So technically at this moment, I’m an illegal alien in France. Shh don’t tell the government. Well actually could you? I’d love to get my visa finalized so I can legally stay here until May. It would be nice. So basically to stay here, it is required that all non-EU citizens go for a medical visit. I was supposed to have my appointment today but the doctor felt like quitting on Friday last week. Did they tell us this? No. I showed up today and the guy was like “oh sorry none of you have appointments because the doctor quit. We’ll call you sometime in the next few weeks bye!” Um thanks? Somehow I fandangled to get an appointment in Lyon on Monday. I got skillz, werk it!
While I am thankful I will no longer be an alien as of Monday afternoon, this was just a little hard to deal with. However the guy who is in charge entertained me with a bunch of wack-o stories this morning like… how he wants to run away to Peru (?) and live in the Andes mountains so he never has to see people; how he wants to build a road from Marseille to Tahiti that no one can use except him; how in 4 years he lived in all the different borroughs of New York City; and a very long speech on the benefits of electric blankets in winter (aren’t those things illegal for starting fires on people while they were sleeping or something?). He also asked myself and Mika if we enjoyed French men and their kissing skills… I just pretended I didn’t know what he was saying. I figured that was the best escape route out of that question. Discussing the different kissing styles of French and American men was not what I wanted to be talking about this morning, or ever.
But now all of that is (hopefully!) sorted, I can breathe easy. But not for long because there are so many other things in France that stress me out. Now, you all are going to think I am crazy when I finally put these things on on paper, because you will be like “what?! that is the easiest thing ever!” But I will say, daily life in another country is HARD like woahhh.
For example: the Post. I HATE THE POST. With a passion. I avoid going at all costs. I don’t know what it is about the post office in France but it is pretty much the scariest place on Earth. The people are just intimidating and there is always a huge line and they make you feel like an idiot. Once in Rennes, I went to one 6x in one day hoping it would be open. I think they just closed whenever they saw me coming. It ultimately resulted in me having a screaming/crying/banging on the door fit repeating “WHY AREN’T YOU OPEN I NEED TO MAIL THINGS” which did not solve anything. Then my host-mom told me she had just been there and mailed things. See? They are awful.
Next example: finding a seat on a train. On a TER (regional train) this isn’t so hard, but I really don’t like wandering around trying to find an empty two-seater while everyone stares at me and my gros sacs (because I can’t seem to travel without them…). I feel judged, and I probably am haha. I would judge me if I saw me wandering around with gros sacs. It makes me nervous. But the worst is the TGV. They give you assigned seats and somehow I always mess it up. I always get in the wrong car and then sit down and then someone is like “oh you are in my seat. Oh you are a foreigner? You don’t know anything clearly because this is car 6 and you are supposed to be in car 8. Get out!” How do I end up 2 cars away from where I’m supposed to be? I don’t know. I really do try to get on the right one but I think I get confused and there are always old smelly people around and it clouds my brain (people over 40 don’t wear deodorant).
Final example: talking on the phone. I get so scared. I never know what people are saying. For me a big part of understanding is watching someone’s expressions, and reading their lips. Talking on the phone erases that. Anyways, I’ve figured out that if I just say “oui” a lot people hang up faster. Unfortunately this means I agree to things without having any idea that I did. Whoops…
In other awkward news, I was proposed to by a student on Tuesday. He asked me if I wanted to marry a French guy, and before I could respond the teacher (who I’ve nicknamed the Spandex King because I always see him in his entire spandex ensemble biking… a sight that cannot be unseen) said, ” why? are you interested?” and he said “yes I am. She is nice and pretty.” Well thanks little boy for making my day! Glad to know I have a backup plan for 10 years from now… lol just kidding.
Also Ron Burgundy had a classic one liner… We were talking about families and one kid accidentally labeled the grandfather on his paper as grandmother. Ron Burgundy looked at it and said, “when was the last time you saw a woman with a moustache? oh wait, Meaghan has one so I could see how you got confused” then he cackled and hugged me and walked away. I wish I was witty in French and had some good comebacks but I really don’t. Besides saying “at least I’m not old!” I got nothing… and I stole that from someone else so really I can’t count it. DANNNNG
Also apparently there is a lice outbreak at one of my schools and no one told me. I found a piece of paper talking about it in the teachers lounge. When I asked someone, they were like “oh yeah… you might want to check your hair and wash all your sheets, you probably have them” ummm thanks for telling me??? I feel like thats kind of important but maybe my definition of important and French teachers is different haha.
Well thats about it. Life here in France is weird. But hey it keeps it interesting. Anyways one month until I’m back in the US of A for 7 days so holla fo datttt!