Sunday, 27 March 2011

This post is for Jenny

As the title suggests, this post was written with my friend Jenny in mind, as she has been nagging me for a much-overdue blog post. So here you go Jen, just for you!
I guess there have been a few things which I could have updated the blog on since the last post. I just always forget until they're gone and forgotten!
Well, to follow on from the last post...
I did have a rotton week or so after I came back from the holidays. To cut a long story short, the bitch-teacher continued to be a bitch. For some unknown reason she just hates me. I am always nothing but pleasant to her and, honestly, I am an easy person to get along with! But obviously not for bitch-teacher. She has f***ed up my classes basically, and it's her issue to sort out. But she told the other teachers that she has no intention of speaking to me at any point and that if I want to contact her for any reason then I know perfectly well how to use email. Just charming really. Ughh. It makes me angry just to remember all of this! I will not be contacting her to grovel and ask her to sort out her mess and arrange her classes. This is her job. Not mine. Several people have told me I should just refuse to take her clsses for the last few weeks. But, as I am constantly reminded, I am just the assistant. Blah.
This situation has blown over slightly now though. Not because anything has been fixed. Not because bitch-teacher has had a change of heart. But because I am ignoring it. And her. It's just a shame for her students. But at least everyone knows she's horrible and they don't think it's me being abrasive.
Hm...what else can I update you on?
I went to Paris. And I LOVED it. I want to go back; there just wasn't enough time to do everything that I wanted to! It was lovely to be somewhere more exciting than Lillers though and to see my uni friends. It was definitely a refreshing experience. Paris really is a lovely city. So much nicer than London. It's hard to explain, but it's just more 'open', whereas London can be quite claustrophobic. Paris still feels like there's air and space. We did some of the usual things really. Went up the Eiffel Tower, visited the Notre Dame, went around the Musee D'Orsay, walked around A LOT. I did get stuck in the metro doors though. Typical of me! In Lille, at certain metro stations, they run a sonar shock through the doors in case you're considering jumping on last minute. No such gadgets in Paris. You just get stuck. Luckily a kind local unwedged me. Ruthless of the french really. Unlike in London on the tube when people just get pissed off with the doors re-opening when people get in the way. The buskers are much more entertaining too. I did find it a bit odd that beggars were allowed to just live on the metro line. But we were (generally) entertained by the singing beggars on the trains. One man with his violin was truly terrible though. All the train-goers crowded at one side of the carriage to avoid his horrendous squeaky notes.
I think I also caught some kind of plague on the metro as I got some kind of bug and then irritated everyone by complaining that I was ill. I'd like to point out that I was actually ill, as I was off work ill for my whole working week (3 days) last week when I got back.
All in all, Paris was great. It made me want to do another year abroad and have another kind of year abroad 'experience' as a student in a big town or city.
Like I said, I didn't teach last week at all as I was ill. One of my colleagues was very sweet and offered to bring me food and medicine. She also tried to force me to go to a doctor, which was completely unnecessary. I only managed to get her to drop this when I reminded her that I had my social security paperwork returned to me 'incomplete' 4 months after I submitted it, so therefore wouldn't get reimbursed by the state. This was no joke. I submitted my application for social security in November. In person. I had it returned by mail this month, telling me it was missing 3 things. ALL of which I definitely included when I handed it in. They wouldn't have taken it off me otherwise. Once again, I am astounded by the inefficiency of french administration. I shouldn'tt be really though, it's quite a common occurrance. As a passing visitor/inhabitant it's mildly amusing. If I lived here though I would have snapped by now. They could do with more than a little German input in their efficiency standards.
Now I don't wish to alarm you...but I have 3 weeks left here.
Yep that's right. 3 weeks! Ahhh don't make me leave! I definitely didn't shed any homesick tears when I arrived (if Jenny's reading this then she can confirm I'm not the teary kind), but there might well be a little weep when I leave! The thought of leaving terrifies me for several reasons. But mainly, I am scared that this is it. What if I'm never going to live in France again and what if this is as good as the language is going to get. Don't get me wrong, I've improved A LOT but I want more!
I know people always say time flies. But really, this has gone ridiculously fast. It seems like only yesterday I was terrified about upping sticks and moving to France on my own. Now I'm just as scared about leaving!
It had been my intention to stay a couple of weeks after I finish, until the end of the month. But then my landlady came round a couple of days ago and basically told me she needs to rent the place to someone else then. Soooo decision was pretty much made for me :s
Realistically, would I have stayed here for 2 weeks on my own? Probably not. I was intending on using it more as a travelling base. But 450 euros/month is a lot to pay for a 'base'.
Realisitically I probably would have left then anyway, but it made it very real. So obviously I rang my mum and unloaded my woes onto her.
Speaking of mummy dearest, she's coming to visit next weekend. I can only imagine how thoroughly entertaining she will be in France. I will update you on how that goes!
A minor anecdote...when I came back from France my landlady came round to give me special delivery letter that had arrived for me and she had to sign for whilst I was gone. I opened it and it was just 45 euros. In an envelope. Sent by recorded air mail. No note or anything. It would appear, from the sender's address, to be from my uncle. Very kind of him, but also very odd! I have sent him a Paris postcard to thank him for his anonomous kindness!
I had to endure a 40 minute phone interview on Friday for a summer job teaching english to kids in a summer camp in Belgium. I THINK it went well, but I have to wait until tomorrow to find out if I have been invited to the face-to-face interview day. I was quite nervous. I was grilled on teaching methods, english grammar and had to take a spelling test over the phone. I haven't done a spelling test for years! The woman sounded positive though. If successful I have to take an incredibly inconvenient trip back to England in A WEEK for an interview in Bristol. This means incredibly expensive last minute eurostar tickets and missing one of my final weeks of teaching and trying to rearrange lessons. All will be worth it if I get the job though. I would be really excited for the job, although I must admit I'm slightly intimidated by it!
I guess this is all my France happenings up to date then. This weekend was quite laid back. I spent yesterday in Lille with Luisaidh which was nice. Although she promised me glorious weather, and it subsequently pissed it down. Standard. We shouldn't expect anything less but we had been out-witted by the previous days of beautiful sunshine! I hope the sun's back next week. I am feeling a little out of practice as I didn't teach at all last week. So tomorrow will be a come-back!
I promise (to Jenny and all other readers) to update again relatviely soon. Obviously with the level of activity in my life permitting.
P.S. To the girl who commented on my last post (I'm sorry I don't know your name!), your comment really made me smile. It was really sweet and picked me up when I was a bit 'blah' and I had made a menta note to message and thank you for writing it earlier but, true to nature, I forgot. But thank you very much. I'd love to hear about your year abroad some time :)


  1. Was that me? If so, hi, I'm Lucy :)

    I had lots of problems with French administration too. The French always seem to lose paperwork and have some sort of a "problème". Friends teaching in other towns got CAF really easily but the CAF office in our town was a pain! I only received funds when I returned back to England - still better late than never!

    That teacher sounds awful! But at least you didn't have any pervy teachers! My friend had real problems with a teacher and it was shocking :S

    Anyway free feel to talk any time - I have an email connected to my blog now which makes things a lot easier. It's:

    Enjoy your last few weeks! x x

  2. Even the awful things that have happened will turn into fantastic stories that you will re tell forever.
    I am glad that you have enjoyed your year and even managed to put up with your Mother visiting.
    Fingers crossed for your interview. xx


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