Not sure if that is the exact correct translation for “Christmas in Nice at night,” but I liked the alliteration too much, so I’m sticking with it.
A few weeks ago, a couple friends and I went to a square in town (La Place Massena) to see the annual turning on of the Christmas lights. There was a bit of talking (we weren’t really listening…) over the loudspeaker, everyone counted down from 10 (dix), and then the lights were turned on! They go ALL OUT for Christmas here. Many streets have lights and decorations, nearly every square has HUGE decorations, and there are Christmas markets in La Place Massena, like they do in Germany. The Christmas markets are two rows of little shops selling food, sweets, handmade goods… lots of stuff! It’s always a good place to go to grab a macaron if you have a one-hour break between classes at your school that’s just right down the road… can’t imagine who might have done that many times over the past few weeks. No idea at all.
As I write this, my parents are on their way here!! I am SO excited that I doubt I’ll be able to sleep tonight. Good thing, because I have a lot I want to do yet! I have a to-do list with literally 27 things on it (I just counted) and as of right now only 14 of them are crossed off. I still have the rest of tonight and tomorrow morning though.
Tomorrow I teach from 12-1 and then go pick up my parents at the airport at 2. We’re not spending much time in Nice though; it’s their first trip to Europe, and they want to see as much as they can, so most of the time we’ll be traveling! Luckily my roommate will be here to hold down the fort over break. Because we’ll be gone for nearly two weeks, that means I will most likely be taking a hiatus from blogging during their visit and probably for a few days or a week afterward. I’ll need that time to sort through the millions of photos I”m sure to take, and I might be taking another trip up to Paris to see my friend Chelsea before break is over! If I manage to get a couple of posts written tonight, I’ll probably schedule them to post during the next couple of weeks sometime, but no promises. I have 12 other things on my list to get done 🙂
Or, Kelsey’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
A few weeks have passed since this day, and I think I’ve finally sufficiently recovered in order to write a post about it NOT full of spit and vinegar, like this post ended up being when I wrote it the same day the event happened.
Okay, so all non-EU assistants have to have a medical appointment to validate their visas and receive their carte de séjour, or residency card. But before that, you have to have your long-stay visa, your proof of entering the Schengen Zone, your justicatif de domicile (lease, utility bill, etc.), and a bunch other stuff. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- the paperwork to work in France, particularly for the French government, is insane!! But that wasn’t the issue. I had all the necessary paperwork and once we got there, the appointment went fine. They even had me translate from French to English for an girl who didn’t speak French 🙂 but getting to the appointment was the issue…
In my mass of posts about Germany and London, I got behind on posting recent pics from my life here! Here are a bunch from the last couple of months.
One day back in October, David and I were down near the port with our friend Sam and we took a pic. I thought maybe I had already put this on the blog somewhere, but I couldn’t find it!
You asked for it, you got it! “My teaching duties” had the most votes in the poll at the right (you can still vote, by the way! I’m always adding new options as I think of them!), so it must be what you all want to hear about!
If I had to sum up my experience teaching here in two words, they would be FUN and FRUSTRATING. Teaching the kids is really fun- I’m a welcome change from their normal teacher and subjects, so the students generally like it when I teach, and I get to do a lot of cool topics. For example, recently I’ve done several lessons on Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, it is also frustrating. When I was a student teacher, I felt on top of my game. I knew all my students, I knew exactly when I was going to be in class every day, and I was mostly in charge. Here… it’s pretty much the exact opposite. I do have a weekly schedule, but it’s constantly changing, and I have so many students that it’s basically impossible to learn any of their names, which I hate. Plus, it’s difficult to get to know any of my students or classes well because I’m only with them one hour a week, if that. I’m working on it though, which allows me to tailor lessons to a class’ specific interests and ability level. For example, I know I’ve had at least one class in the past that’s all musicians and dancers… once I figure out which class that was, I would LOVE to do a lesson tying into that, like a Christmas lesson all about music!
Sunset, taken from the courtyard of Massena. The hill in the background is the Chateau.
(Disclaimer: Sorry about the spacing in this post. WordPress hates me.)
While writing my second London post, I went off on a tangent about food I’ve made lately, which made me realize I’d like to share some of the dishes I’ve cooked since I’ve been here! I won’t be doing step-by-step instructions like I did here with the delicious fruit pizza but instead, just listing some of the recipes I use!
Like I’ve mentioned before, I rarely eat at restaurants here. I actually got some street food (socca and a crepe) the other day and also got a snack with some friends at a restaurant the next day, and I felt bad about it! I enjoy cooking and it’s so much less expensive to eat at home, especially here, that I prefer eating at my own apartment or at a friend’s. While I do eat a lot of simple salads with lardons or mashed potatoes with corn (my favorite: MMM!), I also often cook big dishes that I can eat for several days.
Here is a list of some of the food I’ve made lately: if the name of the dish sounds good to you, click it, and it will either take you to the website where I got the recipe, or will jump you down to the written-out recipe in this post!
To catch up on my London trip so far, check out part 1!
The next day, I woke up early (like, 9 am… haha, love my life here) and went to the Tower of London by myself to do my tour.
I took this picture of the Tower the night before on my way to the Tower Bridge. The Tower of London is right next to the Tower Bridge.
Tags: Abbey Road, Big Ben, Chipotle, Crown Jewels, England, English tea, Globe Theater, London, Millennium Bridge, Shakespeare, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Gherkin, the Shard, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey