Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today I went to Clermont-Ferrand which is the largest city near me and the head of the northern academie to me. It's about an hour and fifteen minutes drive and Mme S took me with her husband. We left around nine and went to the commercial zone first where there were craft stores and cool home goods stores. If I had tons of money I would have loved to buy things for the apartment in Toronto but alas, no. So this commercial zone is something very different than a mall or anything we have in the U.S. It's usually a bunch of spaced out stores with parking lots, some are strip mallish others are just random buildings but here you find all the chain stores and cheaper stores. St. Flour has one too that is growing nicely but not as big as C-F. After we went to a few craft stores and the galerie (inside strip mall) across from auchan the grocery store we went to have lunch. In France everyone, I mean everyone eats at noon. By 1 everyone should be digging into their meal or at least having dessert. We decided to go to a chinese all you can eat buffet. This was the best food I have had in a long time!!! I ate some different stuff like frog legs which taste very light. I even got to eat all you can eat dessert. The best thing about the food was that I had no pain whatsoever and it tasted great! I definitely want to go back there next time I go to C-F.

After lunch we went into town to walk along the little streets and go shopping. Today was the first day of the marche noel there. I didn't really find anything i liked but I bought a pair of gloves since I lost one of my thinsulate ones. I also bought some other things in town for gifts that I can't really mention here. Anyways, all in all today was an amazing day!

A la prochaine fois...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

So today is Thanksgiving. I am thankful for many things and I thought I would take the time to write them out.
1. I am thankful that I get to live in France this year.
2. I am thankful for my family which includes Oli too!!
3. I am thankful for the french healthcare system and the healthiness I'm slowly starting to feel.
4. I am thankful that I do not have to cook a huge turkey today but am sad I'm missing nana's spetchels.
5. I am also thankful that I am getting paid today. haha.

We've been doing thanksgiving lessons all week which makes me reflect upon the true meaning of thanksgiving and all that surronds the family get togethers and the food. This year is different but teaching about it somewhat makes up for the lack of family and food. I'm over the homesickness thing now but spending a whole day with my family? I do miss that.

St. Chely is slozwly starting to get colder and the closer we get to christmas the more promotions there are everywhere. For example for an entire month carrefour market was giving away these stuffed animals if you collect 25 tickets. You get tickets from the amount you buy and the kinds of things you buy. Mme H collected all 5 animals and she had some tickets left over so we combined ours and she got me the monkey. I have a stuffed monkey now....haha.

There is also a new store that opened yesterday in St. Chely. It's called bazarland. It's a sort of smaller gifi (for those of you who don't know what gifi is it's a homegoods store but really cheap and more for decorations than cooking). I went last night cause it's right next to the gym and it was insane. There were so many people there shopping!!! I think this place is cool and now I don't have to go to St. Flour to get things for the apartment. I've also been considering the amount of things I have been buying to keep. I need to keep that in check as I only have 2 suitcases!!! At the rate I am going, I'm going to have three of four suitcases to take home. At least bazarland has cheap ones...hahaha!!!!

A la prochiane fois mes amis and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey slices and more turkey nuggets for Thanksgiving

So this week is Thanksgiving and while everyone is enjoying turkey and mashed potatoes, I will be teaching 12 hours on Thanksgiving while reaping none of the benefits of eating it. I'm kind of alone this year so I saw no point on roasting a turkey and making the traditional fare. I did however buy some sliced turkey and potatoes so I'm planning on having that for dinner. I can always resort to my turkey cheese nugs!

I have 13 department magnets now. Yay! I was promised some by the other teachers but I think they want to keep them and start collecting them too. Bums. I guess I can look forward to eating 1,000 nuggets this year-at least. :)

I've been hanging out with the running lady at the gym recently. She really likes me and she has tons of friends my age at the gym. The only thing is, people smile at me and nod but they never really talk to me anymore. I wish I didn't put up this wall and I was more approachable. In any case, I've started passing on the word that I'm looking for a french tutor exchange with english tutoring. Ideally I'm looking for two partners twice a week for 30 minutes. I'm hoping to work on more difficult conversation topics such as hypotheticals and subjuntive statements. Plus this will help with pronunciation. :)

Nothing interesting has happened recently. I'm looking forward to christmas break and dubai in february. It's sad that I'm in France (the country I love with all my heart) but the only place I'd rather be is with Oli. I keep telling myself, 269 more days, 269 more days.

A la prochaine fois....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Week Summary in Brief

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost a week since my last post. Now that I have internet, I sometimes forget to post! Well a run down of this slightly eventful week:

I went to a Russian circus on ice on sunday with Mme H and the others. I was a little embarrassed to be going to kid thing but it was actually very enjoyable. There isn't much to do here in St. Chely so I'll take any entertainment I can get, especially on a sunday.

I've been feeling much better this week and confirm my remission the doctor approved me to continue with a 'normal' diet on tuesday. I still can't have dairy from a cow (apparently goat dairy is ok) and definitely no butter or high fat foods. This should be interesting. Lately I've been eating pasta with pesto and a slice of turkey meat. I'm still eating my turkey cheese nuggets (I have 9 magnets!!!) to rotate my diet.

For now my hospital bill is floating around somewhere. I suppose I'll get something in the mail soon if the MGEN doesn't pick up the tab. (that's the extra mutuelle I signed up for that covers visits 100 percent supposedly) Eventually I'll get a bill but I think I have a month to pay it anyways.

Wednesday I spent all day in Montpellier. I so never want to go back. I hate going there for just an hour for a stupid medical visit. I took the bus at 5 in the morning and arrived around 9. My appointment wasn't until 3:30 so I had too much time to kill. Unfortunately for me, time to kill= me spending money. I bought two books at FNAC since we don't have a good book store. One was to help my french grammar and the other was a dubai tourist guide since I'll be there in february. The medical visit went well for the most part. I got yelled at again for not telling them that I needed to be out by 5 to catch my ride home. (my appointment was at 3:30!!!) So typical french that it's my fault for not telling them to keep to my appointment time. *rolls eyes* Needless to say by 4 I went up to the entrance to say something and from then on I was rushed through the visa authentication process and medical exam. I bypassed about 20 people just because I live 3 hours away from Montpellier. I don't feel in slightest guilty because those people didn't have to spend 40 euros plus food for the day just for their medical visit. As of now, I am officially allowed to live in France until next september. Woot.

Thursday was random and I didn't do much other than teach most of the day. I'm getting kind of tired of teaching the same lessons over and over again. I'm going to variate my material the week after thanksgiving. Since I have to teach the same thanksgiving lesson to every class I have. Boy am I excited.

Saturday was cool. I went to a clothing party at Mme H's sister-in-law's house which is right next door. I got this cool tunique dress. I also got to play with matisse again at Mme H's. He's the cutest 4 year old ever and very stubburn!!!

A la prochaine et gros bisous!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Connected to the world!

Internet!!! The perks of being sick just keep on rolling in! Friday afternoon I came home to the busy worker bee installing the cable in my apartment. This is such a relief because now I can do lessons, get email and talk to people all in the comfort of my own place.

I went to St. Flour again today to go shopping with Mme S. I was kinda tired today but I really needed to go grocery shopping and I prefer to do it with a someone's car. I ended up spending more than I wanted even though I had a list. This should last me until the end of the month though. I'm trying not to eat so much these days and eat what the doctor recommends which is basically pasta and meat. So far the best things that's held is plain pasta with literally a sliver of butter, and turkey slices. I like to top it off with applesauce. I'm so glad I can eat anything I want in the food capital of the world. *sigh*

I also went out with Mme H and the gang plus two others to a club in st. chely. I had a tons of fun, albeit a little embarrassing with with them. These people really know how to enjoy themselves and I like feeling relaxed.

However my insomnia hasn't subsided. I thought by going out and tiring myself out physically that I'd be able to sleep better but as it turns out I can't. I'm going to use this time wisely to catch up with friends on the phone that I haven't talked to since being here.

Bonne nuit et à demain(g)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Flare-up around the world!

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while but I have good reason! I haven't been feeling good at all lately and I was hoping that it would pass like in september but alas early on tuesday morning I called a friend/colleague to take me to the hospital. My flare-up had gotten worse than I thought it would and there was nothing I could do except seek help. Luckily I have made some very good friends here whom have helped me through this rough patch. I'm feeling a better and hopefully tomorrow I will feel even more so.

I don't really like hospitals except for the fact that they always make me feel better but this was an experience unlike any other before in France. For the first time being here I really wanted to find an english speaker. I was scared that my situation wasn't clear and that I wasn't expressing myself clearly to the doctors and nurses. On a positive note though, I learned so much vocabulary in the last two days to last me a lifetime! My flare-up was exactly the same as the one in april with the same MRI scans and all which was interesting but I got through april and I'll get through this one too and there won't be another. I thought I was serious about beating this disease before but now I am just dead set on putting myself into remission. I can't keep going on like I am and if there is the slightest chance that I won't have to have surgery in the future I am going to do everything in my power to take it.

For now though, I am back on the steroids and staying the next night at a friend-colleague's house. Mme S was worried about me being alone. Another bonus too is that the school is installing a phone in my apartment so that if I need to call anyone in the building such as the headmaster or nurse in the night I can. Everyone in the building seemed pissed that I called Mme H to take me but she's the only one I could think of that would help and not think I'm crazy. Plus it was 2:30 in the morning and everyone works the next day and I knew Mme H doesn't on tuesdays.

The hospital as it turns out is in St. Flour which is about a good 20 minute drive from st. chely. I have to go back to see the gastroenterologist next week but I have a colleague who lives there that can give me a ride hopefully. It's a smallish hospital that is undergoing renovations on pretty much all floors. I had room to myself for a half day and then this really old deaf woman came. I have nothing against old, sad, sick people but this lady was crazy. She peed and pood in her diaper during the night not telling anyone and I had to ring the nurse for her. Needless to say I ddn't sleep well in that stink. Then the next morning she pood with the door open and left poo all over the seat and lid. I felt so bad for her because no one came to visit her.

Much love and until the next time...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge and Turkey-Cheese Nuggets :)

ATTENTION! I have a nickname among the students. I'm "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" which is the little red riding hood in french. I LOVE IT! All because of my red coat (that doesn't even have a hood btw). One of the teacher's overheard the students talking about me (should I be worried??!) and they called me that she said. :)

One thing I will never appreciate cross culturally is how the French never seem to want to put forth the effort in some cases but they will in others. For example, it was sleet/snowing when I got out of class at the middle school today and I could have really used a ride up to the the high school. Of the three teachers I know all of them were leaving as I was and we all commented on the sleet and I laughed because I had to walk. In this case, I would have offered a ride to the person walking considering its like a 1 minute detour for any of them but a 7 min walk for me. This small thing that I would treasure more in my day then anything else was not achieved. Of the three teachers leaving some of them have been very helpful when it comes to shopping, keeping me occupied etc but not of the things I consider very simple and not out of their way. In conclusion, similar to everything french related, I have to ask for something if I want it. The only risk here is if they say no and I feel guilty for asking.

I'm going to babysit for Mme L tonight because her husband and her are going to try rock climbing in the place next the gym. I hope that things go well because I really like kids and I think this would be a good opportunity to learn some 'french kid lingo'. We'll see how that goes.

As for my internet in my apartment, I won't have it this week but maybe next week. I'm kind of disappointed but at least I'll have something and soon. I was happy to come home to a nice clean apartment a few days ago but alas like normal that didn't last very long.

I received my medical visit papers yesterday and I was extremely disappointed. I was lead to believe that I didn't have to go to Montpellier for anymore administrative stuff (it hurts my budget because of the cost) but the date and location on my papers was indeed in Montpellier. At least I think I can make it there and back within the bus times in one day so I don't have to miss any school or pay for a hotel room. In any case I'm going to call the OFII and see if I can have my medical visit in Mende with a registered person there but I fear that it is going to cost me the 70 euros while in Montpellier it's free.

Apparently it is going to start snowing soon here according to the kids. I have mixed feelings regarding this. While snow makes me feel at home, I detest it because it's sooo cold.

Today this really old teacher tried to tell me about something electronic on my mac and I was having none of it. No offense old man but I think I know more about it than someone who has probably never even seen a mac before. Especially since I tried to tell him I already knew how to fix it. I should be teaching him a thing or two!

On a strange note, I've been eating a lot of turkey/cheese nuggets because the brand is giving away these magnets of each department in each box. So far I have three different departments but not the lozère yet. I calculated that I would have to eat 100 boxes of these turkey-cheese nuggets. If I eat half a box each meal (there is ten in a box) that would take me about 100-200 more days to go assuming I don't have anymore repeats. They aren't that expensive either and I know they are for kids but whatever. ANNNND, my stomach loves consistent eating! Watch out Carrefour- You better start ordering these boxes on a bi-weekly schedule. ;)

A demaing. (Yes, it's inevitable that I'd pick up the accent. Please forgive me french gods!)