Saturday, October 6, 2007

Finally in France

So, here I am again in France. This after heading to Minneapolis to spend a few days with my friend Rachel there. We rode bikes and drank PBR, and just kinda soaked in the vibe that Minneapolis gives off. I also got to have dinner with my friend from back in the Time for Peace days, Omar. We had sparkling conversation as always.

I got to the airport early, and met a guy that was going to Iceland (I flew with Icelandair, so had an hour layover there). He lives there, and when I go back at the end of my time here in France, he said he would take me around Reykjavik. After a long, long flight that went through Iceland - which is apparently populated by supermodels of both sexes - I arrived in Paris, which, alas, is only populated by Parisians. I took the train from Charles de Gaulle to another station, sat around with all of my crap for a couple of hours and then got on a train to here.

By the time I got to Morlaix, I'd been up for something like 30 hours and was surprised that I could still understand and speak French decently enough with the teacher that picked me up at the train station. She showed me my room, and was so kind as to have already purchased some food for me to eat the next morning.

I won't go into detail about every day since then, but here's a summary of what it's like in Morlaix, at Lycée Tristan Corbière: I live with two other guys, one from Louisiana, the other from Barcelona. We get along beautifully, and they are great roomates. The guy from Barcelona is teaching us a little Catalan, and we will all be sitting in on classes in Breizh, which is a Celtic language that a lot of people in Brittany speak. There also is another assistant from Nova Scotia, so we make fun of her accent and the way she says "eh" all of the time. She happens to be Lebanese as well as Canadian, so I now have the chance again to practice a little Arabic if I'm not lazy.

The apartment is pretty rad this time 'round. Though Evan (the Louisiana guy) lives in the living room, Josep and I have our own rooms. We have a stove!! A real one with an oven!! And a whole kitchen!! All of these things are luxurious compared to my cell last time with the one hotplate. The school is a bit old and rundown, but all of the teachers are über-nice and welcoming. We've had a couple of little meet and greet lunches already, and we only start teaching on Monday. The students, as compared to last time, are a little lower in their level of English, but this is only because this is a school that specializes in technical stuff, rather than the humanities. This means I will have to speak slower and work harder, but I think I can handle it.

As with last time, the paperwork is a pain in the ass. I at least already had a bank account, and just used my phone from last time, too. But all of the other stuff has been a nightmare, with a lot of different answers from different people and running around and waiting and photocopying my passport a zillion times.

The region is nice, though always wet. It's verdant, and kinda gray, but being right by the ocean will make the winter pretty warm. I'll have more to write when my head is not spinning from being sick (I think I have the flu or a cold or something...). But wanted to let all two people that read this that I am alive, and happy to be back once again in the land of plentiful wine and baguettes.


kula said...

Ah, baguettes. There are times when I think I could live on baguettes, grapes, almonds and some cheese. I envy you --- apparently Michigan thinks it is the middle of July again.

One of these days I'll send you a pack of haiku zines.

Robert said...

I guess that makes me reader number two. Glad you made it there intact, and that you have proper cooking equipment. Looking forward to perhaps a future post about food... I am curious how you will resist the allure of the buckwheat crepe.


Anonymous said...

Crap! I'm #3....I wanted to be #1!!! Oh Nick I'm sorry to hear you are sick. I'm sure you contracted something airborne on the plane. (Sounds like something your Grandma would say)

Your roomies sound awesome. Have you told them your Mom is planning to visit next year? Be sure and stock up on that cheap wine. Will we see pics anytime soon? I can't wait!! Is pan au raisen or au chocolat in your diet???? Have one for me and Angela. OK?

Take care. I miss you bunches. Mommadoo.