neuf vies


Dave Nathanson, my grandfather, was summoned to the by the local Mafia during prohibition and told to stop bootlegging alcohol. Seems he wasn’t cleaning the gas cans properly and the hooch was making customers ill. I think its novel that he was slapped on the wrist and sent off to make a buck another way. Any real contender for completion would have been killed I assume. I am pretty sure that gene has been passed done in the generation’s.

I’m just enough of a nuisance to be put up with and not enough of a threat to be dealt with. I suppose that’s why I have made it to my 9th life like a cat risking it all for the fish bones in the can on the other side of the wire running over the dog house.

I often came home after curfew in high school. Upon kissing my sleeping mom goodnight, as required on reentry to the home, she would groggily look at the clock and see I was late, but happily fell back asleep after I’d proclaim, “I had an adventure, I’ll tell you tomorrow.”

As long as I was living life to the fullest, it seemed to be a hall pass to naughty behavior. There have been a few times that I have known it was not an adventure to share and I was lucky to have gotten thru the other than safe situation. But for the most part my antics were as harmless as Dave’s.

After the “adventure” in the cemetery, I wasn’t much in the mood to be an independent American venturing into the unknown of Paris, and decided a day out of town was much needed. After several years of waiting to visit, I took the train to Disneyland Paris. It’s funny the call it Paris, it is almost an hour by train to get there, but they call Disneyland in California Los Angeles which is actually as far, so I will cut them some slack.

I decided to purchase a passport to ensue I have a year of entertainment with English speaking people, and it was a third of the cost as a passport in California. After I convinced them I was really me since my Identification was stolen with my phone, I went out to see the park. Although I was pretty deeply down in the dumps, the park managed to bring me some smiles and even the rain didn’t matter.

It was exciting to look for the similarities’ in the two parks and the differences and I felt a bit like a kid wanting to go into Mickey’s house to get a photo with him.  I opted for a long train ride around the park instead. I wanted to see if they had a Grand Canyon; which they do, sans the dinosaurs’. Just a side note, they sell alcohol and their cast member grooming standards are severely different.

I couldn’t shake the funk on Monday when I woke to deal with the phone. France; unlike Disney, basically closes on Sunday. With limited time before Claude needed to be at work, we went for the Sim card. Our cell company assured us, I was not alone in my violation, that they get at least 15 people a day needing to replacements. Apple also confirmed the unassuming consumers of these bargain back street deals were also taken for a ride, when they in turn came to Apple to find the locked phones un operational.

The day didn’t prove to get much better even though the backup I had on icloud got me back in action fairly quickly. The expensive weekend and the fact that I am now officially out of work was not a great way to start the new level at school.

The new teacher went around the room checking student id’s and came to mine and not seeing my name called the office to find I was moved to a different room. I quickly gathered my belongings and said goodbyes as I was late already to the other class. I joined my new class during a written exercise, and anxiously searched to see what book they were using. I thought that maybe I didn’t pass the exam and was actually demoted to redo the first level again. I realized that they are all at the second level and I was just moved for no apparent reason as all of my fellow classmates remained in my original room.

At the break, I decided not to call Claude freaking out and pleading with him to deal with the situation, instead, I went to the Administration asking for explanation. I was being told that other people had made reservations before me, but I knew that wasn’t true since there were a number of newer students that started in my class several weeks after me. Even Mave, the new girl had arrived just that same day.

I was basically on the verge of tears and asked her how she could help if she wasn’t even taking my name and looking at the computer. To that she took my id called another office. She walked me up to another employee, where the angel of mercy, assured me that it was a mistake and I could return to my class.

For a brief moment I thought, wow, here is your chance to be rid of Sarah, to move on to a fresh start. But no, I have had enough fresh starts and I barely began to have a real relationship with a few of my classmates and was unwilling to give them up.

I presented the hand written note from the office to my teacher, and took my chair with great joy seeing my classmate’s smile and nod in approval. Several came to me after class and said how happy they were that I was back and I realized that maybe the tide had changed. I happily joined 2 classmates on the way to the Metro. I missed my routine post class call with Claude’s, and ran outside after we all split to call him excitedly and share, that I have friends. Sure they may only be friends in class, but they are my friends for 20 hours a week and I’ll take what I can get.

Tuesday is typically date night and I had an idea of what I wanted to do, hut the lines were too long and we altered plans to do some window shopping on ideas for the home and quick beer in a cafe before a quiet night. I rushed home the following night to go to see Claude’s brother’s apartment to see if anything was there that we wanted since he was giving the place up and needed to clean it out.

I pointed out the amazing oven he had in there just noticing that it was great and he translated it to Gloria who in turn said we should take it. I thought they were kidding, but I guess with help from the family, we will get the oven and I will be able to do more than cook on the range. Of course, I have no clue when that will happen as we are still waiting for the previous tenant who is as usual, coming next week for her stuff.

Since everything takes much longer than intended, I will assume that the oven will not be in our kitchen for another month. We got home later than planned but were happily joined my Marcos MH. After a beer, some dinner and lively chatter, he was very reassuring to us both that he sees a huge difference in my language skills.

It hasn’t rained in 2 days and I’m sure that means it will rain tomorrow, but I took advantage of the break in the weather to g to a shady part of town for a Yelp event. I thought it would be a great way to meet people and they usually give you free stuff, not to mention food and drinks.

I was approached after a about 15 mixtures but Scarlet, a tall blonde Australian proclaiming she heard there was an English speaker she needed to go talk too. Too excited to speak at a normal speed, I was trying to restrain my enthusiasm so I didn’t seem desperate but still left the night with her phone number an assurance we would see each other again.

Considering the week started so poorly, I am happy to see the roller coaster pull into the station and anxious to finish the 1st week of “A2,” my current class. My teacher Pia is adorable and full of energy. We never leave on time as she is always trying to get one more thing into our heads before we go home for the night.

This by no means I’m doing better in school, or that it’s is getting easier, but somehow or another it’s getting into the brain slowly. I came to class so excited to be back with them and having had a night with Claude that I poorly spoke to every student in the room in broken French regarding something I had seen or heard that made me think of them until finally Pia interrupted and said how she was getting emotional hearing me talk.

I apologized for butchering the language but she assured me that she thought it was great and she was so pleased to see me try so hard even with students we both knew could speak English. I appreciated the encouragement and look forward to next week which will mark the half way point in my enrollment.

I have hard time sleeping thinking about the issues at hand. So many little things making it tough to relax and enjoy the ride. Maybe I am that cat on the wire and I’m a little wobbly. Maybe I’m a little bit of Dave and trying to get by while being gently slapped on the hand. The adventures are out there to be had, and tomorrow is another opportunity to find one.  So maybe this isn’t my 9th, maybe I have a few more ahead.

4 thoughts on “neuf vies

  1. You write beautifully Allison, I love reading about your life in France. It’s so real and I feel your emotions. Keep blogging and updating us on your adventures…Candy


  2. Cats are amazing creatures, like you. They have the ability to endure most anything, like you.
    Relax, as best you can, take a breath. Know that you have support on this side of the Atlantic, always.


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