Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Liomoges

I finally made it to Limoges on Sunday. I met the head of the English department; his name is Alain. He is very nice and it's great to know that some people speak English because I have recently found out that I do not know enough French to get by here. Sad but true.

Alain took me to a Russian professor's home to stay the night and that was absolutely wonderful. She and her husband were so nice. She spoke English but he did not at all. They were the perfect French couple one would imagine. Everything was great, then Monday happened. I went to Renoir, went to an English class with Alain and realized that this is going to be very hard. I met my roommate at Labussiere named Maria, from Spain. Then the Spanish prof took us around the city. I didn't know his name or who he was, but he took us to lunch and then made us purchase a card (for what? I don't know; turned out it was for the bus) and he took us to Labussiere, the apartment for language assistants. Let's talk about this apartment: no internet, no tv, no radio, no living room, smallest kitchen I've ever seen, teeny-tiny fridge, hard bed, and the smallest armoir ever. I am going to make this work because I do not  want to pay more for my own apartment. But at this point, Maria and I don't really want the other assistant to show up so we can turn her room into a living room.

For now, I am overwhelmed and have no idea if I can do this for 8 months.

And hey, did you know that the keyboards for the computers are really funky here. They switched letters and for numbers, you have to shift. It's crazy! I need to get a memory stick so I can type on my computer and bring it to the school to put online.

Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm in the Airport: Doesn't sound exciting, does it?

So, the two main men in my life dropped me off about 10 minutes ago.  I teared up as I said "see ya later."  For those of you who saw me after graduation, you might not know why now was a time to cry and then wasn't.  Well, it's pretty simple actually.  I'm scared to death...  Just now was the first time that I have ever checked in, if that's the term to use, by myself at an airport.  Aw hell, it's my first flight by myself.  Yay. 

I walked into the airport, not knowing really what to do.  Luckily a wonderful woman named Lynda who works here helped me through the check in process, where my bag weighed in at 49.5 pounds, just a mere .6 left to breathe.  Suddenly glad I left those BCBG heels, but not really.  And then I realized, when I come back, I have to do this in another language.  Yay.

Then I went to the bathroom.  My bladder was about to explode from that last glass of good ole southern sweet tea that I had at Taco Casa before arriving at the airport.  Finally, I proceeded to Concourse A, going through the security check.  I didn't beep.  Yay.

And now here I sit.  I see so many people doing just what I'm doing.  A man playing on his i-phone, a woman searching for mints in her bag, a 30-something couple reading a newspaper together with their legs sitting crossed atop a silver and black utilitarian table; all just sitting, waiting, for their flights.  And for some reason, I keep expecting something profound to happen or something groundbreaking to pop into my head.  Perhaps Morrie would show up and I would have a very enlightened Tuesday.  Alas, nope. 

But one thing did come to me, among all the scary thoughts and worries I have in my head, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Sounds silly?  Not really.  First you must understand my love of Buffy.  I have every season and am collecting the comics as we speak.  I adore her tenacity, vivacity, spunk, and one other thing--her ability to overcome anything.  I mean, c'mon, she defeated a crazy demon Frankenstein thing, saved the world from multiple apocalypses, she fought a god from a crazy hell dimension, she defeated the very first evil, she fought countless vampires and won, all the while fighting her own personal demons.  So, basically, we're very similar...

So you can see how I thought of her in all this.  My world is being turned upside down, a lot like hers (just in different ways).  Rather than fighting a destructive Fyarl demon, I am battling my worries, the little part in my brain that says "hey, listen to me while I think of the worst possible scenarios that could happen."

And then in true Buffy fashion, I decided to stand up (not literally, that would just be weird right now).  I am standing up to my fears.  Just like in the season four Halloween episode.  Do you hear that, fear?  You're just a tiny little demon that I can squash with my little human foot.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting ready

Ok, the big move is in a week.  Exactly a week from today, I'm going to be on a big plane making my way across the pond to that country named France.  It's weird how I always feel like a little kid when I say that I'm going to France to spend 9 months.  It's like asking a child where they want to go in the world. 

"I want to go to France, mommy."
"Sure darling, you can go anywhere you want."

But now, I'm doing it.  It's a four-year dream that will finally be achieved.  And how do I feel about it?  Oh God, what was I thinking? I know, I know, I majored in French; this shouldn't be as bad as I think it's going to be.  Oh God, I should have studied more.  

Yep, I'm freaked out, excited, nervous, anxious, worried, happy, ecstatic, and a million other things that would make this list really long.  But I suppose c'est la vie.  There are a million questions that need to be asked and answered and I have no idea where to start.  I need my visa to be ready SOON.  I don't know what's taking so long.  I don't know if I should just go ahead and close my Wachovia account and travel (with every penny that is to my name!) and just open an account with a French bank.  I don't know.  It's scary and worrisome, but somehow I know I'll be just fine.  Everyone has rough patches, and everyone can get through them.

On a happy note, I have found some very promising housing ideas.  Rent will only be 300 euros.  So YAY!  I have a job; I will be an English teaching assistant in a school, lycee Auguste Renoir, in Limoges, France.  I have a roommate who is in the same program as me, which is exciting, and we have sworn to only speak French in the house.  So on the whole, a lot of things are going pretty well.

But packing may be another issue.  So many shoes I have to leave behind.  It makes me sad to think of leaving my beautiful Chinese Laundry high heels that go so well with that yellow dress of mine.  Or leaving the red hot BCBG peep-toe heels that flatter any black dress. 

Right now, my mantra is to just go with it.  Whatever clothes I take will be the clothes I wear.  My lack of shoes will just have to... well, I could always get more shoes there.  And everything will work out because it has to, right?