Hey all! I know I said a post about Paris was going to be next, but I’m interrupting the surely-super-long stream of posts about my parents’ visit to do one about my day yesterday. Regularly scheduled posting will recommence soon, but this post is timely due to the date today… but I’ll get to that!
Yesterday, both me and my friend Amanda who is also an assistant didn’t have any classes. We decided to get lunch, and I said I would come to Antibes, the small town about 13 miles southwest of Nice along the coast where she lives. Have I mentioned I love the train system here? It was a 4-euro, 20-minute train ride to get there. Amazing.
To rewind a tad: the past week or so I have been looking into places to get my hair cut. For a long time now I’ve been planning on eventually donating my hair to a company that makes wigs for people who have lost their hair for one reason or another, either Locks of Love or Pantene Beautiful Lengths. There are pros and cons to each, but I’ll let you do your own research if that’s something you’re interested in. I’ve got a class to get to! Later I’ll explain why I chose the company I did.
Okay so I was debating going to a French-speaking place or an English-speaking place to get my hair cut. Going to a French-speaking would be a good experience and would help me practice my French, of course, but with getting a mass amount of hair cut off I was nervous to try to explain what I wanted (and why I was saving my hair) in French. However, the one English-speaking place I found in Nice was more expensive, waaaay more than I’m used to paying… heck, the French-speaking place was more than I wanted to pay too; in the States I’m a $5 cosmetology school/Great Clips kinda girl, but I guess when in France…!
When in France, wear an awesome towel on your head.
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…
Okay, I know you all want to hear about my time in France so far, but I had this post started and I like things in chronological order so you get this one first 🙂 I’m working on posts about Paris and my apartment though! Coming soon… stay posted!
Summer started with Julie and ME moving out of the apartment we shared for a year.
1. Traffic getting there
My appointment was at 3:30 at the French consulate, which in the heart of downtown Chicago. I was planning on leaving work at 2 since I only work 30 miles away from the city, but my director convinced me that I needed to leave earlier to make sure I had enough time to get there and find the place and park and such. I was glad he did! The interstate I took down to the city wasn’t too bad but there were a few spots where I was crawling. And this was at 1:30 in the afternoon! Rush hour is about a million times worse. Once it took me two hours just to get through the city. Not fun.
2. Driving downtown
As I got into downtown the traffic just got worse. Adding to the tons of cars were pedestrians and crazy fearless bikers that ride in the street without helmets (why is the bike lane between two car lanes??) and one-way streets and construction and street closings for Lollapalooza. I learned that it’s basically impossible to turn because of the pedestrians crossing the street, so that was fun. I was also driving when someone drifted into my lane and scraped the side of my car. Don’t worry, it wasn’t bad; my car didn’t even swerve or anything, I basically just heard it and honked. The guy then sped off. Classy, Chicago. Enjoy the paint the Silver Rocket surely left on your shiny black Altima.
Categories: Preparations, Storytime
Tags: Chicago, city, downtown, driving, France, French, Ilinois, list, TAPIF, visa
(I warned you all in my about me that sometimes I will include random posts of things that happen to me. Here goes.)
This morning started out kinda rough. I stumbled out of bed at 6:14 AM (half an hour after my alarm went off… ahem), then not only had to get dressed and ready for work (a challenge enough on a day like today) but I also had to finish packing for my weekend at my parents’ for my cousin Melissa’s wedding and make sure I had everything I needed to fully participate in the wedding festivities (you know, strapless bra, eyeshadow, all that stuff I usually don’t mess with).
I finally got my 4 bags (not an exaggeration) and dress out to the car when I realized my keys were somewhere in my purse and I had exactly 0 hands free to dig them out (because let’s be honest, no way am I taking two trips out to the car when I can carry all my crap like a packhorse). I piled all my stuff on the hood of my car and rummaged through the approximately 27 compartments in my purse. No keys. I figured they might be up in my room, so I went back in the house. Nope. I searched through my purse again before finally admitting to myself that they weren’t there. I then had the brilliant idea to see if I had left them in the car, and sure enough, I see them dangling from the ignition just taunting me.
It’s been quite the journey getting to this point, of FINALLY being accepted to the program in France. As I mentioned in my “France here I come!” post, I applied for this program back in November, but it was a process getting to the point of deciding to apply and filling out the whole application, so I thought I’d do a post about just how I came to have a desire to go to France and how I decided to apply for this particular program. There’s a lot I could say about this, so I’ll try my best to be concise 🙂 no promises though. I am an English major, after all.
I started studying French my sophomore year of high school, and continued it throughout my remaining years; my senior year, there was a conflict between French III and some other class I had to take, because they were each only offered one period a day, so I took it as an independent study. I didn’t have a huge passion for French or France at this time; I just knew that I liked French, it came easily to me, and I needed three years to get in to a lot of colleges.