And we’re into week two of my stay in France. (What?)
This last week and a half has been a blur of touring the collèges (middle schools) where I’ll be acting as an English teaching assistant, meeting the twenty or so teachers with whom I’ll be working as well as some of the students, relocating my two immense bags from one couch to the next, meeting other assistants, getting lost in Lille and its suburbs, touring potential apartments, setting up a French bank account, registering with immigration, and sorting through (MORE) paperwork.
But, today, it’s Saturday. And while Sunday is truly the day of rest in this country, I decided to take today to hang around the house, catch up on correspondence, and read. It’s a perfect day for relaxed, cat-like behavior in Baisieux, a small town conveniently sandwiched between Lille and the Franco-Belgian border. A slow drizzle peppers my window, and the mute sounds of cars and feet splashing through puddles outside mingle with the dull crashes of pots, pans, and various utensils being pulled out and tossed around in the process of dinner preparation downstairs.
After spending the majority of my first week and a half wandering around Lille, and meeting various locals, and with my initial disorientation waning, I’ve begun to feel comfortable in this northern city. I actually gave someone directions yesterday when I was in Lille, which was a small victory for me. Now, my biggest priorities are: finding a more permanent place to live until April, and getting insurance. As the assistants don’t actually begin work until the first of October, I have all the time I need to accomplish the more practical (and scarily adult-like) items on my list, and, additionally, to continue exploring this beautiful region.