The Bare Necessities
Yesterday was a pretty busy day. I put money on my meal card, visited the bank and opened an account, bought an alarm clock with a radio (they play one song and then talk for ten minutes!), ate lunch in the canteen (the food was significantly better this time) and I got to talk to a bunch of other teachers. Next week I have to do some observing of english classes, and I will also get to sit in in on a chemistry class - which you all know that nerdy me is going to love - thanks to one of the men I sat with yesterday. I shopped around for a phone or phone line, but unlike the states, you have to pay a huge amount to open the line then a monthly fee, and then more on that if you want to actually CALL anyone. The phone bill, for four hours of talking time will be about $45 a month after a $75 one-time set up charge. This is, believe it or not, half as expensive as having a cell phone. Oh, and I'll need to actually purchase a phone too. It's better than walking two blocks to the phone booth everytime I want to talk though.
Although this seems like a normal day for someone new to the neighborhood, keep in mind that I did it all in french. So, by mid-afternoon, I was exceptionally tired. But, I came back, checked some things online, and headed over to the library. About two days ago, I ran out of things to read, and you guys know that just won't do - especially because we have no tv (or radio until yesterday). I got a book by Peter Brook called "The Devil is Boredom," and a book of short scenes from famous french plays. I was surprised to find myself reading through them rather quickly AND understanding what was going on. We had dinner in the cafeteria (stuffed tomatoes, salad, and coconut and caramel covered flan - I never liked flan until that stuff!). Anna and I went out and called Travis for his birthday and then came back and played cards. I also rearranged the magnetic words on my refridgerator into sentences for awhile (thanks Kim!) even though I had to use the dictionary the whole time. Some more disturbing radio; including a show that sounded an awful lot like Delilah (sappy love stories), and it was off to bed.
In one day I managed to get myself going on the list of minimum things to do for settling in, which makes me pretty happy. I know I promised the stuff from the first few days, but I want to type it in on my computer so it doesn't take as long. For right now, I am going back to my room to pack for Reims before heading to lunch. I am looking forward to meeting all the other assistants this Thursday/Friday ... it should really be fun! My best to everyone. ~Heather