The Eurotunnel is foiled!

Very chirpy right now as I’ve found out my mum is coming to visit this weekend after all! 

Yesterday was another down in my current rollercoaster.  I went all the way to the Champs Elysees to get my mobile phone only to find (contrary to what I had been told by them the week before) that I needed my bank card to set up the contract for some reason (which I don’t have yet for some other unknown reason.. yet another annoyance!).  I headed up to Jills to finish tidying up and things there.  When I got home I had an email from mum saying she couldn’t come this weekend because of the whole eurostar fiasco.  So yeah, I was in a major slump.  Emma did come round in the evening though and we had a good natter so that cheered me up a little!

Today was lovely cos I met up with another language assistant here in Paris who I’d spoken to on facebook.  She lives in a really bustly area of the latin quarter, and it was so good to just meet someone who’s about to do the same kinda things as me!

Later today mum and I worked out that she could get across on the ferry actually more cheaply than the eurotunnel anyway and eventually she was pursuaded!  I’m so happy she’s coming so she can see my new apartment! Plus she’s bringing more of my stuff so that’ll help so much in making me feel more settled 🙂

I’ve also managed to take some pictures of the first apartment I was staying in, and of my new one which I shall put up here now!

Au Revoir! xx

Quite content!

I’m feeling very settled today which is awesome!

Big window in my apartment at sunset.

Big window in my apartment at sunset.

Saturday I did a big shop (well as big as I could considering I had to carry it all back to the apartment!).  I have found a fancy little trolly thing in the flat that the Parisians seem to love, which helps to bring the shopping back!  After that Molly text me to see if I wanted to come round for a brew.  I took some stuff to take round to Jill’s apartment cos I figured I could go there after.  I ended up spending the whole afternoon at Molly’s, first at hers and then we went for a wander around the 11th, round by the canal and stopping in a cafe there.  Later she asked if I wanted to come to a dinner that one of her friends was putting on, and when I was sure I was definately welcome I said okay!  Met some of her other friends and what I found really cool was that they spoke french for most of the night and I think I pretty much followed it all!  Didn’t quite have the guts to speak any myself.  I think its really intimidating particularly because Molly and her friend Sarah are english and speak french so I feel awful at it in comparison to them.  I know that’s ridiculous because they’ve lived here for 10 years but especially when you’re around really competant billingual people, I think there’s alot more pressure to be good at the two languages. 

We ended up staying there till about 5am then Molly, Sarah and I got a taxi home!

Today I inevitably didn’t get up till late!  When I eventually got up and about, I tried to make some progress on the internet front first.  Then I had to go round to Molly’s to get the bag of stuff I’d left to take to Jill’s.  I stopped for a brew and a chat there, then Molly came with me to Jill’s.  We ended up going for a drink at one of the cafes at the end of the road where I’d been staying the first few weeks.  I hadn’t been there before but it is gorgeous and I’m definately gonna go there again on quiet afternoons :).

Hence getting home, I felt rather relaxed into the whole cafe, friends, wandering round Paris lifestyle!  The apartment helps so much but even more so is having people that I can actually hang out with and experience it with 🙂 I’m so so grateful for that!

Finally managed to get a few more pictures up on the fickr account! Should have some free time tomorrow to take some pictures of both the first place and of this apartment for you to see 🙂

sunset from the balcony... im quite in love with this picture

sunset from the balcony... i'm quite in love with this picture

Au revoir! xx

The New Apartment!

So yesterday I moved the rest of my stuff into the new apartment, and proceeded to arrange it all perfectly!  There was an awful lot of stuff provided by the landlord, but also alot of random junk left by previous tenants!  I sorted through the latter and actually found a few nice bits and pieces to decorate the place with :).  Today I pretty much just continued with all that, and right now I just about have everything as I want it.  I do want to do more cleaning cos I’m a freak (but everythings so dusty!), but it’s definately looking very homely now! 

Also, Molly came round again last night which was lovely! She was thinking of some friends she could introduce me to which is encouraging, as right now the idea of making friends with french people on my own TERRIFIES me.  We had a look online too for sorting an internet and phone connection here properly.  There seem to be so many hidden charges and I don’t know what to do because I can’t very well ring them up and ask them to explain because I wouldn’t understand a word!  I also got my first view of the night time landscape from my balcony here, and it was stunning 🙂  We watched the eiffel tower when it started all the twinkling lights on the hour! Tis very cool. 

attempt to capture the sparklyness at night

One thing I did do today was go down to the local CAF office (conveniently located at the end of my road!) to sort out the housing benefit that I should be entitled to as a young person in France.  It was a tad bewildering because I went intending to ask what paperwork and things I would need to provide, but the woman was very scary and seemed very rushed.  I showed her what I had already and she literally just took the application form, a photocopy of my passport and an RIB slip (the bank give you these with all you details on it to make things easier), gave me a reciept and said it would take about a month!  I just hope everything there was right.  Having said that, the good thing about the caf (apparently) is that even if it takes months to sort out, I still get back paid from when I first started living here, so it doesn’t really matter if it takes forever.

Au Revoir! xx

‘On your flight back to your home town’

I so shouldn’t be listening to that song (Big Girls Don’t Cry- Fergie), because it always (perhaps inevitably) makes me do the opposite 🙂

It has been a gorgeous few days.  I ventured up to Charles De Gaulle Airport on Monday night to get Paul.  I was shocked at how far it was, including a 15 minute walk from the train stop to the terminal.  I was pretty tired by the time I got there.  I can’t believe I did all that in the heat of day with 2 huge bags and a laptop when I first came :s.  Waited for Paul at the arrivals :p and once we’d got to the flat we had a quick wander up to the top of the road to see the view from the Sacre Coeur at night 🙂

On Tuesday morning Paul very graciously helped me take most of my luggage across to the new apartment!  We didn’t stay there long but it was lovely to have a quick look around at exactly what was there.  The rest of the day we spent wandering around seeing all the main sights.  I guess it was largely for Paul’s benefit but it was really quite cool for me too cos I hadn’t actually had a proper look at some of the main things like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, this time in Paris.  By the evening we were exhausted so just got some take-out from down the road and had a cosy night in 🙂

Wednesday was Louvre day! We got there about 12/1ish I think and I was surprised at how few queues there were.. I’d assumed it would be insanely busy, I don’t know why! We got Paul’s ticket but then had to wait AGES for my ‘Carte Louvre Jeune’.  Here’s a cultural note.. the French just aren’t in a hurry.  Not to do anything.  Even if it’s their job.  And yes it’s infuriating!  But I shall hold back the rant 🙂 Plus it was worth it because the card, for €15 (€12 if you have a student card; I haven’t yet :s), gives you unlimited access to the Louvre for a year, plus you get to take a friend for free in the evenings! You hear that, all people who might come to visit moi?! 😀 I can get you into the Louvre for free! I think it’s great; if I’m bored one afternoon I can just pop into the Louvre for an hour or two! We had a good look round, saw most of the main bits to see. It was actually a really relaxing afternoon. In the evening we went out for a meal in the Latin Quarter, then got some Hagen Daaz and wandered along the Seine up to Notre Dame, then headed home.

He went off this morning to catch his flight. I took some more stuff to the new apartment and tried to start organising the place! It’s such a novelty (and quite a luxury) having a whole ‘place’ to myself. In the past it’s been family or flatmates and I’ve always had my own room but everything else was shared. I don’t dislike that at all, but it panders to my freakishly organised nature to have a whole house to make exactly the way I want it 😀 (God that sounds awful!!).

I got horrible pangs of homesickness again today after Paul left. I think it’s lonliness that gets me mainly; the idea that I have a whole year in front of me without all the people I know and love being anywhere near. It makes it more difficult not being settled yet. I’m almost there, but I still need to sort internet and phone in my new place and get the rest of my stuff over from home. Then I can really try making a home for myself here and hopefully once I make a few more friends and especially once I start at the school, I’ll be able to keep busy and get into a routine 🙂

Poor Paul is still stuck at the Airport apparently! Problems with the flight 🙁 How annoying! He could have stayed here today and got the evening flight after all that! Oh well.

Au Revoir! xx

P.s.  Apologies for the lack of photos and kinda rushed entries.  Like I said, internet isn’t properly sorted yet so I’m only able to get on for short bursts.  Once it’s all up and running I’ll make the blog far more illustrated and full 🙂

And we’re back :)

Things are never bad for too long.  I knew that, it was just damn frustrating having to wait.

So I’ve found an apartment 😀  Went to view it on Saturday and the past few days have been spent sorting leases and what not.  It was great actually because literally as I was walking to meet to owner, another guy who owned another apartment that I’d really wanted called me.  I’d seen this one on Wednesday night and he hadn’t called me so I had assumed he’d given it to someone else, but he was calling to say I was his second choice, the first had found somewhere else, so did I want it.  I had to tell him I’d call him back after seeing this other one.  ‘This other one’ turned out to be gorgeous, really bright, everything I want.  So I had to tell him no.  It was really nice to know though that people hadn’t been not wanting me to live in their apartments, that I was at least a second choice! :p

That was saturday day, then saturday night Emma invited me to a party at one of her work friends’ house.  It was strange/ interesting because most people from Lancaster who are in Paris this year for whatever reason, were there.  There were also loads of other English people and a few other internationals.  Twas just strange that all these English kids my age, all in Paris for many different reasons, all manage to congregate in one place.  It was great to meet some other people, but a big black mark for not speaking French :s  I think, as someone said on our teacher training week, the best thing is going to be using English as a treat, because not speaking it at all WILL drive me crazy 🙂

Sunday was quite a lazy day but lovely.  Met Emma and Leanne on the Champs Elysees for lunch and then we had a wander past all the fancy shops :p later Em and I just hung out and watched some Dvds… it’s scary how shattered I am ALL the time right now.  I guess it’s just the culture shock but I am exhausted!

Today I horrifically attempted to change Traveller’s Cheques to get the deposit for my apartment.  Why are people SUCH A RIP OFF?  I’ve already paid a loaded exchange rate to convert pounds in euros in the first place; then American Express (of all places, i.e. the people who make the traveller’s cheques), charge 2% commision to change them into cash.  Okay, I’ll admit there may have been places in Paris where one CAN change them without a charge, but it was beyond me to go trapesing round trying to find that place.  Oh well, it’s done now!

Currently very excited because later I am going to get the keys for my new apartment, and am officially moved in from then on :).  But also, Paul is arriving tonight 😀  He’s over for a few days and it is going to be amazing!  I’ve been looking forward to this so much.  Being here is great, but being here with Paul is just going to be Magic 🙂  Shall let you know what we get up to.  And I’ll also get some pictures of the apartment up here asap!

Au Revoir! xx

A few insignificant days

So the past few days have been mainly viewing and waiting.  I’ll let you know if and whenever I finally find something.  However, a few lovely things are worth noting! 

Tuesday Emma and I went to le Jardin de Plants, a big park with a natural history museum in the middle.  The park was lovely but it turned out that the museum was shut which sucked (I also was back there on Thursday and found the whole park closed with a sign saying it’s only open on Mondays for the next year which is a shame.)  Instead we went to the Rodin Museum.  It was cool to see some of the famous sculptures but I definately want to go back when I have more time to do the audio tour and understand a bit more about them! 

Rodins The Kiss

Rodin's The Kiss

Last night Em and I went to forum des halles, a big shopping centre right in the centre, to go watch a movie.  We didn’t have the guts (or patience) to watch a French film so we went for ‘Happy Go Lucky’ the Mike Leigh film.  We had two hours before it started though so we went for a hot chocolate in a cafe out side.  This lovely american couple started talking to us and we ended up talking for ages about all sorts of things including Obama and education and multi-culturalism!  Deep stuff!  And then the guy offered to pay for our drinks!  It was so lovely, I think Em and I were both touched by that feeling of the parenty being looked after away from home feeling.  It really was the sweetest thing 🙂  The film was great too.. the cinema was HUGE and all lit up with fairy lights covering the walls!  Also, gutted I didn’t have my camera for this but there was a guy a few rows in front of us reading Le Monde before the lights went down.  Oh these french are so damn intellectual :p

Au Revoir! xx