Of all the people living in this share house, I speak the fewest languages. For Europeans, two languages isn’t much, really, and my various housemates speak (among others) German, Spanish, Italian, English and French. There goes any thought that I was special!
I’m now living in what Bob Saget might refer to as a “full house“. Over the last week my various housemates have arrived and installed themselves – I’m living with two French guys, a German girl, a Mexican girl and a Lithuanian fellow who is yet to show himself. It’s my first time living with people – and my first time living away from home – but so far I’m enjoying it. Having my own room (+bathroom) helps.
But still, I’ve done a lot of introducing myself lately.
These past few days have been an absolute blur of bureaucratic activity. In between sleeping and hurriedly stuffing food in my face, I’ve had appointments at two different banks and opened a bank account, organised the papers to apply for rent assistance, filled out those same papers, read and signed my lease agreement, taken out an insurance policy on my apartment (mandatory), been inducted at my school – I got a key and a meal card and everything – and a dozen other little things. I’ve been as busy as a queen bee. I hope that all this activity means that later on I can be idle as an unmated drone (mated drones are dead drones).
I’m consistently impressed by just how false the stereotype of French rudeness is.
Since arriving in France this week, and especially since arriving in Moulins, I’ve been greeted with genuine kindness and friendliness. Despite my being sweaty (I’m not acclimated yet, and it’s hot), exhausted, jetlagged and out-of-practice at speaking French, people have been patient and considerate. Continue reading
Like most applicants to the Teaching Assistant Program in France, I spent the time that I wasn’t spending daydreaming about living overseas doing research about the way the program works. One resource I found was Cora’s excellent TAPIF Timeline and I thought I would do my own to give people an idea of which things have changed and which have stayed the same. Continue reading