Friday, 18 April 2008

into the fire...

We went back to Wales last week for a week's 'holiday'. I'm putting the speech marks around this as it turned out to be quit stressful (in a niceish way). The computer went on the blink the week previously and mum was waiting for us to come home to sort it out! The problem was, when we turned it on, it started smoking!! I ran for my life thinking it was gong to explode and the computer was declared good for the scrapheap! All this meant that it became our task to kit my parents out with a new computer. Three return trips to the pc shop (on three consecutive days) and voila, we have a new computer. I then had to install everything on it and figure the new Windows Vista for myself. I'm pleased i could do it all otherwise my parents would have had to pay someone to come do it for them!

I was left feeling that the week was all about reparing stuff and taking trips to shops to get things replaced (the first monitor we got with the new pc was damagd too!) grrr and was looking forward to coming back to France to have my second week of school holidays.

So, back in France and the very first thing I hear is a voicemail message from our new landlady who has just thrown another spanner in the works concerning my paperwork I need to provide to be able to be a tenant. So it goes, I need a guarentor for the rent (if i can't pay, they pay in my place) but as I'm not French, there is no one in France that can be my guarentor. There are schemes in place to deal with this problem but the landlady has to pay a nominal fee in order for it to be put through. She has just refused. Tight fisted indeed, especially as it was her who told me about the scheme. So, earlier this week I went to the bank on the hope that they could do something for me. Apparently not, the bank man didn't know of any sort of the thing that could help me. Spontaneously, I burst into tears! Classy, composed girl that I am, but this seemed to rouse something in the bank man (he probably just didn't know how to deal with a sobbing foreign girl) and he swiftly rang his boss to ask if they could help me....and yes, they could in fact help me! I felt totally ashamed that I cried in front of the bank man but it seemed to do me some good I guess. Knowing that my landlady is a bit odd, he even handwrote a note to give to her so that she will believe me when I say she needs to give the bank a document....

It's ridiculous the hoops I have to jump through here in France. It just got all too much for in the bank man's office. I wouldn't worry too much if I wasn't written on the house contract, but I fear it will cause problems further down the line...how would I prove where I live? and I doubt that the landlady would talk to me like a tenant if I wasn't on her dam contract!

Just another day in the life of my franglophone life in France I guess.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Happy anniversary to me, and only me

Ju and I have been together 2 years today and what best way to celebrate this, than ....alone. Ju is away in Lyon with work and won't be back until Thursday. We agreed not to 'celebrate' it as such as we're moving soon and could use the money for something else like uum, a towel rail. How romantic. But still, I would have liked to actually see him today. To make up for things, I'm planning on opening a bottle of rosé, making some popcorn and watching dirty dancing / love actually. maybe both. Don't get me wrong, I'm not annoyed with Julien, nor sad in anyway....maybe I'm just using this as an excuse to drink, eat badly and waste time on a chick flic!

I can't honestly believe it's been 2 years. Boy, it's been, and continues to be, a rollercoaster of an adventure. Julien and our relationship is stable, but everything else dips and climbs around me. Thank god for naivity, for without it, I would never have made the leap of faith and I wouldn't be where I am today without it.

Would I have really moved here if I had realised that finding work is as hard as it really is?

Would I have moved here if I had realised how hard French was to grasp and how the more you learn, the more you realise you can't speak a word?!

What about the French? Understanding them is also a work of art. I find them much more myserious and closed than us Brits. Just a thought; if people all over the world were just a tiny bit nicer to people that don't come from their countries, there would be a lot more smiles in the world. Believe me. I've had that 'look' a thousand times too many. That look that says 'I'm scared/confused/horrified/worried/ashamed that I can't understand you because you are not French' followed by 'Can you repeat what you have just said? I don't understand.' Or more commonly 'hein? (pronounced 'eh'?) where I live. It's frustrating.

Yes, the rollercoaster continues but I'm learning to control it, ride it better. 2 years ago, I would have never imagined my life as it is here today. So, I can't start to imagine where I'll be in another 2... watch this space.

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