I seem to remember writing you all with an assurance that I would soon be writing you again and it would be SEPTEMBER and I would be in PARIS. Oops. Perhaps that was a little ambitious of me, as it is currently NOVEMBER. Either that or I’m a lazy slob. Take your pick. Maybe it was a little of both. Here’s a pretty picture of Paris to make up for it…
It turns out that my fatal error was in believing that my “rentrée” would be simple and uncomplicated. I’m not sure what gave me that impression, since moving to a new country is never easy especially when it involves starting a new job, and not participating in a hold-your-hand-all-the-way style study abroad program. Silly Mallory, so naive. Here’s another picture…
It also happened that this “rentrée” was especially difficult due to a number of unforseen issues. As I’ve already mentioned, Paris has a habit of kicking you around a bit – I suspect it operates somewhat like law school…throwing all the crap at you early on so that only the truly devout remain – and Paris was not in the mood to be gentle. On top of that there was some general shittiness (thank you universe), resulting in a rough couple of months. I don’t want to go into the nitty gritty of all the woes I’ve suffered, but I thought I’d break things down into a series of episodes just to bring you all up to speed…
Epidosde 1: In which Mallory tearfully says goodbye to her mother and flies across the ocean in the bulkhead. She hates the bulkhead but is proud of her ability to secretly keep her purse behind her calves unbeknowst to the flight attendants.
Episode 2: In which Mallory is picked up from the airport by the woman she willing be living with and au pairing for, and generally feels tired and uncomfortable.
Episode 3: In which Mallory (on her second day in Paris) meets the entire extended family of the family she’s au pairing for, cannot leave the apartment, and feels generally homesick, tired, and overwhelmed. This is where the “Oh god, what have I done!” feels begin to sink in.
Episode 4: In which Mallory is thrown headlong into au pairing and has no more time for “Oh hell, what have I done” moments because there is not time. She has to pick up children and clean the kitchen and collapse into bed instead. Also pet the attention-whoring cat…
Episode 5: In which Mallory wonders if maybe she shouldn’t start blogging, but doesn’t have time.
Episode 6: In which Mallory hears that her grandmother is dying, and simultaneously starts wondering whether the au pairing thing was a good idea. She has lunch with a friend to talk her down.
Episode 7: In which Mallory visits the school where she will be teaching for the first time and falls in love with all the teachers and is generally excited. Meanwhile…au pairing.
Episode 8: In which Mallory discovers that she cannot manage teaching and au pairing due to a conflict of hours. Stress eating and generally frantic behavior are the “regle du jour.” Because tarte au citron makes everything better…right?
Episode 9: In which Mallory somewhat ungracefully exits the au pairing job and finds herself riding the metro with all her worldly possesions.
Episode 10: In which Mallory is very grateful for her friends in Paris and the fact that she will never be homeless and living out of a carboard box by the Seine.
Episode 11: In which Mallory searches for an apartment, teaches, and stresses. She thinks about blogging occasionally, but is more preoccupied by trying to find somewhere to live.
Episode 12: In which Mallory gets a vacation TWO WEEKS after starting to teach (!) and enjoys her free time with her mother who (in the best mom move in history) comes to visit, snuggle, and buy Mallory yummy dinners. Because moms and mussels DEFINITELY make everything better…
Episode 13: In which Mallory finds a place to live and discovers that French bureaucracy is actually the worst thing ever. Because it’s bureaucracy…but in French.
Episode 14: In which Mallory secures the apartment and discovers more French bureaucracy as well as what a “cheap” studio looks like (hint: it’s smokey and tiny).
Episode 15: In which Mallory defeats French bureaucracy and things simmer down. She begins her “amenagement” and FINALLY sits down to type up a blog post…
So there you have it! That is what I’ve been up to for the last few months! And with luck and a generally less stressful life I’ll hopefully be writing much more now. In the meantime, what about you guys? What’s new in your lives? Any exciting new developments? Crazy moves?
Till next time!