Hi all and Happy 2016!!! I told myself that THIS year, I was going to blog on a regular basis. Now, I lie to myself so take it for what it’s worth. Anyways, I have moved to the beautiful City of Lights and figured I’d start sharing my experience with you…my peeps…my e-family.
So, being offered a job transfer to Paris was so. freaking. exciting! Then, I was like, “wait, I don’t speak French.” But immediately was like, “Self, it doesn’t matter. You can pick it up!” LIES!
I took an immersion class in Washington, DC for 7 weeks before I moved…and know how to say my name and count. I can’t tell you how helpful that has been.
French Person: Excuse me, would you like something to eat?
Me: Je m’appelle Nikki. Neuf.
French Person: Um, hi Nikki. What do you mean by the number 9?
Me: *blank stare* Deux
French Person: Wanders off and takes away sharp objects
It is getting better though. I am now taking French lessons twice per week and while I do get frustrated at the fast pace, it helps to push me forward into learning the language so I can assimilate faster.
Which brings me to sharing my experience at the post office (or La Poste) as it’s called here. My sorority sister requested I send a letter to her child’s kindergarten class that basically says that I saw the gingerbread man here in Paris. I write and address the letter, figure out what I need to say at the post office to buy the correct number of stamps, and head forth to bask in a moment of triumph.
Sigh. As I get to the counter, I show my letter and ask how much I needed to pay in postage to mail the letter to the United States. I hear something that sounded like “set” which I took to mean 7 (which is “sept” in French). So, I buy 7 stamps and place ALL 7 ON THE LETTER.
Did you ever read the Harry Potter books? If not, there is a passage about Molly, Harry’s best friend’s mom, mailing him a letter thru the “Muggle Post” (non-magical letter mailing, which is basically what I am doing). Since they normally use owls to deliver letters, his wizarding family didn’t know how much postage to put on the letter. It looked like this…
What my letter looked like.
Which is exactly how my letter looked to travel from Paris to Indiana. When I put all 7 stamps on the letter, the address was just barely visible. I give it to the postman, he looks at me and was like, “Why are there so many stamps on this?” I was like, “Sir? What? You told me 7 stamps.” He looked at me and muttered something in French that sounded suspiciously like “bless her heart” which we all know in southern US means that person is “special.”
After removing 6 stamps, I was finally able to get it mailed. No telling where the gingerbread man is now…:)