I went to Nancy last weekend. It had been a while (14 months) and this time I went with J by car because he was going to the general meeting of the Fédération française de l’escalade et de la montagne (FFME). It was a six hour trip so we didn’t have tons of time there, but I spent all of Saturday with my assistant-year friend Laura and we ate with her, her boyfriend and Sarah (see my first futuroscope post) and her boyfriend. In short, three anglo-francophone couples. Laura and I wandered around Nancy during the day and I bought some new markers for our wine glasses:

Source: via Eileen on Pinterest

I get the biggest kick out of these guys. I lost the white one almost right away, and though we looked everywhere for it, I sort of despaired that it was gone. Then yesterday, in between two parent-teacher meetings, I found it in my purse and was absolutely thrilled.

In the evening, the FFME had an apéro in the Hotel de Ville so J and I stopped by and saw the inside of the building which is quite fancy and has a lovely view over the Place Stan.

Just an update

Just an update to let everyone know I’m alive. I told the school last week that I’ll stay for another year. Things are going a lot better for the moment than they were at the beginning of January. I spent a week in Avignon, a weekend watching les garçons + their amis compete at escalade, and just spent a weekend driving up to Nancy, down to Auxerre, and back. I *heart* the Place Stan. It was very snowy and I really had to pee so I didn’t really have time to relish being back, and I couldn’t remember how to find the Ch’timi, so we went to Cafe des Artistes, which was okay. I finally got home yesterday and now have to seriously bosse for the rest of the week.

This past weekend was a result of this post. I ended up taking a chance and it seems to be paying off—we’ll see. I’ve tried describing the situation to Zandra who often has trouble retaining names and identities of people so we’ve been searching in vain for a nickname for this guy, only to end up with Nameless Boy. Anyway, since Nameless Boy is also a teacher, and I told him I have no clue what to do in class tomorrow, he ended up deciding for me that I should do a lesson on music “engagé,” which is to say, Ani DiFranco, specifically, her long “Self-Evident” rant. So I’m going to figure out how to do that today, and how to grade 40+ copies and 12 remaining 2nd-year papers so that I can wrap up my second-year grades. I think I’ll be done working just in time to go to bed. But, I had a really fun weekend, so, whatever.

Phantom limb

It’s fun (maybe more like surreal) sometimes to think about the different trajectories my life might have taken had I made different choices. The only reason I came to France after college was because I didn’t study abroad in college. If I had studied abroad, would I have been dying to come back? Or would I have been happy staying in the U.S.? And then, I really only thought I was coming to France for a year. Dating my French ex first put the idea in my head of staying. What if JS and I had never dated? What if I hadn’t fallen in love with France? Would I be working in publishing in New York like I had planned? Or would it all have sooner or later somehow have led me to teaching languages? I’m listening to a song I listened to a lot at the end of my assistant year and it’s put me back in that mindset when all of the sudden France was possibly a longer-term thing than seven months, and my life since and now has all more or less been a result of that change.

Bar le Duc was very pretty in April, and I was spending a lot of time going to Nancy and back and crashing at Chelsey’s and the not-yet-ex’s. Chelsey and I drank a lot of creme peche with Zandra and woke up in the morning hungover and made mishmashes of veggies with scrambled eggs to our hearts’ content. They were really good times. I think I might still be trying to find my way back up to that high.

Back from Nancy

I got back from Nancy a few hours ago. I had a really fun weekend. Laura says maybe we should go skiing in the Vosges during the holiday so perhaps that will happen. Saw Gavin for the first time since May and went to a party where I saw a lot of people for the first time since the break-up (including the ex but that went smoothly). I started working on achieving one of my time-in-France goals, which is to collect t-shirts with English phrases that are either incorrect or nonsensical. The one I found at Zara on Saturday, which said “EVENING LOOK I WANT BE FREE,” was both, and was only 4 euros. Laura and I talked a lot about the French and she gave me lots of stuff to use in my classes which is good because I’m in a mid-year idea slump.

I really like Nancy. Reims is okay to come back to though. Am sleepy though, have been planning a worksheet for watching Little Miss Sunshine tomorrow and I just finished so I think I’m going to fiddle around on the internet and then go to bed.

Misc update

I bought a BEAUTIFUL leather coat today. I was looking for a coat for the weather we’re having now (40 degrees and gray) that looks slightly formal and I ran into this coat half off, but of course because it’s leather it wasn’t actually that cheap. Anyway it’s a perfect replacement for the Nine West coat that I bought second-hand in Dinkytown (what was that store called? everyday people?) and that I discontinued because it’s showing its age. Am way excited to wear the new one in Nancy this weekend. Did I mention I’m going to Nancy tomorrow till Sunday? I’m pretty excited. I’m going to stay with Laura, and we’re going to get fondue with Gavin (I think) tomorrow night. Then C (from last year) is having a birthday party that Swiss R invited me to so I will finally see all of the ex-Bar le Duc crowd again. It’s been since, well, you know when.

Tonight the orchestra I just joined is having a concert. We wear red and black, apparently, which actually looks pretty good, I think maybe it’s better than black/black. But I never wear red so I had to borrow a shirt from Doris.

Sometimes I really miss Nancy.

Which is odd considering that I never actually LIVED there. I just, well, what DID I do there? I think I drank a lot with Chelsey, and went to a lot of restaurants, and played Apples to Apples, and went to movies we didn’t get in Bar le Duc, and went to cafes on the Place Stan. Mostly the Opera cafe. But I really liked it!

Reims is not so bad. There’s a metal egg monument two blocks away from my apartment where they’re doing excavations because apparenlty they found some ruins while they were digging for the new tram system. And there’s a park right next to it. And then there’s the Place D’Erlon, with its weird fountain, and the carousel they just packed up, and those random English tourists. Also there’s that gigantic cathedral.

But I still miss Nancy.


It got cold here. Like maybe 32 degrees. Not horrible, but certainly beyond the little blazer I took with me to Lorraine this week. I’m thinking of going to look at coats or sweaters and boots and maybe buying one or two of those three items. Was that confusing? But I also want to think about buying some things to spruce up the apartment so I should hold back some. I got this little wicker basket/drawer thing and it is surprisingly awesome. I mean I had my suspicions that it would be awesome (so I bought it) but it has exceeded my expectations. My rug hasn’t come in yet, or they haven’t called me about it, I’m getting impatient.

My week was nice, though. Wednesday night M and I went out with R (Swiss assistant from last year) in Nancy and had wine fondu, which I’d never had before and was yummy. Then M and I spent the night at her little brother’s and came back some time Thursday, where we ate dinner with her parents and then pretty much just vegged. JS showed up Friday and we made tacos, quizzed each other on capitals and random song tests, and got drunk. The Old El Paso taco kits that are easily buyable here are not as bad as I feared–the taco seasoning is decent. But the salsa is almost ketchup-y. Also the guacamole I grabbed was terrible. So I said I’d bring back some real stuff after Christmas. We’ll see if I remember. Also some of M’s friends came over during all of this but I don’t think I ever learned their names. They were quite nice though. More of M’s friends showed up on Saturday and I DID learn their names, and they were also nice. Anyway then JS and I watched the rugby with his dad and step-mother. I don’t know that I’ve ever paid much attention to a rugby game before and it made me cringe. It’s like they just jump on each other in huge piles and see where the ball comes out. The only other notable part of the trip was the obligatory visit to La Boheme.

Tomorrow it’s back to the grind. Well it’s not really a grind yet is it–two days of teaching. At some point I will have a normal workload, I promise.