Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tu me manque

Sorry I haven't been writing for a while.  I think it has been over a week since my last post.  Luckily that is a good thing.  I used to write on here to de-stress, to get out every thing that I am feeling and think through my decision to stay in this country for a year.  So by not writing it means that I am not as stressed, I don't need to complain as much.

But the purpose of this blog is also to update future AJ and my family on what has been happening here.  And there have been some important points I feel like I should mention.  The first one has to do with my bank.  I know I've complained about BNP Parisbas before.  Basically in France you have to prove that you have a house before you can fully open up your account.  Michele (my first host mother) wouldn't get me the paperwork when I was there (which is totally fair considering I was there for about a month) so I was excited to move into my apartment where I could prove that I lived here.  I took in my contract to show them that I lived here.  They said that didn't work. Ok... that is annoying, but I guess I will have to wait for my gas bill.

After the first month, Aliya and I still hadn't received anything from the gas company saying we owed them money or that we even had a contract.  I was getting kind of anxious to open up my account so I could get a good cell phone and the carte ImagineR (cheaper metro pass than what I have).  So finally about two weeks ago, the attestation from the gas company arrived.  So I took it in to BNP really excited to finally be able to open up my account!

I walk in and show them the document.  I figured it should be really simple.  I mean it has my name on the contract and my address, as well as contact info for someone at the gas company that could verify that it was a legit document.  So I go and talk to the receptionist at the bank.  "Hi, I'm here to open my account I started to open two months ago.  Here is my attestation."

Her response.... "Ok, I have to check to see if this will work..."  She catches a banker and all I hear is him say "Non, ça ne marche pas..." "Nope, that won't work." ARE YOU KIDDING?!  I HAD WAITED FOR TWO MONTHS FOR THEM TO TELL ME THAT I STILL COULDN'T OPEN MY ACOUNT??!!?!

I think the first thing I said (in english, becuase before I was speaking french to the lady) was "OH MY GOD."  Then I told her that I just wanted to close my account.  She said that if I had a gas bill or electric bill it could work, but at that point I was blinded by rage and all I could say is "Je veux fermer mon compte" - I want to close my account.  I have to say its probably a good thing that French is not my first language because considering the level of frustration had I known how to swear in French I probably would have...

So I am without a French bank account.  Next week I am going to a different bank and try to open up an account.  I have heard that Socité Géneral is a lot easier to use.  I am going to go with them.  Let's hope that I can actually open it up.

That was last week.  And really that was the only major thing that happened to me last week.  Nicki and Maddy left, and Aliya's family friend Winnie was staying with us.  Winnie was really cool.  She pretty much just spent her days walking around Paris on her own because Aliya was in class/ not feeling well/ doing homework.  But now she has left too.  It is weird having our living room back.  I forgot how much space our apartment actually has.

Yesterday though, I had a little panic attack.  Remember that Law class that I hate?  So we have to do a Revue D'Actualité and an Étude de Jurisprudence (a press review of some legal decision in the news, and an essay on some kind of legal decision) which are due week nine and week ten.  I was all set to turn in my Revue this monday.  I actually had finished it Sunday afternoon, so I was feeling good about myself.  Then I get to class...

Turns out I got my dates mixed up.  Week nine was last week and this week was week ten.  My stomach dropped and that all so familiar feeling of wanting to vomit came back.  Boy, how I missed it...

I was freaking out for two hours, before I could tell my professor what happened and why I had messed up.  I e-mailed her at the beginning of class as well.  I waited after class to talk to her, but I had to go to my other course that started fifteen minutes after.  So I got up to her and waited.  I was first in line.  That doesn't mean much to the French.  I ended up waiting about twenty minutes to talk to her.  When I did, she seemed a little nice, but it was definitely one of those things where if I kept trying to explain she would have just gotten annoyed with me.

But she did respond to my e-mail.  I told her that I was really sorry and I got confused and that life in France was super stressful for me.  She literally said not to worry, breathe deeply and just try to "finish the semester beautifully."  I feel like I need to buy her a present or something.  It was the best thing she possibly could have said to me.  So luckily I get to turn in the Étude de Jurisprudence on Monday.

So those are everything exciting that happened to me between now and the last blog post.  That and my Normandy trip, but I'm going to write a specific blog post just on Normandy.  Hopefully I'll do that later today.

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