(Written September 30)
Today was a really really long day. I had to go to the bureau d’inspection, the home base for all the elementary school inspectors and administration. Unfortunately for me, it’s all the way across town, about 1.5 miles. I made the trek over there and once I arrived, I realized that I forgot an important form for my direct deposit slip. My relevé d’identité bancaire was sitting back at home, on my desk. I stayed at the office for about 30 mins, using the wifi and chatting with my co-workers. (who are super nice, by the way) After that, I walked all the way back home, through the center of town. On my way back to my room, I discovered a local farmer’s market that meets in the town square each Friday morning. I’m definitely going to make that a part of my new routine! I love fresh produce and talking to all the farmers! At last, I arrived at home, took 15 minutes to cool off, grabbed the form, and headed back for the bureau.
My boss made a few photocopies for me and took my bank deposit slip for payment. Thankfully, my first check should arrive at the end of October. I’m glad that I saved a good amount of money beforehand and that my costs in Chauny are relatively low. It’s not hard to last in this town on just a few euros a month. I can realistically live off of 300-400 euros each month, which is insane for most of Europe. I’m so thankful for the Lord’s provision in this regard, because I know that many other language assistants in France are forced to stretch their monthly paycheck really thin with expensive apartment rents. What a way to live in Europe, huh?
And on my way back home (the second time) I found the church, which I’ll be visiting for the first time this upcoming Sunday. I’m really excited to get to know other believers and get plugged in. To be honest, this hasn’t been that difficult of a transition for me. The language barrier isn’t as daunting as I thought that it would be. It really helps that I understand and am understood, even if I don’t speak perfectly. Les Chaunoise are exceptionally patient and kind, more than welcoming to outsiders like myself. It’s a very soft landing place in an otherwise difficult country.
Tonight, K and I went into town for some dinner because the cafeteria was closed. We discovered that it is closed on Friday nights, all day Saturday and Sunday. So, we’ll have to get a little bit creative with our meals on the weekend. We had a pre-dinner glass of red wine at one of the local bars, sitting outside and enjoying the gorgeous weather. It really was so picturesque, with a great view of the town square. After our drink, we walked to a local kebab place and got some sandwiches to go. The owner was so sweet, he gave both of us a free cup of tea to drink while we waited. Everything closes super early around these parts, so we’ve been going to bed around 10-11 pm each night. It’s kinda lame but… when in Chauny…
Still no pictures because I still don’t have internet. There’s a phone line in my bedroom that I can attach to a cable box for wifi, which will cost around 30 euros a month. And if you split that between 3 people, it’s super affordable. It’s the one thing that we’re all agreeing to splurge on. Hopefully that’ll be up and running in a few days! Excited!