Monday, 14 June 2010

The' day before' blues

I'm feeling a bit despondent today. I woke up and wondered what I'd do with my day and how I'd get around. Yesterday had been difficult physically and today my mission was to tackle the metro and buses. It all seemed so intricate, like spider-webs those interlocking and non-interlocking bus and metro routes. To me it is not simple and today's experiences bore that out.

Veronique had done her best to explain what metro to take to do my dry-run to my appointment. I found my way to Les Gobelins metro station OK but then didn't know what way I was pointing- was I on the track forward or back? I had to stop and ask. OK, go around and get onto the other side of the tracks. Still nothing to confirm I was where I should be. It's fine if you've done it before but this was my first time. Once on board it was fast and full, standing room only. The sign inside the cabin showed me the various stations we would pass so that was helpful.

When I got out I looked around for Boulevard Haussman. So far so good, past the famous department store Galeries Lafayette. Nice neighbourhood for shopping. If one was paid in euros it wouldn't be TOO bad. I found the building. It appears one needs to ring for admittance so I filed that away for tomorrow.

Heading back was a nightmare. I had wanted to catch a bus to the Louvre but try as I might I could not find one going in the direction I needed. They were all headed the other way before they would turn and head towards Ile de la Cite. I asked many people, they tried to be helpful but sometimes they didn't know and sometimes they spoke so quickly I only caught part of the instructions. Thank goodness I had SOME french.

So I walked, and walked. The day had begun rather chilly, now it was lunchtime, I was hungry and sore but no end in sight. When in doubt head for the Seine. So I walked some more and found it. Past a couple of ponts and decided I'd had enough so I sat at a positive-looking bus stop for 15 mins. The fare was reasonable and we rumbled along to a spot not quite what I expected. Hmm. Head for the river.

Eventually by deciphering signs I found myself at the Louvre; too tired, hungry, poor and time-starved to go in. What a tragedy. So I took a couple of pictures and walked through what was probably the Tuileries and looked for the river again. My eyes scanned the horizon for Notre Dame. There it was; more walking and the weather was turning unpleasantly cold and windy. So...

I sought 'sanctuary' in the Cathedral after I'd ordered a small salad to keep myself going. It cost me the equivalent of $17. Ouch! Fair enough in euros but a killer for a kiwi.

Inside the cathedral I joined a free tour. While inside Notre Dame I heard a loud rumble. It was thunder outside, yes indeed, I had sanctuary. The french lady was speaking English but she took so long to get to the point that after 1.5 hours of standing around not seeing much I abandoned the tour which had shrunk to only 5 hardy souls. I whizzed around trying to make up for lost time but couldn't afford the 'official' tour where you get to see different levels. Never mind, the weather had now fined up.

I walked and searched for the right buses and metros but didn't find any until I was one metro stop away from Veronique's so I grabbed a hot chocolate at a brasserie, sat outside for a bit, feeling like a complete noddy and summoned up the strength to walk the rest of the way. Hey, I got home and on the way bought some spreadable butter and jam for my breakfasts. Money all gone I had to resort to an ATM but it worked. Yay.

Tonight I'm preparing for the best and hoping not to have the worst. By that I mean there's everything hanging on my 9am appointment tomorrow. If I don't get offered a contract my dream is gone. An expensive holiday in France with only a few days to look around and meet people isn't why I came here. My TESOL certificate was necessary but it doesn't give me France. Today I felt incompetent with my french and in getting myself around. I had to watch every euro and wondered how I could do any more for myself. Is it meant to be? If it isn't what else is there that matters to me, what sort of future? Gee, I'm usually someone who fights for what she needs but in this case it's not up to me. Something else decides my fate now and I don't like that.

I'm dying my hair, doing my nails, laying out my dress and shoes and fake jewellery. Tomorrow it's off to my date with destiny. First in the 5th arrondisement then the nervewracking exercise of catching a train to visit the professor with whom I have an appointment. Total madness, catch you later.


Defogger said...

What a day...and I so hope there is some good news in your next blog, or at least the hope of good news.

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