A Travellerspoint blog

Ups and Downs

sunny

Well I already wrote this blog and thought I posted it about a week ago. Turns out it got deleted somehow. Grrr… well here it is again:

I’ve had a love hate relationship with France lately. There are somethings that make me want to stay here forever and others which make me want to hop on the first plane home.

Some Irritations:

I tried to turn in some paper work to a French organization the other day. It basically reimburses me for some of my living expenses here. Cool right? First it took me forever to get all of the papers I needed. Then I turn them in and the organization says I am missing something. So I find the right paper, take all of my paper work to them and find the office closed. The sign said they were closed because they had a backup of paperwork to do. Uh huh. I’m wondering how it would work if I used this excuse for my job. “um no, I’m sorry I can’t teach today, you see I haven’t planned my lessons for next week so I really need the next 3 days to plan them out. Just have the students teach themselves.) So I return three days later to find the office still closed. This time they were on strike. I waited a week, called this morning and they are not striking, but still closed because once again, they claim they have too much paper work. SO FRUSTRATING!

My insurance company lost a document I gave them. I literally handed them this document during a meeting and they managed to lose it. I spent 15 mins on the phone explaining to the lady that I had already given them the document and that they should have it. She told me to call back in a week to see if it had been found. In other words, the French administration system is horrendous. Apparently it is not uncommon for them to lose important paper work. Good thing I didn’t give them a copy of my passport!

Frenchies are not Michiganders. They cannot deal with more than half an inch of snow. It takes them like three days to get a snow plow on the roads and they usually wait until half of the country has slipped and fallen before they salt the sidewalks.

On the positive side…

The snow melted about two weeks ago and we have had incredible weather! It was in the 60’s last week! The weather men often are wrong here, so even when they say it is going to snow sometimes you get beautiful bright sunny days instead. I think the surprise of it all makes you enjoy it even more.
Buying fruit and veggies at one of the many local markets doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Most of the time, the veggies are cheaper and better than the ones you get in the grocery store.

American products have arrived in St. Etienne! Well at least at the supermarket near my house they have. They now have “an American section” complete with muffin and cookie mix, chips, ranch dressing, marsh mellows, hot dogs, hot dog sauce (apparently just ketchup and mustard mixed together) and of course the most important, peanut butter! The family I live with decided to have an American diner with me so we had hot dogs (in baguette of course) with “American hotdog sauce” and chips.

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I’ve had a huge desire to cook since I’ve been here and I’ve decided I am going to try one new recipe each week. Last week was a mushroom, spinach and Lardon quiche. Super good and easy to make! This past weekend I also went on cooking over load. I made pancakes, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, burritos, and beef roladin. Not exactly French, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining about that!

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Although they live the country of love, the French don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day. Luckily I found myself a Frenchie that knows how to treat an American girl the right way. He snuck out early Sunday morning to find an open bakery and bought a ton of pastries for breakfast along with some roses. Apparently the old saying is wrong. Food (ok and maybe flowers too) is the way to a woman’s heart too!

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Posted by jauntypag 12:46 Archived in France

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Comments

Another good entry. As far as the French administration system, I don't know if its much different then here in the states. Try talking to some people here about getting unemployment benefits or dealing with social security, or insurance companies. All bureaucracies tend to be the same, understaffed, overburdened, and staffed with people that just don't care.
seems strange when you talk about a American section in the stores, although here they have Mexican, Italian, Oriental, sections in Myiers and some supermarkets. Flad to hear you can at least finally get PB there, Do they have real American stuff or is it the French version?
Glad to hear that that French boy friend of yours got on board for V Day. Did you get him anything?
Well thats it, going to check Steve's Blog. Hes worse then you on updating it.
Stay happy & healthy.
LUVYA(AHAW) Dad

by Dad

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