True Story

“You will have to relearn how to do everything,” is what my former boss, Duan, told me before I left for France.  Did I believe her?  Not really.  I didn’t think it was going to be a bit rough.  In the past few weeks, I had to do the following:

1) Open up a French bank account.  Thankfully, my bank lady, Stéphanie was more than helpful!  It was pretty simple.

2) Fill out housing application.  Usually when I hear a French person talk, I don’t catch it the first time around so I ask again and if they could speak a bit slower.  So, they repeat themselves and they still haven’t slowed down.  So then I give up and say “okay!”.  I had to go back to the housing office three times because the first two I didn’t understand and the third I needed some account information from my bank.

3) Library.  Hey!  I’m pretty excited about this!

4) School paperwork and figuring out my teaching schedule.

5) Got a French phone number!

After I had completed all of the above, I gave myself a high-five!  I felt like I was on top of the world.  I was singing Puff Daddy’s “Can’t Hold Me Down”.  Unfortunately, my small victories usually don’t last very long.  For instance at the bank, I had to go pick up my ATM card and they were asking for some paperwork.  I had forgotten it at home so I went back the next day.  They said it wasn’t the right forms and so I started to get nervous.  Even the tellers were getting nervous because we didn’t know how to communicate with one another.  They tracked down Stéphanie, who thankfully took care of everything.  Duan was not kidding when she said that I would have to start all over.


My classes are good! Basically, I just go into class with a bunch of activities that will get the students to converse in English.  It’s pretty entertaining and I think they have a good time.  There are a few classes where I just think someone needs to make it end quickly. There is of course a lot of misunderstandings and lack of communication between the staff and myself at times.  For instance, I found out the day before that I had to be in another town for my assistant orientation. I also found out that there is a week A and a week B.

So, I went to this assistant orientation in Vannes and I found out there are many other assistants here in Lorient.  They are from Columbia, Mexico, Italy, Spain, Germany England, Scotland, America, Canada, etc.

Here is a group of American assistants and myself:


As soon as I saw this picture, I laughed out loud.  It reminded me of how miserable I looked on my first day at pre-school.  Was I miserable in this picture?  A bit!  I had missed my morning train and then when I arrived in Vannes, I walked all over the city looking for the school.  I have never sweated so much in my life.

So, one of the assistants teaches in Port-Louis.  A small town that is a boat ride away!   When I heard boat, I said sign me up! Some of the assistants and myself spent a few hours there.  Here are some pictures I swiped:

Waiting for the boat.

Waiting for the boat.

Blinded by the sun.

Blinded by the sun.

Port Louis

Port Louis


One of those European type of streets.

One of those European type of streets.

Oh this?  It's my house.

Oh this? It's my house.

And this is my car. Hi car!

And this is my car. Hi car!

Let's not forget my favorite random nude couple hiding in the corner!

Let's not forget my favorite random nude couple hiding in the corner!


Sorry if this post seemed a bit dry! It should be smooth sailing from here on out! Get it?  Sailing?  Ha ha ha.


3 Responses to “True Story”
  1. sulu-design says:

    Ooooh! Nude couples hiding on the beach and peeing dead flies. France really is as romantic as everyone says it is.

  2. Burke says:

    Do you like boats? Know where you suddenly feel as though you can’t recognize or relate to other people at a very essential level? But oh, there is an endless expanse of glimmering water to look at and I can’t hear you.

    terrifying machines, bad for everyone I guess. I love boats. I’d love boats if there were no other person, too, so it’s not just that.

    You should teach them about boats. Mon coueur a la place pour des bateaux, peut etre. Peut etre, ils trouveront le meme amour pour les bateaux. Bateaux, bateaux.

    Have good times,
    B. Burke

  3. Burke says:

    PS I genuinely love sitting on a boat.

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