Well I guess I haven’t posted in much detail on the past few days. Saturday I discovered once again, as I suspected, that I could not yet buy a phone, because I did not yet have my bank card. German assistant and I went to France Telecom later anyway and did set up internet, only it won’t work till “next week,” which, without asking, I took to mean one week after we ordered it, so, this Saturday. I’m glad to have that on the way to being worked out. Saturday we will just have to figure out this Livebox thing they rented to us. Last Saturday A and I also discovered that the marche in B is not very good. I think there was one stall. We didn’t really go, more just walked past it and rejected it without letting it know. I also went out with M and A and one of the profs to a restaurant where the food includes lots of potatoes with other food on it. Not really a spud the way I envisioned it, but it was very good.
The other high school English assistant arrived Saturday night, so we went to Mme G’s for Sunday lunch/breakfast. We met her three charming daughters, aged 12, 15, and something post-high school, ate great food, including pie, and watched an Asterix movie with Gerard Depardieu (who else? He does after all have to be in every French movie there is) and Roberto Benigni. Then Mme G drove us around town, showing us what was up on the as-yet-undiscovered (to me) hills. There are two. One is new, and has some immigrants, and one is old, and has some medieval things. I want to go back to the second one and look around some more. If one were rich and lived in B then the renovated houses up there would be the place to live. There’s a very old Jesuit school there (though it’s not still open), a fortress, some ramparts to walk on, etc.
I went to Nancy today for la formation de stages. It was sort of useful, but mostly enjoyable because we got to meet a lot of other assistants. The girl I caught the train with in Paris sat with me along with another English assistant she lives with. It’s good to remember that there are people around whom it’s really easy to get along with. Officially we all talked about teaching tips and how to get our social security and health insurance. Unofficially we exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet up again sometime soon. Of course, I don’t have a phone yet, so I didn’t give out my number. But I hope to have one Friday, and I really mean it this time. My bank card should’ve arrived today in my casier at school. Tomorrow I’m going to Nancy again, for my medical appointment for my residency card. I had to scramble to get my vaccination records from CS for this appointment. Thanks to my mom for knowing where these things are and my dad for being willing to fax them to me at such short notice. Anyway, tomorrow I will meet up with aforementioned girl, whom I will from now on call Z, to see if we can get our cartes de travail, which I hadn’t heard of until today but which we apparently need. Then I will return here to check my casier and my e-mail. If it’s early enough, I suppose I could buy a phone tomorrow evening.
Nancy, or what little I saw of it, was very nice. We ate lunch in the Place Stanislas, I think. I’m not entirely sure. There was a zoo nearby, through the iron and gold-plated gates, but we didn’t go see the monkeys today.
On the train back it was so crowded I ended up sitting apart from the other English assistant, only to discover S, the primaire assistant in my town, sitting behind me. As soon as people started to empty, and S woke up, I moved to sit across from her, and she introduced me to E, another primaire assistant here, sitting next to me. Apparently the primaire formation was also today.
I started reading Amsterdam (Ian McEwan), and I miss Cal Stephanides a little bit. I have so much down time tomorrow, what with two very short medical appointments two hours apart, that I’m afraid I’ll finish this new book tomorrow. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. What I like about this book is that unless you look closely, you can’t immediately tell it’s in English.
Here is a handy legend, for those of you who care enough to be confused, of initials I might use frequently in the future:
B: the town I live and work in
S: American assistant at the elementary schools in B
E: English assistant at the elementary schools in B
R#2: English assistant at my high school
R: German assistant at my high school
Z: American assistant in Nancy
M and A: stagiaires (real ones, who’ll be real teachers, not like me) at my high school
My French is still sometimes funny, like when I told M the other day that I wanted to go to the médiatheque so I hoped it wasn’t going to cry much that afternoon. Background info: it’s been raining a lot here.