Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Day 10- 1/18
Today was an extremely exhausting day. I woke up at 7:30, had breakfast, then had to throw all my stuff in my suitcases because check out was at 10 and I had to be at the Fac at 10. I went to the Fac for the class orientation. That was interesting. I basically found out that I can pretty much take whatever I want. Although if I wanted the “Diplôme” I’d have to take specific required classes. I decided not to because I’d rather take about half CFLE classes (classes for foreign students) and half direct exchange. I went to lunch with Caroline and Lucille. We had crepes for super cheap. That’s a nice change after the weekend in Paris. I met with Sylvie afterward to discuss what classes I’ll take. I’ll take an oral comprehension class, a French culture class, a speaking class, a German class or 2, translation classes, and hopefully a sculpture class. Caroline has been a godsend today. She took me to the bank to get some paperwork for moving into Roche d’Argent. We went to Roche d’Argent, and I had to sign a lot of papers with this secretary guy that I could hardly understand. He has some sort of speech impediment or just mumbles terribly. This did NOT put me at ease as I was trying to sign important documents in another language. He mumbled something then said something about paying either 400 euros or 900 euros, and I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. I had assumed I had to pay nothing since it all should have already been taken care of. Caroline called Sylvie and she talked to him and set him straight. It was like magic. He was ready to make me pay a full month’s rent plus deposit. I needed pay a little more than 300 euros, which was deposit and half month’s rent. This was a little unexpected and Caroline helped me about in paying and I absolutely intend on paying her back as soon as I can. He also gave me an “état des lieux” form, where I need to go around my room and mark anything that’s damaged. I’ve done that before and I forget what it’s called in English. The problem is I don’t think I posses the vocabulary to be able to effectively fill out the sheet, so I need to have a “femme de ménage” (cleaning lady) go through it with me. I found out I needed some sort of proof of something from the bank, so we went back. It also turns out that I couldn’t yet get my bankcard because they sent my pin to Roche d’Argent before I arrived, and Roche d’Argent didn’t have it. I had to re-request it, and in a few days when I receive it, I’ll have to go back to the bank and give them the pin and they’ll activate and give me my card. So much more complicated than necessary but I’m learning that’s pretty common with anything in France. We went back to the Espace Kennedy where I got my stuff (they kept it locked in a room for me during the day until I could pick it up). With a lot of effort, we brought my stuff to my new place. I really really like it. I have a huge long desk, and nice big window with a really nice view, and closer, lots of shelves, and my own bathroom, which is unfortunately no bigger than a train bathroom. It literally seems like it’s about 3.5 x 4.5” big, maybe even smaller. But I’ll live. The bus that comes by here fortunately goes right to downtown (only 2 stops away) and in the other direction goes directly to the university, so getting around is very easy. I live next to Cathedrale Saint-Pierre, which I wasn’t aware of when I was there the other day. I also live next to Baptistère Saint-Jean, a church that was built in 360 (no, that’s not a typo… not 1360… 360). I need to go visit it sometime. Once I got back, Caroline let me use her Ethernet cord and I was catching up on internet stuff till 2 am.