Le sigh. I would be remiss if I were to only blog about the good stuff.
Dave is at his first day of school and let me tell you something: it is lonely here!
Yesterday was a day full of highs and lows. I should start by saying my biggest fears with this whole moving to France thing was the fact that neither of us have an income (read: adjusting to a student budget & lifestyle) as well as what I would be doing with myself all day while he was at school. The language barrier, while frightening, seemed surmountable.
We woke up on Wednesday, Dave’s last day of summer vacation, if you will, and decided to make that trip to the zoo. Come to find out, the zoo here is a free park. You just walk right in and look at the animals. There is a parking fee but not when you take public transportation to get there! It was overcast all of yesterday, but not too chilly so we figured we would have good luck seeing the animals and off we went.
Now, let me backtrack just a minute. I’m used to the conveniences of home. Mostly that means that if I want to go somewhere, at a certain time, I get in my car and I drive there. There is no waiting on buses or trams and there is a very limited amount of walking involved with reaching my destination. But since we’ve been doing nothing but exploring our new city sans car, walking is all we’ve been doing and I’m not always so fond of it. It may make me sound like an out-of-shape lazy person, but it’s really my impatience more than anything else. I want to get where I’m going, period. To be honest, it’s a curse. Luckily, I’m not always in a hurry to reach my destination but yesterday I was over the walking.
After a long hike to the zoo (mostly because we didn’t know where we were going and of course we missed our bus stop and of course the next stop was waaaaay down the road even though the rest of the stops were about five feet apart), I snapped out of my mood and enjoyed the animals.
The park is huge, with a “green area” running trail that skirts around the south-eastern border or the park. Some even opted to run through the park, which seemed odd to this American, but upon further review, why wouldn’t you do that?
After getting back on the tram around 2pm, we were starting to get hungry and the trams were crowded, so we got off on a different stop, thinking it was probably about the same distance to our place as our normal stop. And it probably was. But it was uphill. This city is very hilly in general— a poor man’s San Francisco, in that regard. And I was not in the mood to walk anymore. I huffed and puffed (literally…it was a big hill) all the way to our front door where I just flopped on the bed. I was defeated by my new city, the fact that I was just surrounded by people speaking a language where I had no idea what was being said, the fact that I relied heavily on Dave to communicate and for dealing with our finances since our bank cards haven’t arrived yet. And the fact that I wasn’t able to hide from it all in the comfort of my own surroundings. Rather, I had a mattress that is as stiff as a board and a pillow that I swear is made of tissue paper that smashes down to nothing when you put your head on it.
I have always been independent. I think I was balancing my own checkbook when I was 12. I haven’t ever been beholden to anyone before. It’s not easy. Even when it’s someone you love.
He flopped down beside me and let me have a good cry to get it out of my system. He told me he knows this whole transition isn’t easy but if it was any consolation, I’d always have him as my teammate to combat the tough parts about this move. It was.
He’s good. I’m mostly good, and almost all the way there. I’m looking forward to meeting some ex-pat bloggers who will be getting together for lunch on October 13 and invited me along. As long as I don’t watch episodes of Parenthood before I go to bed, I’ll survive. Specifically the episodes where the daughter goes off to college and has to say goodbye to her parents at the airport. That was a dumb idea to watch that yesterday.
So this morning, all by my lonesome, I got dressed, managed to order a croissant at our usual place, where I feel like the lady is aware that I don’t know what I’m saying and has mercy on me and uses hand gestures when she asks me questions in French. Then I ordered a café au lait from another place around the corner where I like the coffee better. That wasn’t as smooth (mostly because I keep saying ‘por favor’ instead of s’il vous plaît…ugh).
Then as I sipped my coffee, I pulled out my Ultimate French Review & Practice book and began conjugating more verbs.
I’m getting there, all right, but it isn’t always baguettes and fromage around here. But I’ll be ok. I’ve got a pretty good teammate, after all.
In other news, look at the cute animals!
click image for gallery: