So, it's been a week since my French-ness ceremony, and it was a week filled with lots of tasks and challenges. Which is why I haven't had the mental energy to blog, though I sat down once or twice to try and come up with a decent post.
The best I can do at the moment is give you the snippets of my life from the past week. Which feels pretty much the same as it was BEFORE the French-ness ceremony, when you get right down to it.
I made the appointment for next Tuesday to go and apply for my French passport and the Carte Nationale d'Identité. The former costs 86€ and the latter is free. Tomorrow I'm going to chase down the timbres fiscales for 86€ since you can't go to any of these government agencies and pay in cash, check or bank/credit card. They only accept these fiscal stamps that prove you have paid but at a centralized location. Guess they don't want to bother the other fonctionnaires with handling payments. It's a good system -- for THEM. For the rest of us it means having to find a place that sells the damn stamps. Allegedly some Tabac shops sell them but I have yet to find one that actually does, so I will end up going to the one place I know sells them: the main Préfecture building on Ile de la Cité.
Did I mention the older son and his girl finally found an apartment? (And did you know that in typing the word "apartment" I typed it in French first before realizing my mistake? The French-ness is seeping in...) We went to see it on Sunday and it's adorable. The kitchen needs a bit of work but otherwise I think they'll be quite comfortable there. And they'll be off our couch, where they have spent the vast majority of their nights since June. Believe me, I'm sure they are happy to be going to their own space at last, it can't be easy on them being nomads and living out of suitcases.
Our water heater went berserk last Friday so we had no hot water for several days, and could not get a repairman here with the new part until this past Tuesday. We got some hot water back on Sunday but had to be very careful about taking very short showers, and I ended up boiling water to wash pots and pans. (French dishwashers and washing machines heat their own water so at least we could wash dishes and laundry.) Guess who got to wait around all Tuesday morning for the repair guy? But on the plus side my friend Linda came over with chai tea lattes to keep me company.
I joined a gym; actually I joined a Curves, which most Americans have probably heard of, as well as many of the rest of you, since it's a world-wide fitness franchise for women only. I hadn't realized until recently that it existed in France. I never worked out there in the U.S., but my weight and health has been getting scarier and scarier and I just need to do something. So, yesterday I went for a trial workout session at the Curves at Republique, and I quite liked it as well as the ambiance of the place (Friendly people working there! Great customer service! In FRANCE!) So I signed up. And went back this morning for another workout; will go again tomorrow. My plan is a minimum of 3x a week and I'm going to shoot for 4x a week or more, as often as I can manage it.
All that plus managing & cleaning the rental apartment, and various odd tasks that need doing around the house.
Oh, I have decided to dip my toes, albeit tentatively, into the job market in France for the first time ever. At the moment I prefer not to say much about the specifics of my job search because nothing may come of it, but I will just say two things: First, that my French, which has greatly improved in terms of me living my daily/family life, would be considered downright PITIFUL in a professional sense and will be not at all helpful in landing a job. If the position requires fluent French, they won't even want to look at me as I can't write a complete sentence in French without errors and I still have a lot of difficulty understanding rapid French or French over the phone. Secondly, due to some health issues, I can't really take a job where I will be on my feet all day, either. So I will have an interesting time finding work that will fit my limited skills and personal needs. Oh well, another new chapter in my French life: job hunting!
So, there you have it: where my past week has gone. Hope yours was more interesting (with no major household mishaps!)