A day was lost in travel and having started the journey last Wednesday, today; is shy one day of being here a week. It marks the first of many days alone I’ll have. This was never an issue at home, I did lots of things by myself. The simplest of tasks have become daunting. I wanted to help Claude prepare for his first day at work. His Suits made the move well enough but he shirts were pretty wrinkled. We have an iron; it was inherited by the previous tenant as much of our possessions are. One would think ironing a shirt would be an easy enough task, until you try to read the settings. First I couldn’t figure out how to add water. Then, how to turn it on till finally I handed to him like a baby done with a bottle.
This independent woman has been demoted to a child in one quick moment of good intention. Then I tried figuring out the washing machine. Clothes have been piling up and it already smells bad in the apartment without that addition. Claude translated the settings, and explained what metric line the detergent needed to be filled to. Since he needed to leave for work shortly after the first wash was started, I became very conscious that the brain cells i killed off prior to leaving the states could really have come into good use now. The challenge here is that it is a combo washer dryer all in one unit, that I have not seen in the United States. It took me approximately 7 hours to do two loads that were rewashed several times by mistake.
Last night’s run to Ikea was helpful except that I have no tools. I used to like the fact that Ikea included everything, but i guess they didn’t want to accommodate this time. I managed to get as much into place as possible before a cousin came to the rescue with a screw driver. Since I wasn’t able to read the Ikea signs well enough, it seems that I have not brought home a crucial box needed to complete the project. The Ikea is not conveniently located to any metro line, Marcos was kind enough to bring us and I’m sure he is starting to realize that it was a mistake to tell us he was free to help us whenever we needed him. Betting he will start to be “busy” by next week.
I waited all day for the cable man. He never came. Silver lining…All the shirts have been ironed, the fridge is full of home cooked food and new artwork hung in the bedroom. The Internet has been a huge issue from the get go. We made the appointments for it before we left California, knowing we would be needing it. Thankfully we downloaded several episodes of The Blacklist to watch before bed, but I need to use Claude’s phone as a hotspot in order to get the computer working.
As much as i dislike being trapped in my tower here in Maisons Alfort, I did get a lot done and this will allow me to be gone more when school starts. Tomorrow we will have to go to the offices of the company since they don’t allow you to call or email. This of course means a reschedule and waiting around for them again. Maybe Ill get paint for that day. The walls could use some love.
I am always eager to leave in the mornings. It is the hardest part of the day for me as it is when I spend the most time in the bathroom. My least favorite place in France. Thus the trip to Ikea for the cabinet that should hide some of the pipes and broken tiles.
I suppose I better explain the work situation a bit more in regards to Claude and myself. I forget that talking to myself isn’t the same as telling others what’s going on. He is keeping a few balls in the air while making the final choice on the new place he will work. All three are very promising, but have different pluses and minuses. Today he starts the first job. The second one is set to begin next week when he will know if he is happy with the one today. The last of the trifecta is the gold key, where he interviews on Friday. Until it is a done deal we are keeping names and details under wraps.
For me it is simpler. I continue to provide weaker than usual support for my loved Opendoor in San Francisco, who has graciously allowed me to keep working as a contractor remotely. I have been eager for Claude to start work so I could devote more time to them, but I also hate when he is gone. School starts next Monday and it very intense. 4 hours a day 5 days a week and homework. I am a bit nervous and excited. I just hope that I don’t scare the other students that speak English with my desire to be their best friend so I can share my journey.
I am eager to be able to communicate. I feel rude when people speak to me and I have no clue how to react. I’m sure if I rehears a line like, “sorry I don’t speak French,“ it would be fine, but I long to fit in, and not appear be the self-centered American I am. Claude and his family often forget that I cannot understand very much and speak so quickly that I start to nod off as they ask my opinion. The fact that my body is still not acclimated to the time change isn’t helpful. I’m sure they think I have narcolepsy.