a random list of things comin atcha from fr, i guess
08.10.19 | 7:51 pm

i am going to word vomit a lot of the things i've been thinking or experiencing lately just so i have it written down to remember.


this week has been a bit difficult.

yesterday, i lost my wallet. or i was pickpocketed. i'm not sure which, to be honest. but i have reason to believe it was stolen (and i suppose i would gravitate towards the option where i have the least fault).

it's not so bad: all my cards have been canceled (before anything was used), and i only had maybe 10 euro. my license is gone.

but i still have 400 euros in cash in my apartment, so i'm still fine for a while.


i've met a lot of people so far. from tinder (hah):

1) vincent, who is 25 and very sweet and who helped me fill out my housing assistance application because he works for that program. he bought me wine, he bought me food, sometimes he comes over and we watch movies and he puts his arm around me and kisses the top of my head. he's very sweet.

2) edgar, who i met on sunday and who is 31 and very cute and has big, beautiful hands. we spent four or five hours together but we talked a lot in english (he lived in scotland for a while so his english is quite good). (when i realize people speak english, and that people speak better english than i speak french, i become quite intimidated and fall back more on english than i should.) i believe we will see each other again.

3) jean yoh, who lives in arles and wants to show me around there. we walked around avignon for a few hours and had a drink. he is learning english for his job.

4) jean-francois, who is the first french person i met on my own. i felt so proud of myself that first week for speaking in french only for nearly 5 hours with him. he took me to ikea, and bought me a huge french dinner, and wine, and he's very sweet.

not exactly 5) i continue to talk to matthieu, who i talked to for much of the summer. but we have not yet met. and i don't know that we will before the tram is completed, because he lives down in argo (5 minutes away) and the buses stop a bit early. but i'd really like to. he's been so helpful and lovely and encouraging, and if nothing else, i'd appreciate being his friend.

a few things i find interesting: on tinder i often get the question of what i'm searching for on there. at home, that is usually an indication that someone just wants to fuck. here, they all follow it up with how they're looking for something serious. is that for real? i don't know. yet. i guess.


i've also met a lot of people through work:

1) angela, who is the italian assistant. she's 26 and we work at the same schools, so we see each other and we eat lunch together. her french is immaculate. i want to speak in french to her but she also speaks english (among other languages), so we often just fall into english because my french is so slow in comparison. truly she is lovely.

2) eugenie, who works in the vie scolaire, and who invited me to karaoke with other people from our school on friday.

3) all of my colleagues, who are wonderful, and try to talk to me in french sometimes even though they're so fast and i don't know what they're saying.

4) the other assistants that i wrote about before, but who did not really answer me when i tried to get people together last friday until 10pm (hello!! i'm almost 30!! that is too late to know whether or not i'm going to even go out!!).


navigating the english/french thing is interesting. sometimes, even when people speak little english, they will hear my accent or see me struggle a bit (which is normal and needs to happen) and they will immediately switch to english. they are trying to help me, and be nice, but it is not what i need.

and i find that when i know someone is proficient in both languages, i get embarrassed trying to speak french because i know my level is poor. i need to get over this. i really, really need to get over this if i want to improve.

i need to listen to more french podcasts and music, and i need to watch more french movies and youtube videos. i need to pay more attention when people around me are talking to each other (and not to me).

i want to come out of this thoroughly improved. i want to carry my own.

but some days it's so hard and so self-defeating.

i go from one moment of feeling like i suck (super nervous to even come close to talking to someone in the faculty room), to feeling competent (having a conversation with a fellow colleague who compliments my french), to feeling like i suck (when one of my colleagues tries to talk in french to me and then switches to english), to feeling confident (when i talk to certain friends like farid, who i understand perfectly without problem even on the phone!).


oh, farid.

have i talked about farid?

i met farid on a language learning app. he is beautiful. olive skin, nice glasses, big nose, huge lips. he's lovely.

when we started talking, he was still living in paris (he is from there, just outside it anyway). but his company decided to move him to canada, to montreal, and so he needed to also learn and practice english. and since i was moving to france, it made sense that we clicked, i suppose. we had that fear in common.

while i was still at home, we started messaging each other and eventually just sending voice messages to each other. and we would laugh at the beginning of each message at what the other had said previously. and sometimes we would compliment each other. une belle voix. so cute. t'es charmante comme ca.

when i moved, and was settling here, we started talking more -- we were on the same time zone, after all, merely three hours away by train.

so we talked.

a lot.

we even talked on the phone, switching back from french and english. (essentially my dream.)

he would tell me, "tu peux pas rigoler comme ca -- si tu rigoles, je rigole." you can't laugh like that -- if you laugh, i laugh.

he would tell me, "tu as une belle voix, un bel accent." you have a beautiful voice, a beautiful accent.

and when something happens that's disappointing, or when i message him freaking out about how i can't understand anyone but him in french -- how i can understand everything he says, only him, but no one else -- he says "ma pauvre" and continues to tell me how it's going to be fine, he knows how it feels, he is in the same boat.

he's in canada now. he's been there for, what? five days? on the day he left for the airport, he sent me a picture of himself in the taxi on his way there. a bit apprehensive, but ready, perhaps. and then he sent me a picture of his water bottle, his meal, the tv screen in front of his seat. and i sent him voice messages telling him it's a brand new adventure, it's going to be amazing, don't be too scared. it's the same for me, i tell him. i know how you feel. it's going to be fine.

i know nothing can come of it.

we all know that.

but still.

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