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!



Ron Burgundy Strikes Again

So I havn’t updated any RB stories recently. All has been quiet on that front for the past few weeks, until today that is. Unfortunately this isn’t a funny story. He made me mad. Like really mad.

We are doing a food unit for his class and he was like “lets do frites” frites being french fries. I go yeah cool ok french fries and he looks at me and goes “no chips” and I go “no chips are the same in America as they are here” and he goes “yes but in England frites are chips” and I go “yes I know but I’m not from England.”

He stops, looks me right in the eye and goes “are they paying you to come here and be American? no they are paying you to come here and be British so thats what you better teach in my class.” UM EXCUSE ME… I’m sorry but I was really offended by this. I’ve never been to freaking England much less learned British English. I have a president not a queen and I’m never going to speak British English. In fact it generally sounds wrong to me, but that is just my opinion.

What do you say to someone that has just insulted your nationality? I think he knew he pissed me off. I fumed the rest of the class but didn’t say anything. What could I say? I’m just a transient worker, hes been there for like 20 years. So, moral of the story is: if you are American, pretend to be British. JK that’s stupid. If you are whatever you are, be that proudly and don’t let anyone bring you down!


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!

2012: French Resolutions

I feel like I am being clever and calling this French Resolutions because it rhymes with French Revolution(s), but that is probably just a bad history pun… LOLZ nerd alert! It would only be better if I could work in a Napoleon comment, but hey you can’t win them all! Actually this is a well timed pun (so punny) BECAUSE today at school Ron Burgundy forgot I was American and was trying to make me talk about the differences between England and France. He is going on about all sorts of things and finally one kid raises their hand and goes, “one time France had a queen and her name was Marie Antoinette but then all the people killed her because she was mean. England didn’t kill their queen” I thought this was hilarious but I think Ron Burgundy just thought I was crazy for laughing. Oh well he is pretty crazy too so I guess it works out.

this is exactly what he looks like... plus a gold chain and you can see his chest hair... 70s classic

Welll anyhoo happy 2012 ya’ll! I can’t believe that it is not 2011 anymore! What a great year 2011 was, graduating and moving to France being the highlights, but I can’t wait to see what 2012 bringz, hopefully more delights and wonderfulness!

So New Years was fun! I went to Grenoble with my friend Mathanee who lives there. She is British and so funny with all her British English expressions (mate, knackered, using the word “piss” with like 10 different meanings…) which I just find hilarious. British English and American English are really quite different srsly! But we had a good time just going out and enjoying ourselves. Thankfully Grenoble wasn’t too frigid. Sunday we actually just layed around all day recovering from the celebrations and talking. It is really nice because she is someone who truely reminds me of all my friends back home in America and we just can talk about anything. We talked perhaps of taking a trip to Barcelona in February before we both head home during February break.

partyin' like its 1999, and by 1999 i mean 2012

So anyways that brings me back to the French Resolutions (haha I still think it’s clever)… 1. Run 5 miles 3x a week… so I can continue to eat baguettes and cheese like it’s my job (speaking of, new fav. cheese is def St. Marcellin, a type of goat cheese)… 2. Quit speaking so much dang English and really focus on my français… I’ve been doing super good about reading in French, now to just speak in it more… 3. Travel outside of France, meaning Barcelona, Italy, and (toss up) Switzerland or England… 4. Avoid the real world at all costs.

I like my list I think it looks pretty dang good! Sometimes I get lazy with my French when I know someone speaks English and I really need to stop that and just say Non, pas d’anglais! But really it is my own fault. Also as an afterthought, I’d really like to learn how to text in French because I’m fairly certain I sound like an old person when I text.

Hip people send cool texts like “CC sa va?” which took me a REALLY long time to figure out what that meant… translation “what’s crackalackin” more or less. When I text I type out all the words like “Bonjour!” which is the un-cool way of saying CC (coucou). I am the texting queen back in the US and here I think I sound like a grandma, and I feel like one too. It takes me ages to decode texts and usually I have to ask someone what they mean. Oh technology sometimes I find that you are not really my friend.

maybe i should buy this so i can be cool, also i have no idea what these twho dudes are trying to say

Today was also a great day at school because I’m finally starting to fit in at my fav. school. I walked in this morning and all the teachers “faire-d la bise” (franglais) with me… that is the thing where they kiss you on the cheek and you do it to people you are friends with. No teachers have ever done that to me so it just really made me feel accepted. I really am so happy here and so glad I got placed in this town with all these nice people!

Anyways since I couldn’t think of any way to work in a Napoleon pun I suppose I’ll end it here. If you think of any good ones, please leave me a comment with some inspiration (calling all history nerds…or dad) and i’ll leave you with a guy who is trying to convert Muslims by wearing a Jesus smock… because that is really going to work…

stylin' for Jesus