Friday, September 30, 2011

that time i almost got arrested in france...

living in a high school kind of stinks. it's definitely interesting. my room is so small. i have a bed, a desk, a dresser, and a sink in my room and share the shower and bathroom with the other people on the hall. the bed is SO uncomfortable. there are about 300 of the 1000 students that go to school here that live here. the first night they pulled the fire alarm 5 times. my sink leaks and even though i've told a few people about it, no one seems to fix it. the shower is the most awful thing i've ever experienced. it basically just sprays water in every direction except for down. it floods the whole shower room every time someone uses it. there is one computer lab in the school. NO WIFI. kill me. i thought the lab would be easily accessible. wrong. it's only open one hour a day..from 5:30-6:30. we've kind of been a bit persistant about using it so the man at the front desk opened it for us after we ate dinner tonight..but it's closed all weekend. so we found out mcdonalds has free wifi. dear mcdonalds..i hated you in america but love you in france. the food in the cafeteria here is really cheap--2 euros for lunch and dinner and 90 cents for breakfast. the meals are HUGE. i really need to be careful how much i eat or i'm going to gain 75 pounds by the time i leave.

i went into perenchies today which is the town where my other school is. it was supposed to be really easy to get to. take the train and it's a 5 minute ride. well, i got to the train station in armentieres earlier than i needed to get there (i'm never early for anything) and so i went ahead and took an earlier train that left at 10:00. except the train i took was nonstop to lille and didn't stop in perenchies. so i got to the main trainstation in lille at 10:15 and the next train to perenchies was at 12:15. my meeting in perenchies was at 11:00. panicking. i had to take the metro then take a bus the rest of the way. i got my metro ticket, and the booths to stamp your ticket in this station were different than the ones i was used to using in paris, and i guess i didn't put it in far enough, so it didn't stamp. i didn't really have time to ask around to make sure i was doing it right so i figured i'd just go ahead and get on the metro. um. huge mistake. these people got on about halfway through my ride that are similar to police to check everyones tickets. they of course don't speak any english (it seems no one here does) and they made me get off the metro and thankfully he just walked me over to the thing to stamp my ticket to make sure that i really had bought it that day and let me get back on. i was petrified. i really thought i was going to get in trouble with them. wah arrested in france, just my luck. i got off the metro and onto the bus and somehow was only 5 minutes late to my meeting. i met with the english teachers and observed a class. the kids are really cute. they asked me tons of questions, but mainly just want to know how old i am. everyone here is practically obsessed with new york. they all just assume that i've been there. the kids figured out how old i was by asking how old i was when 9/11 happened. tricky little monsters.

i had lunch with the teachers in perenchies. i'm glad that my time is split up evenly, i like it in perenchies a lot. for now i'll be spending 6 hours a day there on tuesdays there. one of  the english teachers there and she dropped me off at the train station when we were finished today (at 1:30) and asked if i wanted her to wait with me. i said no because i figured that the trains were frequent, or at least every 30 minutes or so. boy was i wrong (again). the next train to armentieres wasn't until 3:55. so i went to the supermarket and bought some cereal and nutella for this weekend. i just stayed close to be sure i wouldn't miss another train. when i got back i did mysore ashtanga in my room for the first time. i haven't been able to practice since i got here, so it was nice to be on my mat again. one of the administrators at my school in armentieres said that he and his wife run on the weekends and he invited me to go with them. although noone speaks english here, everyone is really welcoming and wants to be sure i'm getting settled okay.

since i'll be teaching tuesdays in perenchies for 6 hours, i may see if i can do 3 hours on wednesdays and thursdays in armentieres and then i'd have off mondays and fridays which will make travel a bit easier. i am going to start looking into places i want to visit and rail passes, etc.

tomorrow i'm going into lille with the other assistants to walk around and have lunch and dinner since the high school shuts down on weekends and we have to fend for ourselves for meals.

maybe one day i'll post my pictures.

that's all for now. i didn't get was a good day.

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