Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Je ne pleurerai pas de nouveau

So I am in a great mood writing this, which is really surprising considering the shit-fest (pardon my french... no pun intended) I had yesterday.  But first, let me explain to you the perfect cherry on top of that steaming pile that was yesterday.

In order to understand why what happened happened, you need to be aware of a few things about France.  This is the country of museums.  It seems that around every turn there is a museum.  And being so culturally aware as they are here in France, they have a policy that at most of the major national museums/monuments if you are a resident of the EU you get in for free.  What is even better, is that if you are in possession of a student visa, you get temporary residency status here.  So I can get into those museums for free too!

This last weekend, my friend Julie (from SB) and I decided to go around and go to some cultural sites.  I told her to bring her visa and I brought mine.  Turns out we didn't need them.  So I just left my passport (my visa is in my passport) in my pants pocket.  Last night I asked Michele if I could do some laundry.  She said of course, and that it was no problem.  It wasn't until 10:46PM last night, when I hear a tap tap tap on my door.  Michele peaks her head in and shows me my passport, which I had just put through the wash at 140 degrees.

The front cover is warped so bad I don't think I can fit it in my pocket.  The back page and lamination are separating.  But, and this is the weird part, the actual pages, including my visa and my entry stamp are perfectly fine.  The page with all of my info on it looks brand new.  I don't know what to do!  I figure the safe thing to do would be to go to the US Embassy here and show them and ask them what to do.

Ok, now that I told you how my worst day in Paris ended, I figure I should let you know that I am in much better spirits now.  I still don't know where I'll be living in two weeks, or what I am going to do when I have my presentation in French, but I won't let that worry me.

For the living thing, I have found two other people in my situation.  One is living at La Cité Universitaire and the other has been living in a hotel since she got to Paris, three weeks ago.  The three of us are looking.  I cannot tell you how nice it is to feel like I am not doing ALL the work anymore.  But we have ten days.  We will get it done.

As far as the whole french thing, I have gotten to the point (when not talking about foreign legal systems) that I can pretty much understand what is said to me.  I can make and respond to phone calls in French and I can get directions to anywhere.  So I am progressing.  But I do think to give me the confidence boost I need, I am going to try to find a tutor.  Someone who will let me read aloud to them and make sure I completely understand my work.

But like I said before, I can do this!

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