Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 28, 2009

Well I survived the move. After and intense night of vomiting and little sleep I managed to get myself to the school early enough to get the key to the apartment. While every one has been great in respect to my possession (or lack there of –I’ll explain later) of the apartment, I still feel a little weird about it. When I got to the school in the morning the lady in charge of money for the school (and the apt) told me she didn’t have the keys as the guys were still moving things in and out and doing work but we could see the apartment if I wanted. Did I want to see the apartment? HELL NO. I wanted my, pardon my french, fucking keys. So a bunch of the other secretaries wanted to see it so I went with them dragging my crabby and hungry ass up 5 flights of stairs. When we got there a guy was coming out and he had the set of keys!!! Thank god, Mme Lefevre gave me a key so I could finally move in. I hurried back to the hotel and grabbed an apple on the way to settle my stomach. Praise the lord for apples. I was starting to feel better already! What I really wanted was a pain au chocolat but the boulangerie was closed today. I ended up having Mme Lefevre’s “men” help me carry my suitcases up the stairs. WOOHOO! After the three trips from the hotel I wrote a note in the guestbook thanking the couple for everything. If my family comes or anyone I know, they are definitely staying there!

After getting my luggage delt with, I went downstairs to the school to give the secretariat my RIB (releve d’identité bancaire- a piece of paper with your bank account info for electronic deposits) and paperwork I finished for her. I also had some questions regarding my visa papers and secu. I was there for a while but everything is settled for now. After that I went to ask Mme Lefevre if I could borrow a comforter from the dorms for the year. This ensued a whole debate about what I was “allowed” to buy for the apartment. I just assumed I would be buying the things I needed and leaving them for the others or other assistants after me. I guess not. Everything for the place is to be paid for by the school. She wouldn’t even let me get a pot to eat in today! So I was like, if I can’t buy things for the place when will I have these things provided for me? I need to eat tonight and I don’t have tickets for the SELF yet. (This is the cafeteria). So basically Mme Lefevre and I went to Carrefour Market today to buy the necessary things I needed. I bought sheets earlier in the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to deal with borrowing them and she didn’t know if they would have any for me anyways. While at Carrefour we got pots and pans and mugs and knives and lots more. I even convinced her to get an iron and board! What luck I have that I don’t have to pay for any of this!!!!!! It’s so great that I’m also worried. There are two concerning things about this situation.

1.) Mme Lefevre keeps telling me that I’ll “have only one of the rooms and I have to share the apartment”. Uhhh what about the rest of the apartment? Am I not allowed to use it? I’m so confused/concerned. I think this has to do with the fact that the french value their privacy. I’m American so I don’t really. LOL.

2.) The rent. The conseille’s meeting is tonight to discuss a monthly rent for the apartment. As of right now, it is 10 euros/day. That’s pretty hefty considering I might not be allowed to have internet. (It’s up to the proviseur to “allow” me-I know you’re thinking wtf a basic privilege!) So 300 euros/month and I could get an apartment in town, internet possibilities and the CAF( French low income housing reimbursement).

Asside from these two things the apartment is great! Some gifts from the people who donate to the school included: a wok, a chocolate fondue maker (weird I know, I’ll never use it), a juicer (also never use), an electric kettle (necessity!!!!) and of course there is a microwave, hot plates (traditionally french) and a fridge. Perfect!

I can’t wait to start this Thursday. Sandrine called me tonight to see how I was doing since she didn’t see me today at school. She’s great!

Random things I’ve been meeting to comment about:

Sandrine said once in the car On va chercher le pain. Which means We’ll go get the bread. I find this curious because the is used instead of some. Anthropologically I think this comes from the fact that bread is a necessity in daily meals here. Neat that I’m able to make inferences regarding speech already!

One of the ladies today mentioned in passing (I don’t remember what we were talking about) that “Mais elle est ici pour apprendre le francais”. (But she is here to learn french). WOW. So not the case. It’s why I am here but not why they want me here. I’m actually here to teach English so it would be to there benefit to practice English with me. Tant pis, their loss! I’ll take any help/improvement I can while I’m here. I’m already noticing my lack of fear for trying new tenses. I try to stay in the present, use words I know well but lately I’ve been using the future, imperfect and passé composé. Next I hope to start using the subjunctive more often. I’m going to “re” buy a book on french grammar for practice since someone (I won’t name names) still has my reprise book!!! I’ll wait to buy it till I get paid. It’s not something I need and I’m trying to conserve funds to go somewhere for la Toussaint.

I miss Oli mostly here. At least when I was bored in Toronto I got to see Oli at night. I also miss talking to him. It’s different for us both since we both don’t have good Internet possibilities where we are. Hopefully that will be remedied soon. I don’t think I can go months without hearing his voice.

I also miss my friends and family. I hope you guys are reading this! Please comment!

Here is my new Address :

Lycée Polyvalent Th. Roussel

C/O Elizabeth DuShaw

15, Rue du docteur Yves Dalle

48200 St. Chély d’Apcher


[Note: Posted by Oli since Liz can't access Blogger]


  1. I read your posts daily. I find them really good, and I value them since I know how much they suck to write. I'm not as good as you, but I'll see how long you last writing daily. I get about 1 or 2 per week, but lately have been slacking, and have a lot to write.

    Question: Can you have guests at your apartment, or are we supposed to stay at the auberge in town? Also it's great that you got all your stuff provided for from the school. I'm extremely impressed that the school has the money for such things. How big is the apartment too? If you get a room, are there common rooms like a living room/dining room? Is that furnished as well?

  2. I've been reading your posts too! I miss you!! I thought you had the rent situation worked out? Now they have to vote on it? I agree with Henry on the pictures. Love you.

  3. You know I'm reading your posts ;) It's fun to know how other assistants are faring especially when you actually know them. It's like Wednesday night dinner updates every day. lol.