to bed and hitting the books

After this point, i’ve lost track of the days, except for some anchors I have for this last week.

Monday we had a meeting in the afternoon about how the French academic system works. while I was waiting for it to start, I made some phone calls to people who had open apartments and made rendez-vous with them. the one I saw that night was PERFECT, but the lady wouldn’t let me say yes until I called her in the morning after talking with my parents. so, the next morning I called and told her I wanted it and she said I could move in right away. fortunately, it’s all no-nonsense; I pay the rent with all charges included. the only paperwork we did was me getting a signed paper saying I do indeed live here, and I gave her a copy of my ID.

Tuesday, I started to move in; that is, I took my big suitcase over in the evening and picked up my keys. earlier in the morning, we had a rendez-vous to get our “timbres fiscaux” for the carte de séjour (residence permit, I think) allowing us to stay for more than 3 months in france. I think after that i hung out with zoe, juan, and Samantha for a lovely, long, and very Lyonnais lunch. then it was off to two h&m’s, rue de la Ré (short for république) for printemps (the macy’s/bloomingdale’s of france but better) and public restrooms. plus, it was pretty. just being out in the nice weather was enough to get me all relaxed and excited.

Wednesday was the day of the placement test. I don’t remember what I did afterward, but it probably involved bread. i think i moved in all the way, making two metro trips to my place. see pictures. i live with a lady and two french boys who are in lycée (kinda like junior college i think?).

the room :)

the view from my balcony:

On thusday, we had to show up at 8am to find out what level we placed in. I placed in level 7, which is the best. I have no idea how I did it unless I’m just very strong in writing despite my inability to understand and reply to what people say to me (I almost always ask them to repeat themselves). my classes start at 10am for the next week and a half, thankfully. however, it is still 6 straight hours of class with one or two 15-minute breaks. that means I have to buy my lunch ahead of time. at least the classes are stimulating and the instructors are energetic and innovative. on my way back, I went to the mall thing by where I live, but it was an absolute nightmare trying to find what I was looking for in the madness of everyone getting off work. I did walk out with some food and a notebook, so that’s enough of an accomplishment, I think.

and alas, Friday, today. I found that my commute is much shorter than I originally thought because I was doing it wrong. I was walking 5 minutes north to the only metro station I knew instead of walking 5 to the giant has-everything-including-a-mall station. madame kindly showed me how to get around this morning :) my writing instructor is rather monotone for being French, and he talked about syntax; talk about instant turn-offs. I do get to write a piece on a city I know well, so I think I might write it on Arlington. or maybe redding because I have to focus on positive aspects.

I’ve been to 3 h&m’s here and they’re all awesome! I got a dress and a skirt today because they looked amazing on me and they were pretty cheap. I’ve had a hard time with sizing, but it seems that I’m a size 40 (US10), not a size up like I thought. I still don’t know my pants size because I tried on the equivalent today and they didn’t fit so well. however, it could have just been the cut or that they were meant to be tight. no, I have not actually lost weight, but I’m at a different latitude so gravity is different here (just kidding! but really..) what I mean to say is that I’ve been bloaty so I may be packing a few pounds of water weight and therefore have lost 3-5 pounds. however, I’m still EXACTLY at my set-weight, even though I’m reading it in kilos. the body is an amazing machine. so much bread, yet so much walking.

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