I can’t think of a PC title


So because I’m being a lazy crazy girl (do you like that? I just came up with it boom!) I havn’t uploaded any of my pictures from Switzerland and Italy so I’ll try to get around to those posts (too much fun for 1!) Friday or this weekend. Maybe.

So today at school, in the Spandex King’s class we were talking about the US geography and all the neat things we have in there (Mt. Rushmore bitches!) and when we were talking about Washington DC the Spandex King goes (in French), ” I heard there were a lot of blacks there” I guess because I’m socially awkward, I said ” black what? Cars?” To which he laughed and goes “HA no. People. Anyways, the next city we will look at is Miami, which is filled with Cubans.”

I’m never going to work with such unintentionally funny people ever again.

Hopefully I’ll stop having mental breakdowns about my life this week and update on my vacations which were super! Also if you have a chance and want to watch a really weird French movie, watch “Perfume: the Story of a Murderer” I watched it last night with my boyfriend and it was super weird, the ending especially. ::Shiver:: but it was French so you know it was good. Also Snape is in it sooo… get on it!

 

It’s War


I’m in a full fledged, balls to the wall, all out war against the formidable enemy of one, maybe two ant colonies. I don’t care what it takes, those suckers are going down. I dont understand how people have ant farms in their houses. That is just asking for trouble. Anyways, the little bastards have taken over my entryway/door and yarn cupboard, and my bathroom. I bought those ant killer houses, which are helping but it is time to get serious. This girl sprayed some sheesh up in here yesterday which killed some of them but it is not enough. Also even though she sprayed the entryway and shower/bathroom area only, she looks at me and goes ” so maybe you should be more careful about food and then you wouldn’t have this problem” I looked her right in the face adn said “yes because I really enjoy eating in my shower” like if the ants were in my food cupboards, table, or around food at all… yeah i’d agree. But my yarn cupboard? My shower??? Explain that one lady.

I was explaining the ant problem to the Spandex King and he thought it was amusing. Then he goes, “you want to know what i do? I buy a ton of arsenic and just put it all over the outside of my house, windows, doors, pretty much anywhere you can think I put it there. Though I don’t know if you could buy arsenic… you’d probably have to go to a lot of shops” um EXCUSE ME. He literally said he just puts ARSENIC all over his house…  how is he alive? Another teacher who was sitting there for this exchange was like “I can’t believe you do that” and he was like “well why don’t YOU do it?” and she looks at him like sh is about to slap him and goes “umm because I have children thats why. Im not trying to poison them” He then looks at me and goes, ” well Meaghan you don’t have kids so you should definitely put arsenic all over.” Um thanks for the advice but I think I’ll just buy some Raid…

Also these ants are going down because I stabbed myself in the thumb with a fork trying to open one of those damn ant killing houses. It hurts like a, well you know. I didn’t know a fork could do so much damage. At 7am, that is not what I want to be happening… because thats when I did it. Awesome.

Today in other news, I babysat for Cesar and Paloma. At one point, Paloma looks at me and goes, “you speak funny French” I was like hahaha oh you are so silly! We listened to music and danced almost all morning. It was super fun!

Thats all hizzere!

Mego

Meaghan=My Gun


So Ron Burgundy really struggles to pronounce my name. I don’t really understand why because there is a French equivalent and it’s not popular but its not uncommon (Megane). I also pronounce my name that way here just to make it easy on people. Anyways the way he says it is something like “Mye-gunn.” So after class the other day one little girl comes up to me and goes “est-ce que ‘my gun’ ca veut dire ‘mon pistolet’?” [does ‘my gun’ mean ‘my gun’] and I was like yeah that is the translation of that. Ron Burgundy lost it and was bent over laughing so hard he couldnt breathe. I was like yo Ron what is the dealio?? He goes “did you  not realize that what she was asking was if your name means mon pistolet” [my gun in French] I was like seriously Ron what are you smoking? And then I realized that the way he pronounces my name kind of sounds like “My gun.” So I confused a child, a lot. Awesome. Moral of the story is, don’t name your kids weird things. No not really, the moral of the story is I need to listen to the chitlins better so I don’t unintentionally tell them lies.

In other news, life has been good recently! It is full spring here and I am happily wandering around in summer sun dresses (with sweaters for modesty), enjoying the soleil and lovely temperatures. Last weekend I spent the day in Avignon exploring and seeing the sights. I did not sing on the Pont d’Avignon unfortunately because it cost like 6 euros entrance which seems a little extreme for a bridge that is only half way across a river… Anyways I had a wonderful wonderful time! Avignon was great. I even got a little sun burned on my shoulders and saw an old fat man in cut off jean shorts soooo… that was the cherry on top.

palais des papes, what up old pope palace

finally i'm not wearing my leather jacket! view from the palais des papes

pont d'avignon, and palais des papes... view from the other side of the river

grotto! wheres hef?

JORTS!!!!! you'd think you were in America seeing this...

Also I FINALLY got all my OFII dramz sorted out. I finally went and got the stamp for my passport. It seems silly though because I’m leaving in 6 weeks (triste!!!) even though I don’t want to. I’m finally starting to feel settled in Nyons, to have friends, to feel like I know what life is here and to have to leave so soon… It breaks my heart it really does. But i’ll find out this month if I got re-accepted to the Assistant Program which I’m hoping I did. Not necessarily here in Nyons, but in France in general. I’d be happy.

Today, I bien profité (enjoyed) the gorgeous day here in Nyons by reading in the park. I read for an hour and then promptly fell asleep on the bench but, it is the thought/effort that counts right?

Also if anyone can help me explain what “swag” is, that would be awesome. I can’t seem to figure out how to explain what it is….

Wonderful weekend wishes to everyone!

Mego

Sea Teeth and the NBA


I’m realizing that my animals unit with the Spandex King has proven to be super eventful. Amusing things just seem to keep happening! Yesterday, I realized that French makes everything cooler sounding. We are talking about sharks and the SK starts talking about a movie called “Les dents de la mer” or “The Teeth of the Sea” which I just figured to be “Jaws” because hello what other shark movie has such notoriete?

Sharktopus excluded

Turns out I was right, it is “Jaws.” But then I realized that “The Teeth of the Sea” sounds way more bad ass than Jaws… Think about it, we all have jaws and we say things like “my jaw hurts” if you chew too much gum or something. That doesn’t really evoke the image of man eating sharks. On the other hand “The Teeth of the Sea” or even “Sea Teeth” is clearly talking about something large and in charge.

check out those pearly whites

If I saw that poster today, I would say “I NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE NOW” because sharks are awesome. I would think, “those are some prettttty big sea teeth right there and that shark is totally going to be eating people” which is probably what everyone in France thought 35 years ago when the movie came out. They were all probably like YUP gotta see that! In English “Jaws” is synonomous with sharks now because of this movie but all I’m saying is that I think the French way is much more creatively descriptive and that English can be kind of boring.

I know we have a lot of expressions in English, however the French have like 8,000 more. I’m convinced there is an expression for everything here. It makes life spicy. I’ve also realized that in English sometimes we just don’t have words for things, or at least I don’t know these words. Here there are like 15 different kinds of hats that one can wear on a daily basis. I call all of them hats because they sit on your head. But one teacher was like “what about bonnets? and chapeaux? and berets? and chapeaux de cowboys? and ones for skiiing? and ones when it is warm but not too warm? and ones to sleep? and…” My response was, “well I do say cowboy hat, and I say beret, but everything else is a hat. Simply a hat.” You would have thought that I insulted her mother or something by the way she was looking at me.

Another interesting experience I had was having a conversation about the NBA with some guys here. They were like “you are SO lucky you live in America and can see NBA players all the time” and I was like well not really I don’t live near any teams. Their response was, so? It’s America and they all live there. I was like look guys I can’t just day-trip up to Boston and see Kevin Garnett grocery shopping it doesn’t work that way. All they got out of that was Kevin Garnett and grocery shopping which was not the point. Le sigh…

Well Spain in 8 DAYS and America in 12 AHHH

Mego

What I learned to say in French today…


POST-EDIT: I was informed by a real Francophone  that the following French phrase I will discuss does not actually mean what I thought it did. Clearly my potential future as a translator is questionable. However he did clairify that it was rude and fairly terrible. Anyways the story revolves around what I thought was being said… enjoy!

It’s not very nice. It, like most interactions I have with my teachers started off quite innocently and then it got weird. With the Spandex King, we are working on an animal unit and making up sentences for the animals. Example: bears like honey. Innocent right? We get to a hippopotamus and he wants the kids to say “Hippos have big mouths” which is also very innocent. He then looks at me and goes, “do you know what we would say in French?” and I was like “umm bouche?” [French word for mouth] and he was like “Ha ha  ha ha no no no, we would say ‘gueule'” which made all the children snicker. Because I’m a crazy foreigner I was like um what is the joke I don’t get it? One child then screams out “Ferme ta gueule!” which means more or less, “shut the fudge up” except replace the dge with ck.

"only I didn't say fudge..."

What was the response of the Spandex King? He goes “yes, it is a very bad word if you say it like that. But if you say it about an animal then it is ok.” I’m sorry, a child just dropped an F BOMB in class how do you NOT respond to that? When I was ten we were punished for saying “oh my God” (thanks catholic school!) by having to write the Ten Commandments over and over… dropping an F bomb would have meant  suspension. Sometimes France just amazes me. Anyways, I’m now adding this to my repetoire of French insults of which I’ll never use but now know. I’m now at 2. Yay for language progression? Hmmm debateable.

In other news, IT SNOWED TODAY!!!!!!

our lil baby mtns all covered in snow

snow on the fountain that doesn't work in the center of town

It is supposed to keep snowing for the next few days so hopefully if that happens I will take some betta pics. I snapped these on my way to work this afternoon.

Also on Friday night I hung out with my real French friend! YAY!!! French friends are hard to find, they are elusive like a unicorn. But I think its official, I have my first real French friend! Her name is either Leslie or Eleslie, I don’t know. I know, I look like a terrible person BUT when she gave me her number she said to me, “my name is Eleslie with an E at the begining everyone spells it wrong.” Then I typed it into my phone, showed her and was like “this ok?” and her response was “perfect!” BUT she texted Stephanie the other day and spelled it “Leslie.” I’M CONFUSED. Eitherway, she is still an official French friend because she has since texted me wanting to hang out! Progress. I’m just going to avoid ever saying her name and say things like “hey girl!” It’ll make it easier.

Thats bout it round here… Be back Stateside soon! But first, bring on Spain… Ay Caramba!

Mego

Adventures in lock picking and other awkward moments


So today I was supposed to go to Lyon to have my medical visit so that I will be able to stay in France until May. Well I think the fates do not want me to stay here because this is the 3rd appointment I’m going to miss/have changed. Why? Oh because I am currently locked into my friend’s apartment in Grenoble. How does one lock oneself IN an apartment? Good question. This morning one of her roommates locked all the locks from the outside, leaving no keys on the inside not realizing that I was here still. So, now I am trapped here until someone comes home. I am not looking forward to having that conversation with her roommates. See she works about 2 hours away from here and will be home around 8 pm. Also she might be the first one home. So I’m here all day basically… feeling awkward. That also means I need to reschedule my appointment for another day, missing more work… sighhh what is going on in my life.

This is another one of those “oh shit i just got all my credit cards cancelled” moments. Except maybe this is worse because I fixed that within an hour and this has been going on since 10am. Also,I’m going to have to have a really awkward converstaion in the future with one of her roommates.Depending on what time it is I might not even be able to make it back to Nyons tonight, which is  not good since I have to work early in the AM….

Well you may ask,”Meaghan what did you do to try to fix your situation?” and I will break it down for you: first I tried the set of keys that were on the table. None worked. Second I cried. Third I thought “perhaps I can jump out the window” but then quickly realized that was stupid because I am onthe 4th floor and I don’t want a broken leg. Fourth I decided I would try to pick a lock. Never having picked a lock before this was a challenge that I failed miserably at. I tried watching youtube videos and reading tutorials but I could not manage it even though the internet says its easy. Now you may be asking yourself why did you not call Mathanee? Well I did. 15x. Her phone is off.

I’d also like to point out that a teacher from one of my schools just called me and when I explained what happened she was like “I’m sorry, I don’t understand…you are locked IN an apartment? How does that happen?” and trying to explain this in French is really hard. Le sigh…LIFE.

And now, I awkwardly wait…

C’est la vie…WEIRD


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!