16 days in France: 6 thoughts of TAPIF so far

We now interrupt our regular poetry and prose programming with a brief newscast on the banalities of my life in France thus far, in epistolary form plagiarized from an email to my sister:

Hello Dearest BB,

What’s up in my life? Oh dear, really too much to tell you it all! Here goes!

  1. I love my students! They’re energetic, rambunctious, and they do try hard to speak in English. They’re funny and fun-loving and just the right fit for me.
  2. I’m currently looking out of the third-story view from my window. The sky is alternating between cloudless and sunny Los Angeles reminiscent blues, and horribly dramatic cumulus grays dropping rain. Apparently there’s an expression around here: “pleut comme vache qui pisse.” Which roughly means “rain like a cow pi$$ing” lollllllllllll. It’s true though. Every single day giant rain buckets have appeared in the cloudless sky, dumped thunder, lightening, and water from the heavens for a few hours, then disappeared into thin air. Magic.
  3. The town of Bourgoin Jallieu is rather sad in comparison to the big cities like Lyon or Paris, but it’s charm is slowly growing on me. The wild lavender peeking out from the cracks in the sidewalk, the paint peeling off of the shutters, the endless kebab shops, and the absurdly fancy McDonald’s (they serve a “goat cheese wrap” as well as chocolate croissants there). This part of France is really “pays du terroir” (hmmmm, thinking of translation. Kind of like “the place where there’s those good, really earthy, agricultural people of simple tastes.” Everyone dresses much more modestly and casually, the fields are right around the corner, a good number of the students board at the school because they come from little villages that are too far away to commute from every day. It reminds me of rural Texas and the South in some ways. Also, Everyone here says “oui” with a sharp intake of breath like “whehhh!” So at first I thought they were gasping in surprise at something everytime they said “yes.”Fortunately I eventually caught on that everyone does it all the time, which was funny. the land of the easily excited people. 😉
  1. The one thing that bothers me is that I’ve still been unable to locate a piano to play and swing dancing doesn’t exist except in Lyon in the evenings. SinceI don’t want to take the train back to Bourgoin at 2 in the morning by myself, I’m thinking about potential solutions. And still thinking…
  1. I like the people I’m living with. Especially the German assistant, which is funny because she was the one I didn’t even know was coming! Somehow we just click really well. We’re both serious, driven, and logical when we need to be. And then when we don’t need to be we become complete clowns, who poke sly fun of each other, each other’s countries, and basically everything frustrating about our wretched living situation and how complicated it is to start living in a foreign country paperwork-wise. As the youngest, I have been dubbed “le bébé” of our little trio of assistants. And I’m apparently also the crazy one. Come on guys! I was just trying to bring a little laughs to our tiny gray appartment!
  1. I have a week break in one week. And I’m meeting T. in Switzerland for a little romp in the autumn Alps. Sometimes I think I’m living some sort of alternate-reality life, like I’m a doppleganger of Rebekah and I’m just watching her go do crazy things, and eventually I’ll wake up and realize that the whole time I was actually quite normal, living in Houston in a duplex, with a 9-5 job, and a husband and kids. But then again…who’s ever normal?  Maybe it’s OK to be crazy, but please tell me when it’s too crazy.

That’s all for now folks! *crazy Looney Toones farewell music*

I love you as many pages as I’ve had to sign x 1,000,000,000 (and trust me it’s so many I’ve lost count).

Love,

Your Je Je

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