted unfortunately. Others had more luck; Lea, another German, with not much experience of bowling was smashing it with strike after strike but the star was Robert. Robert a young Belgian lad from Flanders was unstoppable. He and an Italian by the name of Alesandro were trading a mixture of complements and trash talk in the French they had learned so far during their French immersion stay. Robert emerged victorious however and was rewarded by a heap of popcorn which was served sweet and salty, warm and fresh.
To say that most of us had spent a couple hours embarrassing ourselves with our distinct lack of prowess we left a very happy bunch. This activity adds a lot of fun to your French immersion stay in Montpellier. So please do not miss this activity when taking your French course in France.