Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ah la vache! (oh the cow!): oh my god!

Ah so been a busy bunny since last blog! Been trying to sort out bank accounts, things I pay which I will no longer need, a moving in date and how the hell I am going to get there in the first place as well as thinking "oh dear god I am actually going to be teaching these children..."

Do you remember your teachers at school?

Exactly, yes you do, these are people who influence and can shape your future and maybe make a difference to whether you pay attention and do well in school or not.

So no pressure then...

What do i say: thank god for the Internet and resources galore for those of us in charge of classes of children who are not in their chairs for my lesson so have the ability to wriggle, giggle and run free and yet are also expected to listen to me. Even if they don't speak my language. I'm under no disillusions here about how tough this is going to be.

Children can also smell fear and the second you walk into that classroom on day 1 they have you SUSSED. My mum delights in telling me my first 10 minutes will set the rest of the year. I keep trying to envision my first day and all I can see like some movie in my head is that scene from kindergarten cop when arnie stands in front of his new charges and says (insert your arnie accent now)

" ok class today we are going to play a game it is called who is your daaaaaddy and what does he do?"

If that flashes into my head when I am first introduced to my class I am going to just die (laughing).

So I just booked my ferry crossings which was kind of sad especially as the conversation went something like:

K: hi yes I'd like to book a return ferry crossing please
O: ok how many people for?"
K: um 2 going there 1 coming back...

Actually sounds ominous doesn't it?!

Reminds me of that joke where a boy and a girl are walking at night through some woods and the girl says
"creepy in here isn't it?!" and the guy says
"it's alright for you, you haven't got to walk back on your own..."
( I have a weird sense of humour for that I make no apologies)

So it's done, my one way ticket booked and with only my friend returning once he has dumped me and my things in France, boo hiss, but I am so grateful for his help with this although we get a few days chilling there so going to pretend it's a holiday in the french countryside (am dog sitting for the first few days I am there so will be spending the weekend in denial over the coming Tuesday when he leaves in a lovely detached house with views over the French countryside and 2 german pointers and a handful of chickens to keep us company! and I'm not saying goodbye after just "a bientot" there that sounds better.

Also cancelled BT, broadband, TV license (with great pleasure) booked car, booked ferry sorted banks (or rather not because they are a git, whichever way i tried it they all tried to charge me at least £20 a month for transferring from euros to gbp even if it was within their own company still (yes HSBC I'm talking about you!) and I'm now bumming around when not training people til it's time to leave and trying to fit in sightseeing where poss and also try to keep dinner and drinks invites to a minimum. I want to see people but seriously it's costly saying goodbye and I am not going to be earning anything till the end of September from here on which is a terrifying prospect!

Anyway Back to the house at least I now actually have somewhere to live and a definite date to move in. Having seen pics it's a lovely little old house with White Walls, massive French windows (excuse the semi-pun) and grapes growing on the front of the house. My window is surrounded by a network of lush green vines, it looks very perfect pretty french farmhouse-esque with a large garden, lovely terrace and most importantly wi-fi!!!! ( so thanks to viber, skype and iPad) I wil not be totally cut off from the world when I get there, sorry mum ;) also all bills included for €400 a month, little supermarket nearby (hmmmm in my experience little supermarkets cost the earth so regular trips to the Auchan and Carrefour at Val D'Europe it is!) and right on the bus route that goes past the school and straight to Disney, perfick! Even better i get 50% of my travel costs reimbursed every month as standard by my employer (its a scheme the french governemnt have to encourage use of public transport: Boris are you listening?!) although will also be cycling a bit and a car will be on the cards eventually oh the freedom!

Accomodation did not come with the job so have been house hunting from here which is interesting! Needed to keep it cheap and there's a massive catch 22 when it comes to renting in France. 1. You need an address 2. You need 3 months worth of payslips. Well I need to live there in order to get 3 months worth of wage slips and I also need to live there to have an address.... Not helpful. They also require a good 3 months rent in advance by way of a deposit and agency fees so looking at a good €1500 before I have even moved in (and this is based on a studio flat in the area) soooo refer back to last paragraph. I do not have a spare €1500 so that's that. Anyway managed to get a house share with what seems to be a very crazy multi lingual Irish lady whose ex husband used to be an imagineer for Disney and still is only he is with Disney in Florida and she is still there having not had the courage to move again once she uprooted from Ireland. She sounds lovely, bonkers but lovely. How do I find these people??!! Or maybe they find me. She talks a lot. Now I talk a lot but not this much, had a conversation with her a couple of days ago and am now communicating via email where possible as fear I will need a small bank loan to pay the bill if I have to call her in france from a mobile (thank god she called me). Because she is irish she has that hard to hear accent where words are pronounced, well, in that Irish 'at least they know what they have just said' way, but because she has been living in Paris so long she mixes up her languages so it certainly makes for an interesting conversation and it is an understatement to say she goes off on a tangent!!!

Here is a snippet of an email she sent me (I wanted to double check that she had no problem with matty staying with me for the first night or 2 when I got there out of politeness and the reply was as follows: my email is first hers is below:

> Message du 30/07/11 00:30
> De : "Karen Duffield"
> A :"
> Copie à :
> Objet : Re: Condé
Brilliant thank you keep me updated, like I have said before my friend is coming with me to help me move so just want to check thats okay with you? he'll only be around for a night or 2 at the most; i promise he is very lovely and house trained.

Karen x

> > >
> > > Karen Duffield
> > > Personal Trainer
> > >
> > > Sirius Personal Training
> > > T: 07766 658942
> > > E:
> > >
> > > Sent from my iPhone

Hi Karen,

On a good -fun note,  what does "house -trained" mean?  I'm getting a bit worried now!!    It puts myself in question; everytime I seem to put everything in its place, No,I'm not quite settled.  I have to draw out some sort of quasi -artistic STUFF (scraps bits and pieces,brocantes; could be anything).   Was very good at Latin though, 85 per cent.
So about Your friend, house-trained, is He a Cat?  I'll arrange to have a small quarry of sand in a corner.  I'd go daft if someone referred to me as 'house-trained' unless I was a newly -born kitten!  Hope Your friend doesn't read your mail.  Oh, Là, Là,

à bientot

I cannot WAIT to meet this woman. She says the other girl who lives there at the moment is 'very busy, always in a hurry and dashing off out....'

Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking ;)

Anyways I've done enough updating for the day, I'm going to head off to Kensington gardens for a walk in the sunshine and then I'm off out for more goodbyes tonight, then tomorrow, then I have a day or 2 off, then more goodbyes in soho, then more goodbyes somewhere else, then I have visitors and then it'll be 3 weeks to go....

I will put myself forward for these things :)

Stay happy x

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